Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Jefferson Starship--Miracles (1975)

     The Jefferson Airplane had run into the ground. With the Paul Kantner/Grace Slick songwriting axis on one side, and Kaukonen/Cassady on the other, Balin and his romantic ballads had been left out. His close friend Janis Joplin had just died and was wanting to separate himself from the drug lifestyle that the others were involved in. He finally left the group in 1970, and not long after that, the group itself ground to a halt. Jack Cassady and Jorma Kaukonen devoted themselves full time to Hot Tuna and Kantner/Grace released a series of albums. The first one, "Blows Against the Empire" was credited to Paul Kantner/Jefferson Starship was the first time that name had been used (this was 1980), and formally named that in 1974. On the first album under that name, "Dragon Fly", Balin had been invited to write a song, and a year later was formally invited to the group full time.

      1975 brought Red Octopus and the best selling album in the Jefferson Starship formation. Balin contributed the song Miracles, which not only was the highest charting single before the forming of Starship, but the album went #1 as well. The song shows off Balin's romantic crooning that has always been a hallmark of his best work, but what sends it soaring was the great production by Larry Cox. This is a song that you need to hear in it's album format. It's almost 7 minutes long, but there isn't a wasted note anywhere....


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