BFL1-0999 Red Octopus
Produced by Jefferson Starship and Larry Cox
Released on July 1975
US CHART POSITION #1 . . . GOLD RECORD (8/22/75), 2x PLATINUM (7/31/95)
Find it at GEMM
BFL1-0999 cover
[high resolution photo]
 

E nter the monsterpiece, with its bickering heads (Balin, Slick), a violin tendency (Creach) and halfing a bass instinct (Freiberg, Sears). I believe in “Miracles,” believe it might even be the most perfect song the Starship’s ever written, but do I believe that this album is their masterpiece? Octopositively not. This is too wordy an opus, with Slick in particular off in outer space. If you’ve figured out what “Fast Buck Freddie” or “Play On Love” are about, you’re smarter than me. (Sorry, that’s not much of a prize. Next time I’ll have gold stars printed up or buy some animal stickers or something.) Because Red Octopus has so many mouths to feed, everything gets mixed together in the trough: mystical love songs, macho love songs, sensitive love songs. Coming back to the Progressive Question, I’d put Red Octopus in an altogether different zoo: the ‘70s love album (Tapestry, Rumours). Outside of “I Want To See Another World” (which reminds me of Hawkwind) and the instrumental “Sandalphon,” nothing on here would qualify as progressive. “Fast Buck Freddie” is edgy, “There Will Be Love” is dreamy, but you’d find the same on most ‘70s rock albums. The more immediate concern for fans was the commercial direction that the Starship were taking. With a commercial audience (the kind that puts you on top of the charts for all to see) comes another mouth to feed. I’m not saying selling out, since Santana did the same thing, but serving two masters (us and them). So, exit the tentacled monster, drowning the dreams of sailors while clutching a crowd to its bosom. An exhibit for the commercial renaissance maybe, but not a masterpiece.

BFL1-0999 back cover BFL1-0999 lyric sleeve
BFL1-0999 back cover BFL1-0999 lyric sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. FAST BUCK FREDDIE    (lyrics by Grace Slick, music by Criag Chaquico)    3:28
  2. MIRACLES    (Marty Balin)    6:52
  3. GIT FIDDLER    (John Creach/Kevin Moore/John Parker)    3:08
  4. AI GARIMASU (THERE IS LOVE)    (Grace Slick)    4:15
  5. SWEETER THAN HONEY    (lyrics by Craig Chaquico/Marty Balin, music by Craig Chaquico/Pete Sears)    3:20
  6. PLAY ON LOVE    (lyrics by Grace Slick, music by Pete Sears)    3:44
  7. TUMBLIN    (lyrics by Marty Balin/Robert Hunter, music by David Freiberg)    3:27
  8. I WANT TO SEE ANOTHER WORLD    (lyrics by Paul Kantner/Grace Slick/Marty Balin, music by Paul Kantner)    4:34
  9. SANDALPHON    (Pete Sears)    4:08
  10. THERE WILL BE LOVE    (lyrics by Paul Kantner/Marty Balin, music by Paul Kantner/Craig Chaquico)    5:04

    CD reissue bonus tracks
  11. MIRACLES (SINGLE VERSION)
  12. FAST BUCK FREDDIE (LIVE)
  13. THERE WILL BE LOVE (LIVE)
  14. YOU'RE DRIVING ME CRAZY (LIVE)
  15. SWEETER THAN HONEY (LIVE)

CREDITS

MARTY BALIN -- vocals
JOHN BARBATA -- drums, percussion, vocals
CRAIG CHAQUICO -- lead guitar, vocals
PAPA JOHN CREACH -- violin
DAVID FREIBERG -- bass, keyboards, vocals
PAUL KANTNER -- rhythm guitar, vocals
PETE SEARS -- bass, keyboards, vocals
GRACE SLICK -- piano, vocals
Irv Cox -- sax solo
Bobbye Hall -- percussion and congas
Dave Roberts -- string and horn arrangements
Pat Ieraci (Maurice) -- production coordinator
Larry Cox -- engineer
Steve Mantoani and Jeffrey Husband -- recordist
Paul Dowell -- amp consultant
Frank Mulvey -- art director
Jim Marshall -- liner photograph
Gribbitt! -- graphics

return to JEFFERSON STARSHIP discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US July 1975 Grunt LP/LPQ/8T BFL1/BFD1/BFS1-0999 lyric sleeve
UK July 1975 Grunt LP FTR 2002  
BRA 1975 RCA Victor LP 1048019  
JPN   Grunt LP RCA-6314 picture sleeve, lyric insert
US/CAN   Grunt/RCA LP AYL1-3660 Best Buy reissue
UK   RCA LP INTS-5069  
GER   Grunt CD ND83660  
US January 28, 1997 RCA CD 66875 digital remaster
US 1997 DCC CD GZS1110 gold disc
US September 13, 2005 RCA CDX 767122 digital remaster w. bonus tracks

 

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