We’re taking a trip back to the sixties with this entrancing isolated vocal from none other than Queen of the decade, Grace Slick. Her performance alongside Jefferson Airplane on ‘Somebody to Love’ remains an iconic moment of the Summer of Love.
The band’s 1967 break-out album Surrealistic Pillow was almost continuously played through the streets of Haight Ashbury in San Francisco, the epicentre of the counter-culture movement. Alongside ‘White Rabbit’, more often than not the sound on the street was none other than Grace Slick.
Slick was widely known as one of the most prominent voices of the counter-culture scene which flourished out of San Francisco in the sixties. She used that voice to flesh out a truly wonderful career that spanned over four decades.
The beauty of being such a longstanding performer means that different fans will love Grace Slick for different reasons and times in her professional career. Having performed with The Great Society, Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship and Starship she is a mainstay of the music scene.
The song, ‘Somebody to Love’, was actually written by Slick’s brother-in-law Darby Slick while they were both a part of The Great Society. But the song never really ventured outside of the Bay Area club scene. It was when Slick took the song with her to her new band Jefferson Airplane that it was given the platform it deserved.
It may act as an anthem for the hippies who lined the San Fran streets during the Summer of Love but, in fact, Darby Slick wrote the song about the darker side of free love. He expressed the juxtaposing jealousy and loneliness that could blossom among the flower children. When Grace Slick sings the lyrics it transcends to another otherworldly level of enchantment.
Sirenic and hypnotising, the power of Slick’s vocal is emphasised with aplomb when isolated from the heavy rock sound of the band. It once again transforms into a Chesire Cat smile, luring you with flashing eyes and grinning teeth. All while Slick expresses the fiery despair of jealousy with every note. It’s a real trip.
Listen below to Grace Slick’s isolated vocal on Jefferson Airplane’s ‘Somebody to Love’