Saturday, January 19, 2013

Jefferson Airplane: It's No Secret

Formed in San Francisco in 1965 as a folk band, Jefferson Airplane would later be in the forefront of the psychedelic movement. In late 65, the band was signed to RCA Records and began working on their debut album “Takes Off.”

The album is a testament to their folk beginnings and featured two songs that gained some airplay: “Blues from an Airplane” and “It’s No Secret.” Both would later be reissued on the compilation, “The Worst of the Jefferson Airplane.”

“It’s No Secret” was the band’s first single release; however, it failed to chart. Lead vocalist Marty Balin wrote the song with the intent that Otis Redding would record the song. In addition to Balin’s vocals, he is joined by the band's original female lead vocalist: Signe Toly Anderson. The song also features a 12-string electric guitar.

Although it is not credited to a single member and both Jorma Kaukonen and Paul Kantner had electric 12-string Rickenbacker models, it is impossible without documentation to say who played the 12-string for sure on this cut. There appears to be a rhythm guitar in one channel that is buried in the mix with the bass. I am banking that Kantner is playing the rhythm and the 12-string parts are being played by Kaukonen; however, I cannot be 100% certain on this speculation. Released in 1966, the single failed to chart.

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