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Three months younger than ‘Revolver’, four months younger than ‘Pet Sounds’ and two months younger than ‘Face To Face’ and yet recorded before the bulk of any of these, ‘Jefferson Airplane Takes Off!’ is an album that just keeps on giving. The band may be missing Grace Slick (who joins in time for next album ‘Surrealistic Pillow’), they might still feature a few covers in their set and the cover is one lost hangover from the ‘quirky’ covers of the mid-60s, but considering that this is the first ever album by any of the burgeoning San Francisco scene (‘the Liverpool of America’ as its christened on the sleeve; beating The Grateful Dead, Love, Moby Grape, Quicksilver Messenger Service and dozens of others by a matter of months or even years) this album isn’t half a daring and wayward beast. Sure there’s DNA from earlier genres and the sleeve’s multiple references to folk don’t seem as amiss as they would on any other Airplane records, but nothing ever sounded quite like this album before. It’s hard to put your finger on it, but ‘Takes Off!’ is different, full of songs about death, unhappiness, anger and world politics, a year or sometimes two before these world views became fashionable. Most fans compare this album to ‘Rubber Soul’ and there’s similar sense of waving goodbye to the past and embracing the future all at the same time, a sort of folk-meets-flower power vibe.