|Produced by Paul Kantner, Grace Slick|
|Released on December 1971|
|US CHART POSITION #89|
|Find it at GEMM|
[high resolution photo]
M omma and Daddy had a baby and then popped off this headtrip. While some couples make beautiful music together, the best that can be said of Sunfighter is that Paul and Grace are on the same strange trip together. The songs are hippy trippy acoustic numbers mixed with psychedelic blues, more glider than Airplane, as folky as it is freaky. The couple split songwriting and often share vocals, with harmonies that are sometimes sweet (“Diana 2”) and sometimes sour (“Look At The Wood”). Since neither partner is a succinct songwriter or prone to rigorous self-pruning, Sunfighter is an amorphous collection of psychedelic folk/blues songs with mind-candy moments (“Titanic,” “Universal Copernican Mumbles”) along the way. Grace Slick and Paul Kantner make much of the music on the album, so piano and guitar are often the main instruments, which renders the arrangements a little murky. If nothing on Sunfighter jumps out as memorable, the same could be said of back-to-the-country efforts in general, from The Kinks to the Grateful Dead. If this is a concept album (and it may well be), the concept must deal with raising a family together. In that context, “Silver Spoon” is Grace’s invitation to Paul, “Diana” and “Earth Mother” the roles that Grace will play, “China” their daughter (which she was) and the “wolfpack” their (extended?) family. Without a lyric sheet, however, I’m going on guesswork here. Paul Kantner always seemed more interested in telling stories than writing songs, as if whatever melodies popped up in the course of playing were good enough to support his tales. Grace Slick is the unknown quantity here, capable of digging her nails in (“Silver Spoon”) or drifting off into psychedelic speculation (“Look At The Wood”). Sunfighter is ultimately a speculative work, putting the pair’s yin/yang union into musical practice with mixed results. It remains a minor artifact of the early ‘70s, interesting if you’re a frequent flyer of Jefferson Airplane but otherwise inessential.
|FTR-1002 inner gatefold||FTR-1002 picture sleeve|
PAUL KANTNER --
GRACE SLICK -- heavy water light libretto booklet
Craig Chaquico -- guitar (9)
Maurice The Miracle Man --
Tru Engine Hearing Phil Sawyer --
Pat Ieraci -- engineer
Acy Lehman -- cover, booklet assistance
Mary Ann Mayer, Joan Chase -- lights inside
Gary Blackman -- booklet assistance
|REGION||RELEASE DATE||LABEL||MEDIA||ID NUMBER||FEATURES|
|US||December 1971||Grunt||LP||FTR-1002||gatefold, booklet, picture sleeve|
|UK||April 1989||Essential||LP/CD||ESS 001|
|US||July 29, 1997||RCA||CD||67421||digital remaster|
Did you know...
...this album featured a 16-year-old Craig Chaquico playing guitar? He appears on "Earth Mother," a track written by Jack Traylor, who had been Chaquico's English teacher. (Source: SmoothViews interview, 2/06.)
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