First quartet of LPs by San Francisco's trans-love aviators, remastered with bonus tracks
Inevitably overshadowed by its successors, Takes Off, with early singer Signe Anderson, remains a shining display of the band’s folk-rock and blues origins. The arrival of Grace Slick and the songs “Somebody To Love” and “White Rabbit” (both Top 10 US hits) proved the catalyst for the experimental sounds and lysergic lyrics with which the group would become synonymous, but the sheer virtuosity of tracks like the tender ballad “Today” and the instrumental “Embryonic Journey” have ensured that Surrealistic Pillow remains their most enduring and immediate work.
Mirroring their growing live reputation, After Bathing At Baxter’s proved bolder still and therefore more erratic, before Crown Of Creation marked the band’s psychedelic peak. Stunning sound, excellent sleevenotes by Airplane biographer Jeff Tamarkin and plenty of extra material make these definitive reissues.