4133-2-R Bless Its Pointed Little Head
Produced by Al Schmitt
Released on February 1969
US CHART POSITION #17 (charted March 1, 1969 for 23 weeks) . . . UK CHART POSITION #38
Find it at GEMM
4133-2-R cover
[high resolution scan]
 

I t’s with a sense of loss that you hear a concert like this: intimate, experimental, organic, unique... they don’t make ‘em like this anymore. That invisible wall between artist and audience was a barrier that Jefferson Airplane had no trouble clearing. The Fillmore shows were usually informal affairs, a chance for artist and audience to commune together in the act of creation. I mean, the idea of opening with dialogue from King Kong (billed here as “Clergy”) is the sort of lovable lo-fi greeting one finds upon entering the inner sanctum. You didn’t pay to hear Airplane play; you were privileged to join them. And the pleasure is ours for the duration. The psychedelic cover of Donovan’s “Fat Angel,” vital versions of “Somebody To Love” and “Plastic Fantastic Lover,” and invitation to melt together at the end. Soon after this disc, the Airplane imploded, and much has been made since of the tension in the band at this time, especially between lead singers Marty Balin and Grace Slick. Let history show that Slick won the battle; you can hear the whole thing play out in miniature with this version of “Somebody To Love,” where Balin challenges Slick to give it her all. The instrumental chemistry was equally impressive at this point, whether they’re warming up an oldie like “Rock Me Baby” or preparing an acid bath for “Bear Melt.” As much as Lou Reed’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal or the Stones’ Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out, Bless Its Pointed Little Head is the best way to experience the Airplane live on record. This isn’t the table by the window but rather a tour of the kitchen during the dinner hour. If you’ve got the stomach for it, dig in.

4133-2-R gatefold sleeve 4133-2-R back sleeve
4133-2-R gatefold sleeve 4133-2-R back sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. CLERGY (PRELUDE)    1:35
  2. 3/5'S OF A MILE IN 10 SECONDS    (Martin Balin)    4:39
  3. SOMEBODY TO LOVE    (Darby Slick)    3:47
  4. FAT ANGEL    (Donovan Leitch)    7:29
  5. ROCK ME BABY    (trad., arr. by Jefferson Airplane)    7:45
  6. OTHER SIDE OF THIS LIFE    (Fred Neil)    6:34
  7. IT'S NO SECRET    (Martin Balin)    3:23
  8. PLASTIC FANTASTIC LOVER    (Martin Balin)    3:40
  9. TURN OUT THE LIGHTS    (Paul Kantner/John Casady/Jorma Kaukonen/Grace Slick/Spencer Dryden)    1:11
  10. BEAR MELT    (Paul Kantner/John Casady/Jorma Kaukonen/Grace Slick/Spencer Dryden)    11:00

    CD reissue bonus tracks
  11. TODAY
  12. WATCH HER RIDE
  13. WON'T YOU TRY

CREDITS

MARTY BALIN -- vocals
JACK CASADY -- bass
SPENCER DRYDEN -- drums
PAUL KANTNER -- vocals and guitar
JORMA KAUKONEN -- vocals and guitar
GRACE SLICK -- vocals
Richie Schmitt -- engineer
Maurice -- beret
Jim Smircich -- cover photo
Bill Thompson -- poster (inside)
Gary Blackman -- art direction
John Snyder -- digital producer (1989)
Joe Lopes -- digital engineer (1989)

return to JEFFERSON AIRPLANE discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US February 1969 RCA LP LSP-4133 insert
UK 1969 RCA LP SF-8019  
US   RCA LP AYL1-3789  
US 1989 BMG/RCA CD 4133 digital remaster
GER 1996 RCA CD 66801 digital remaster
US June 22, 2004 BMG Heritage CDX 61643 digital remaster w. bonus tracks

 

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