Jefferson Airplane: Paul Kantner, Jorma Kaukonen (vocals, guitar); Grace Slick (vocals, piano); Joey Covington (vocals, drums); Papa John Creach (violin); Jack Casady (bass).
Reissue producer: Paul Williams.
Recorded between September 24, 1970 and July 1, 1971. Originally released on Grunt. Includes liner notes by Jeff Tamarkin.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
The first album on the band's own Grunt label, BARK marks the precise moment when the Airplane began to go a little wiggy. With founding member Marty Balin and longtime drummer (and by Airplane standards normal sort of guy) Spencer Dreyden gone, the band's grown-up contingent was noticeably under-represented, and the result was occasionally pointless, if amusing, stoned whimsy, as in Joey Covington's' "Thunk," or Grace Slick's over-the-top "Never Argue With a German If You're Tired," sung, of course, auf deutch; (years later, she let on it was about her relation with fellow band member Paul Kantner).
Fortunately, when the cannabis haze cleared, the band was still capable of excellent music. "When the Earth Moves Again," for example, is classic Airplane, a big anthemic song with soaring massed harmonies played against an instrumental track that sounds more chaotic than it really is, in part due to new member Papa John Creach's violin, employed as a sinister drone along the lines of John Cale's viola in the Velvet Underground. Also of note is the ironic "Pretty As You Feel," the album's hit single, and guitarist Jorma Kaukonnen's "Third Week in the Chelsea," a resignation letter every bit as eloquent as Peter Gabriel's "Solsbury Hill."