From the opening, hard-edged chords of "She Has Funny Cars," it's apparent that SURREALISTIC PILLOW, Jefferson Airplane's sophomore effort, is a far more spiky beast than the band's debut. It became not only San Francisco's soundtrack to the Summer Of Love, but all of America's. It spawned two Top Ten classics ("Somebody To Love" and "White Rabbit") and established the Airplane as one of the main pop voices of the cultural revolution.
Some of the newfound dynamism can be attributed to personnel changes. Singer-keyboardist Grace Slick, who joined the Airplane following a stint in the mildly successful Great Society, had a unique artistic gleam her predecessor, Signe Anderson, never possessed--both of the aforementioned hits were songs she'd written for her former band. And new drummer Spencer Dryden could make the music shake with heretofore-unheard polyrhythms, or walk a straight line with militaristic precision. SURREALISTIC PILLOW's other strengths lay in the band's boldly diverse sound. Effortlessly gliding from twisted Motown (the electrified "3/5 Of A Mile In 10 Seconds"), to Dylanesque rock (Balin's "Plastic Fantastic Lover") to an acoustic, psychedelic bluegrass instrumental (Kaukonen's "Embryonic Journey"), the Airplane proved themselves able to at once interpret the cultural tide and make it radio-friendly.
Rolling Stone (10/31/02, p.136) - Ranked # 39 in Rolling Stone's "Women in Rock: The 50 Essential Albums" - "...A hard-hitting - yet tuneful - call to arms..."
Q (8/99) - Included in Q's "Best Psychedelic Albums of All Time."
Q (12/03, p.153) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Their music stands among the psychedelic era's most powerful and enduring..."