Rolling Stone - 2/21/70, p.46
"...the best cut on the album is their version of 'Wooden Ships': an epic performance, and one of the best the Airplane has ever done....another major song...is 'Hey Fredrick', which contains some really inspired instrumental work..."
Rolling Stone - 12/7/00, p.1144.5 stars out of 5
- "...The Airplane's last great blast of psychedelic magic...and an honest document of its time, sometimes painfully so....a thrilling testament to the power and beauty of despiar..."
Uncut - p.114
"[A] truly great album and an insurrectionary rallying cry for the Woodstock generation that captured both the defiant hope and the righteous, if confused, anger of the times."
Uncut - p.1284 stars out of 5
- "[I]t still creates inspirational heat."
This album made the Airplane's relations with the then ultra-conservative RCA a little tense. The label knew they had potentially one of America's biggest bands on their hands, and were compelled to let them use the "F" word--unprecedented on a major-label release at the time-- on "We Can Be Together." A more substantive sticking point, though, was the group's left-of-center political stance at that time, as expressed on the exhilarating call-to-arms title tune. VOLUNTEERS found the airplane at the vanguard of the burgeoning protest movement as realized in music, and "We Can Be Together" is more of a rallying cry than an invitation to a love-in. Even the Crosby-Stills-Kantner science fiction fantasy "Wooden Ships" is post-apocalyptic rather than dreamily fanciful. "Eskimo Blue Day" and "Good Shepherd" are additional high points, as is the blatant sexuality of "Hey Frederick" where Grace Slick sings "either go away or go all the way in."