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Late Jefferson Starship (1979-1984) vs. Starship (1985 onwards)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Sister Disco, Apr 7, 2021.

  1. Sister Disco

    Sister Disco Forum Resident Thread Starter

    A lot of these "Jefferson Airplane vs Jefferson Starship vs Starship" threads have been posted, ones that I feel are unfairly matched. In most of these threads either Jefferson Airplane, or Early Jefferson Starship (Balin era, 1974-1978), win by a landslide, not that I necessarily disagree.

    So here's a competition I think is more fitting, considering both these eras of the band(s) had Mickey Thomas as lead singer and a more pop rock vibe (albeit with differences, such as Paul Kantner still being around and contributing vestiges of hippiedom in the 79-84 JS era).
  2. Sister Disco

    Sister Disco Forum Resident Thread Starter

  3. Sister Disco

    Sister Disco Forum Resident Thread Starter

    While some have given Starship a critical drubbing, there's also people who are fond of them as well, due to the fun 80s nostalgia that their songs invoke. So I'd be interested to hear from those who would vote for them here.
  4. tonyballz

    tonyballz Roogalator

    Freedom At Point Zero is a pretty rockin' album, despite Grace's absence. Find Your Way Back and Stairway To Cleveland are highlights of Modern Times. After that ... uhhhhmmm ... not much.

    I saw Starship on the Knee Deep In The Hoopla tour (with The Outfield!) and they played We Built This S....y TWICE, once as the opener and a reprise at the end. Whenever some hipster knob snickers at me for attending this show I say: You know what? I got to see Grace Slick sing Somebody To Love AND White Rabbit live so ha ha bite me. She looked pretty good too.
    Sister Disco and carlwm like this.
  5. Sister Disco

    Sister Disco Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Watching videos of Starship live, it feels weird how they did cocaine-drenched 80s versions of Somebody to Love and White Rabbit right alongside the likes of We Built This City. Given how people are always saying what a quality decline WR to WBTC was, having those songs right next to eachother seems odd, like putting caviar next to McDonald's, lol.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
    limoges likes this.
  6. carlwm

    carlwm Forum Resident

    I think I'd give the edge to JS.

    Freedom At Point Zero is outstanding and, with the exception of Nuclear Furniture - which I haven't heard - the others are no slouches either. Having said that, my favourite late period JS album is Jefferson's Tree Of Liberty, from 2008. It's a folk rock gem!

    As far as Starship goes, I really like Hoopla and No Protection, Great songs and performances abound. The hits are fantastic but there are plenty of excellent album tracks too. I don't dislike Cannibals but it's never quite resonated the way the other two have. Haven't heard Loveless Fascination.

    This is how I'd rank all their studio albums from Freedom on:

    1. Tree Of Liberty
    2. Freedom At Point Zero
    3. No Protection

    4. Windows Of Heaven
    5. Winds Of Change
    6. Knee deep In The Hoopla
    7. Modern Times

    Love Among The Cannibals

    Loveless Fascination
    Nuclear Furniture
    Mother Of The Sun
    Diablo Griffin and Sister Disco like this.
  7. Sister Disco

    Sister Disco Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Interesting perspective. While I can see why many people hate on Starship (esp those who were following JA/JS in the 60s-70s), again I can also see why many love them, due to the fun 80s memories they bring back. Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now, in particular, has experienced a resurgence via the 80s retro craze.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
    carlwm likes this.
  8. paste

    paste Forum Resident

    I've always liked the singles of the AOR-era of JS (Jane, Winds of Change, Find Your Way Back, Stranger, No Way Out, etc...), but I was disappointed with the more pop turn when they changed to Starship. My sister bought Knee Deep in the Hoopla and I didn't really find much on it that I liked. Not sure I've ever heard No Protection all the way through, but the singles did nothing for me.

    I had heard that Love Among the Cannibals was a lost AOR classic, but it seemed like they were trying to sound like other, bigger bands.
    Especially this one:
    Sister Disco likes this.
  9. bRETT

    bRETT Forum Resident

    Boston MA
    No use for 80s Starship, but I like Jefferson Starship after Paul Kantner (and Marty Balin, and initially Papa John Creach and Jack Casady) revived it in the 90s. True t the spirit of the original, and their new single last year was surprisingly good. There's still an Airplane member (Freiberg) in the band, and Grace Slick cowrote the song:

    Galley and Sister Disco like this.
  10. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    New Mexico
    I'm right along with everyone else here.

