Friday, May 28, 2010

The Great Society: Someone/Somebody To Love

The most successful single release for the Jefferson Airplane was the 1967 single, “Somebody to Love.” Charting at #5, it set the tone for Airplane and Starship recordings to come, as it was the inauguration of the band's second female lead, Grace Slick, who replaced outgoing Signé Anderson. Found on the Airplane’s second LP, “Surrealistic Pillow,” most people do not realize that the song had been previously released by another San Francisco band, The Great Society which also featured Grace Slick on vocals.

Although the lyrics were the same, the original version was titled “Someone to Love” and not “Somebody to Love” as was sung in chorus. Finally, the song credited to Slick was not written by Grace Slick, but rather her ex-husband, Darby Slick. Today’s Friday first recording is the original single mix of “Someone to Love” by Grace Slick and the Great Society. The band later re-recorded the song for a subsequent album release.

Jefferson Airplane’s Hit Version

This was not the only song Grace borrowed from her former band, as “White Rabbit,” which was quite different from the Airplane’s rendition, was also a Great Society live concert favorite. Their version of what was Airplane's next hit single was influenced by Arabian and Klezmer scales and tonalities and had a four minute jam at the head of the song before the vocals even began. Perhaps, I'll feature that someday. For now, here’s Grace and the Airplane with their biggest single to date.

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