15 Songs, 1 Hour 7 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Coming at the onset of 1967, Surrealistic Pillow established the lineup and the general psychedelic sound for Jefferson Airplane. After Bathing at Baxter’s, released at the close of 1967, took a deeper look at a band loaded with talent and possibilities. Eschewing commercial hits, the album moved Marty Balin into the background and Grace Slick and Paul Kantner to the foreground, with guitarist Jorma Kaukonen serving as the band’s most versatile weapon. Instruments and vocals are raw and untamed, creating a psychedelic maelstrom that rocks as hard and viciously as punk rock would a decade later, but with virtuosic chops throughout the madness. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

Coming at the onset of 1967, Surrealistic Pillow established the lineup and the general psychedelic sound for Jefferson Airplane. After Bathing at Baxter’s, released at the close of 1967, took a deeper look at a band loaded with talent and possibilities. Eschewing commercial hits, the album moved Marty Balin into the background and Grace Slick and Paul Kantner to the foreground, with guitarist Jorma Kaukonen serving as the band’s most versatile weapon. Instruments and vocals are raw and untamed, creating a psychedelic maelstrom that rocks as hard and viciously as punk rock would a decade later, but with virtuosic chops throughout the madness. 

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Ratings and Reviews

4.9 out of 5
35 Ratings

35 Ratings

TeleKastr ,

epitome of SF sound - bonus tracks wander but worth it

The album plays like a dream. do NOT, repeat, do NOT buy each song without buying the other song(s) in the suite (pooneil,package,and sunday should be listened to together, like martha/tyme, castle/rejoyce, watch her ride/spare chaynge, 2 heads/wont you try. standalones if you only have 99cents - Castle, Pooneil, Two heads, rejoyce (grace slick stands alone in choice of song topics), or East (lost gem of the millenium).
In short, this album not only demonstrates why the band is so awesome, but why San Francisco was so awesome at this point in time. I wish we could go back to those times musically so much. more pot and less commercial. This album is in no way commercial, but the best 'ride' you will ever get.

windupguy ,

The Airplane Soars...

If I had to choose one album from the 60s that best represented the spirit of psychedelia, After Bathing At Baxter's would be the one. Yes, it's an imperfect album, somewhat uneven in spots, self-indulgent in others. But for all that, Baxter's is probably the the best of example of Jefferson Airplane in the studio (with Bless It's Pointed Little Head representing them at the height of their powers live in concert).

Baxter's was somewhat of an experiment for the group. They consciously made decisions that would ensure the album would sound nothing like their previous effort, evolving beyond their folk roots or the goal of cracking Top 40 AM radio. Baxter's was almost entirely composed on the spot in the studio, an evolutionary process that involved renting a space in which they lived, dropped acid, wrote music and played with recording techniques in a largely collaborative environment over a period of about six months. The results are sprawling, experimental, eclectic and most definitely psychedelic. Most of the group is at the height of their writing and performing art, with Grace Slick's soaring vocals more controlled and haunting than ever, Kantner's writing and playing more purely about the music and less constricted than his later political pendantics, Spencer Dryden's exploration of percussive textures beyond what any band at the time was attempting, and Jorma's amazing guitar work more daring and innovative than ever as it blends, offsets and balances with Jack Cassidy's stunning bass lines.

Although I believe the album is best listened to as a whole from beginning to end, there are many fine songs that stand alone. Young Girl Sunday Blues, being the only Marty Balin-credited composition, stands out with Balin's vocals prominent. Martha may be one of the finest love songs written by Kantner, with nice touches of recorder and foreshadowing some of the work he did later on Crown of Creation. Kaukonen's only composition, The Last Wall of the Castle, clearly shows his growth as a songwriter and willingness to experiment and push the boundaries of what he could do with electric guitar. Watch Her Ride, the one single from the album, is a bit reminiscent of the Beatles Got To Get You Into My Life thematically, but with the Airplane's typical driving guitars and bass, it becomes one of the tightest songs on the album.

The other cuts are also very good, with interesting sonic effects and lyrics that have a lot of literary merit. Even the sometimes-reviled 9-minute instrumental experiment Spare Chaynge is more interesting than the Beatles' Number 9. All in all, this is really a geat album to listen to if you're younger than 40 and want to experience the true psychedelic sound, or if you were there in the 60s but can't remember what it was like.

montana rocker ,

After Bathing At Baxters

Still have the vinyl, still have the CD. The expanded version leaves me with no regret over purchasing Baxters for the third time. This is the Airplane's best studio album.

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