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Jefferson Starship - 1982 Winds Of Change




ARTIST: Jefferson Starship
ALBUM: Winds Of Change
LABEL: Grunt
SERIAL: BXL1-4372
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 1990, Grunt, PCD1-4372

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Grace Slick, Mickey Thomas - lead vocals * Craig Chaquico - lead and rhythm guitars * Paul Kantner - vocals, rhythm guitar * Pete Sears - bass, keyboards * David Freiberg - vocals, bass, keyboards * Aynsley Dunbar -drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Winds Of Change * 02 Keep On Dreamin' * 03 Be My Lady * 04 I Will Stay * 05 Out Of Control * 06 Can't Find Love * 07 Black Widow * 08 I Came Back From The Jaws Of The Dragon * 09 Quit Wasing Time

WEBLINKS: www.jeffersonstarship.com


Background
It's an apt album title actually. There would certainly be winds of change blowing through the Jefferson Starship camp during the mid 80's but by the time this album came out, this band weren't quite hitting their straps. For me, I personally thought their 1979 album 'Freedom At Point Zero' was a sensational LP, one of my heavily played albums of that year. The follow up 'Modern Times' (1981) and this one kind of missed the mark. I was never a fan of Paul Kantner's obtuse lyrical and politically oriented ramblings, and though he more or less owned the band name, he was finding himself on the outer when collaborating with the other band members. This would eventually come to a head after the 1984 'Nuclear Furniture' album, and the subsequent renaming of the band to Starship because of this very issue, with the newly named band moving on without him. It seemed that even this far back in 1982, Kantner was being crowded for room in the songwriting department, with Pete Sears wife Jeanette writing four of the nine tracks, with Kantner only providing input into two, the remainder spread among the other band members. The only notable review of this album on the Net came from some idiot writing for All Music Guide (AMG) who obviously had his head stuck so far up his arse while writing it. I'll agree with him on one point, 'Winds Of Change' is not one of the go-to albums among JS's back-catalogue.


The Songs
Rejoining in a full-time capacity is Grace Slick, who's presence was only as a guest on the predecessor 'Modern Times'. Her combination with Mickey Thomas makes for good harmonies, and she sounds pretty good for the most part on this. I liked the title track opener, though it drifts more rather than holding your attention. The video (below) is kinda strange too, they all look like they are on holiday in Disneyland with a stack of amplifiers in the background. What's going on with that? 'Keep On Dreamin' is melodic and AOR friendly, nice guitar parts too with Chaquico giving his BC Rich endorsed guitars a work-out. 'Be My Lady' was one of the singles on the album, and it's a pleasant little listen though a touch safe. 'I Will Stay' is the 'Fading Lady Light' equivalent on this album, a rich, acoustic/electric mix, with Chaquico's solo work blazing a light through the middle. 'Out Of Control' is pretty wacky, high intensity wackiness that'll give the B-52's and The Tubes a run for their money. Considering this is one of Paul Kantner's co-writes, this is not surprising. Give it a few listens, it might grow on you.. lol! 'Can't Find Love' is a strident melodic rocker with just enough gruff and dirt to keep things interesting. Grace takes control on 'Black Widow', a dark and edgy rocker which I kinda like. Kantner's contribution 'I Came Back From The Jaws Of The Dragon' is typical of his songwriting style. Multiple harmony vocal parts, a busy congested arrangement that sounds completely at home in a club environment. Admittedly, everyone sounds as if they are having a ball with this one, so who am I to judge? The album ends with one of Jeanette Sears compositions 'Quit Wasting Time' which shuffles along as if the band were trying to emulate Heart in their pre 1985 days.


In Summary
It was a good exercise going back listening to this. I'll reconfirm by saying it's not their strongest album, but it was likeable in places, though I'm sure the band members couldn't convince me to like it anymore than that. The album did moderately well, going as high as #26 in the Billboard album charts, and that really is an achievement as there were some amazing albums from that year. Drummer Aynsley Dunbar left the band after the recording of this album, replaced by Donnie Baldwin, who would stay with the Starship family for a few years. Jefferson Starship's next album 'Nuclear Furniture' would move the band into AOR central, riding on the back of two strong singles 'Layin' It On The Line' and 'No Way Out'. But by 1985 the band had moved into the musical stratosphere with the million selling 'Knee Deep In The Hoopla' album, albeit under the Starship banner as eluded to earlier.


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Comments

#1 | gdazegod on September 20 2011 15:34:16
Jefferson Starship - 1982 Winds Of Change
YouTube Video:


Or direct to YouTube: YouTube Video:
#2 | gdazegod on September 20 2011 15:38:37
Looks like a bunch of fans and hair dryers are working overtime on that video.. lol!
#3 | jeffrey343 on September 21 2011 05:17:53
I have to admit that I've never listened to this whole album yet, nor any other JS album prior to "Nuclear Furniture", but I have always loved the title track and "Be My Lady" (which also had a video that got played a good amount on MTV). JS could put out some classic AOR amidst their weirder tunes.

If you enjoy smooth jazz at all, the Craig Chaquico jazz albums are quite good too.
#4 | AOR Lee on October 12 2014 10:40:18
Some of my favourite AOR tracks are on here, essential album

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