Surrealistic Pillow review by Jefferson Airplane

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  • Released: Feb 9, 1967
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 8.8 (33 votes)
Jefferson Airplane: Surrealistic Pillow
2

Sound — 10
After a few versions of this album on compact discs over the past 20 years, the 2003 remaster was headed by rock producer Bob Irwin (Johnny Cash/Janis Joplin/Simon & Garfunkel). This version is most certainly the only purchasable of the older CDs released without the mastering process that is at producer disposal in the 21st century. The album is presented in stereo sound with mono versions of the albums two biggest hits "White Rabbit" and "Somebody To Love." Jerry Garcia (The Grateful Dead) was used as a musical and "spirtual" advisor during the recording of this album.

Lyrics — 10
The lyrics are centered around themes of motivation, freedom and empowerment. Compared to today's standards, the lyrics are actually exceptionally great considering how universally catchy most music must be before it can leave the studio. The lyrics were written at a time when the United States involvement in Vietnam had reached its apex and emotions were rampant on the homefront with the younger generation protesting and attempting to revolutionize the era of peace in a world full of death. One must have a certain knowledge of the time period in which any great band recorded, knowing this will always paint a more fulfilled portrait of what that particular artist was trying to accomplish lyrically and musically.

Overall Impression — 10
As stated earlier, one must understand the time period of this masterpiece and one will come to realize why this album, Surrealistic Pillow is on nearly every top 100 list that a magazine creates. The influences of early Buffalo Springfield, The Byrds and The Beatles are clearly prevalent. Surrealistic Pillow also has two of the bands most popular songs "White Rabbit" and "Somebody To Love" which were anthems for the generation in which the album was released. Other gems that stand out are "She Has Funny Cars," "Today" and the drug referencing "3/5 Of A Mile In 10 Seconds." Jorma Kaukonen's guitar work is displayed intimately on the instrumental track "Embryonic Journey." One other point I must make is that Grace Slick and Paul Kantner's harmonies are very peaceful and beautiful. A lost art if you will that reflects that of the brilliance Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young captured around the same time. This album plays very well during the summer, ironically this album was released during the "Summer Of Love." Some albums are just seasonal, this is one of them. Clearly this albums stands out as album to be included into the '60s time capsule.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    rock_and_blues
    Amazing album, manages to hold strong against 2 other HUGE albums realeased during that time (Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band-The Beatles and Piper At The Gates Of Dawn-Pink Floyd)
    CLeprechaun
    This album is just plain freakin' great.One of the albums that helped define 60's music.The vocals work so well together,and Grace's vocal work is my personal favourite.She really adds some magic to the band.
    freedomdeceptiv
    rock_and_blues wrote: Amazing album, manages to hold strong against 2 other HUGE albums realeased during that time (Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band-The Beatles and Piper At The Gates Of Dawn-Pink Floyd)
    piper was a good album but huge? floyd wasnt all that famous till syd left... which is a shame...