    Name change aside, I'd draw the line elsewhere as stylistically, the unforgivable change occurred an album earlier with Nuclear Furniture. Winds of Change was the last album before the final sellout, regardless of whether or not "Jefferson" was part of the group name.
    Sister Disco likes this.
  11. gitters

    gitters Forum Resident

    I like "Starship" best, but any era with Mickey Thomas is cool. I don't like any form of the group without Mickey Thomas.
    Trader Joe and Sister Disco like this.
  12. JoelDF

    JoelDF Forum Resident

    Prairieville, LA
    Two of my top favorite songs ever are Jane and Find Your Way Back.

    Besides some early Jefferson Airplane songs, that's pretty much it for me by them.
    SRC, Sister Disco and J. R. like this.
  13. Sister Disco

    Sister Disco Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Maybe No Way Out was leaning in the proto-Starship direction (being the first of their big hits written by Peter and Ina Wolf, who would later do Sara), but I feel like the rest of Nuclear Furniture wasn't too different from Modern Times and Winds of Change. Layin' it on the Line and Shining in the Moonlight have a similar "arena" vibe to Find Your Way Back, Assassin is similar to Stranger, while Rose Goes to Yale, Connection, and Champion are sequels to Kantner's Lightning Rose song from the 70s.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
    Fischman likes this.
  14. MHP

    MHP Lover of Rock ‘n Roll

    Not a fan of JS, but I really love “Jane” and I think it’s a really great song. Mickey Thomas sings fantastic on that one.
    Starship is too slick (ho ho) for me.
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  15. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    New Mexico
    I can buy that. I guess being bombarded by no way out for so long, that's what cemented in my brain in association with the album.
    Sister Disco likes this.
  16. PTgraphics

    PTgraphics Senior Member

    Was listening to a bunch of JS and Starship yesterday. I like both. I had started a thread a few years ago about them and what is on CD and what edits etc can be found.
    Sister Disco likes this.
  17. Sister Disco

    Sister Disco Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Of note, the current Jefferson Starship has been playing Starship songs like We Built This City and Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now in their live shows after Kantner died. They feel that, due to the two bands being confused for eachother and people mistakenly coming to their live shows wanting the Starship hits, they should at least give that camp of fans something. Still, the bulk of their live shows otherwise consists of pre-1985 (and esp. pre-1979) songs.

    Kantner, of course, was the one who forbade JS from covering post-1984 Starship songs when he was alive, because he hated that period of the band. The only one he would let JS cover was Sara (rather fitting, since I've often heard other Starship haters say that's their "only tolerable song").
    ARK and mtvgeneration like this.
  18. rjp

    rjp Senior Member

    until 84 they still had some remnants of the airplane, after grace slick left.........:thumbsdow

    mickey thomas is bad steve perry.
  19. Galley

    Galley Forum Resident

    How is it possible that RCA/Grunt has never released Modern Times as a stand-alone CD in the U.S.? All three Japanese releases are long OOP, and even the Friday Music 2-fer is OOP.
  20. bRETT

    bRETT Forum Resident

    Boston MA
    Yeah, the Kantner band also did Jane, which of course was earlier but it was the real start of that style. And it showed off how good a singer Freiberg is.
  21. Sister Disco

    Sister Disco Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Pfft, the channel that uploaded this live video was terminated today. Weird timing.
  22. Sister Disco

    Sister Disco Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Here's another one:
  23. Atmospheric

    Atmospheric Forum Resident

    Fantastic guitar solo as well. Craig Chaquico wrote it. I saw him do it solo acoustic once.
    ARK and MHP like this.
  24. Sister Disco

    Sister Disco Forum Resident Thread Starter

    As another user pointed out in the album-by-album thread, it's funny how Jefferson Airplane and Starship are both household names even today (albeit for different reasons), but Jefferson Starship on the other hand seems to get a bit lost in the shuffle and their music is seen as a bit more anonymous. Young people usually recognize We Built This City as a Starship song and White Rabbit as an Airplane song, but if they hear a JS song like Jane they mistakenly think it's by Foreigner or something.
  25. Brian Doherty

    Brian Doherty Forum Resident

    Los Angeles CA
    I like the use of "forbade" as if Cathy and Jude and Slick when he was in band Baldwin (or Freiberg during his brief time with the Kantner version) were CHOMPING AT THE BIT to PLAY "We Built This City" and Paul fought them about it. Jefferson Starship was the name of Paul's band for those last years, and OF COURSE he was not going to perform songs by a band he was not in and had nothing to do with.....no more reason to do those songs then say any random Heart or Journey song...
    JDeanB and Folknik like this.

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