Monday, 18 January 2010

“Surrealistic Pillow” by JEFFERSON AIRPLANE (1995 USA-only RCA 'Collector's Edition 24-Karat Gold Disc' CD Reissue with Mono and Stereo Mixes) - A Review by Mark Barry...

This Review Along With 300+ Others Is Available In My
SOUNDS GOOD E-Book on all Amazon sites
1960s and 1970s MUSIC ON CD - Volume 1 of 3 - Exceptional CD Remasters
As well as 1960s and 1970s Rock and Pop - It Also Focuses On
Blues Rock, Prog Rock, Rock-Fusion, Psychedelic and Underground
Just Click Below To Purchase for £3.95
Thousands of E-Pages - All Details and In-Depth Reviews From Discs
(No Cut and Paste Crap)

"...Through An Open Window Where No Curtain Hung..."

Given the sheer fame of the band - it’s kind of surprising to find how few Audiophile CDs are out there are for one of the Sixties most influential bands – JEFFERSON AIRPLANE? But here’s a peach to whet your sonic appetite - albeit one that seems to have slipped under the net too.

The “Collector’s Edition 24 Karat Gold Disc” of “Surrealistic Pillow” was put out by RCA in the USA in July 1995 on RCA 07863 66598-2 (Barcode 078636659824) featuring both the STEREO and MONO mix of the album for the first time (22 tracks) – remastered from the original tapes. It was reissued in 2001 on a standard CD without the gold/titled card slipcase and breaks down as follows (69:35 minutes):

1. She Has Funny Cars [Side 1]
2. Somebody To Love
3. My Best Friend
4. Today
5. Comin’ Back To Me
6. 3/5 Of A Mile In 10 Seconds [Side 2]
7. D.C.B.A. – 25
8. How Do You Feel
9. Embryonic Journey
10. White Rabbit
11. Plastic Fantastic Lover

Tracks 1 to 11 are the STEREO mix of “Surrealistic Pillow” - their 2nd album released February 1967 in the USA on RCA Victor LSP-3584 and September 1967 in the UK on RCA RD 7889 (Mono) and SF 7889 (Stereo)

Tracks 12 to 22 are the MONO mixes of the American album on RCA Victor LPM-3584

GRACE SLICK – Lead Vocals, Piano, Organ and Recorder
JORMA KAUKONEN – Lead and Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
MARTY BALIN – Guitar and Vocals
PAUL KANTNER – Guitar and Vocals
JACK CASADY – Rhythm Guitars and Bass


The jewel case comes in an outer card wrap with gold borders and a die-cut rear sleeve to see the gold coloured disc within. The inlay is a disappointing gatefold slip of paper with just about enough track details to make it acceptable – typical of a major label.

But the sound quality is great. BILL LACEY did the audio restoration; EDDIE TALLIA handled the Stereo transfer while MIKE HARTRY did the mono mixes. The very quiet acoustic guitars and flute of “Comin’ Back To Me” is a good example (lyrics above) – lovely sound – even if it is a little hissy in places (the nature of the recordings). The punch of the MONO mix of “3/5 Of A Mile In 10 Seconds” is fantastic while that drum beginning in the STEREO version of “She Has Funny Cars” hits your speakers with a vengeance. The rhythm section mixing with those acoustic guitars and combo vocals on “My Best Friend” sound wonderful too (very Mama’s & Papa’s almost). And Slick sounds suitably aggressive on the classic “Somebody To Love” – those distant guitars now with more definition.

The 1995 ‘gold’ original of this audiophile CD is now long deleted and has in some cases gained a hefty price tag amongst audio buffs and fans alike. But if you can get a copy for a reasonable price - then set your credit-card propellers for ‘worth those few extra quid’. Impressive stuff indeed…

No comments:

Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

INDEX - Artists, Albums, Record Labels, CD Remaster Engineers, Liner Notes Authors, Links etc