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Articles Home » 1984 Articles » Jefferson Starship - 1984 Nuclear Furniture
Jefferson Starship - 1984 Nuclear Furniture

ARTIST: Jefferson Starship
ALBUM: Nuclear Furniture
LABEL: Grunt (USA), RCA Japan
YEAR: 1984
CD REISSUE: 1984, RCA Japan PCD1-4921 * 2008, BMG (Japan), BVCM-35248 (digital remaster)


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

TRACK LISTING: 01 Layin' It On The Line * 02 No Way Out * 03 Sorry Me Sorry You * 04 Live And Let Live * 05 Connection * 06 Rose Goes To Yale * 07 Magician * 08 Assasin * 09 Shining In The Moonlight * 10 Showdown * 11 Champion


Through the ever evolving turnstile that is Jefferson Starship personnel changes, comes a moment in time where the band truly lift off in stellar fashion. At certain points in their career, the band had created albums which were utterly brilliant, while creating some which left the listener somewhat confused. On this one 'Nuclear Furniture', there's no confusion whatsoever. A wonderful album, recreating the genius last seen on 1979's 'Freedom At Point Zero' some five years previous. The lineup hadn't changed a great deal since then, only Donnie Baldwin had come in, replacing Aynsley Dunbar on drums.

The Songs
You gotta love the clever liner notes on this one. Everything's a 'chair' as you will see on the inside cover. Very cool! The theme is inwardly aimed at the Nuclear Arms Race, with many of the songs pitched toward it in protest. As for the music, well it wasn't difficult to see how the band moved into phase III of their career, that being a more radio/AOR oriented direction, for which 'Nuclear Furniture' started the ball rolling. It culminated in the follow-up 'Knee Deep In The Hoopla' a year later, which was a massive hit album for them. To some degree, Ron Nevison's production really got the best out of the band, and there's a certain hint of Survivor in the mix, especially the bass and drums! Some excellent signature Starship tunes onboard here, none more so than the opening trio, which are out and out classics.. 'Layin' It On The Line', the broody 'No Way Out' (who can forget that chorus, 'No Way Out' .. she doesn't buy my story..), followed up by the relentless urgency of 'Sorry Me Sorry You'. 'Live And Let Live' is another broody piece with synth layers to match. 'Shining In The Moonlight' is another upbeat rocker where Chaquico's guitar gets a workout. The tracks where Paul Kantner has input are the quirky ones, continuing his offbeat lyrical style as represented on songs such as 'Rose Goes To Yale', the anthemic 'Champion', and 'Connection'. Perhaps the odd track is 'Magician' which was more of an indicator as to what would appear on their next album..

In Summary
You'd have to say that this is another great Starship album to add to the collection, along with all of their late eighties releases. Just for the first three songs alone.. Unfortunately there was an aftermath to the release of this album. Paul Kantner packed up his bags and left the fold, taking the remaining members to court to try and get them to fold the band or drop the band name, which he owned. In March 1985 the band settled with Kantner, and moved on under the name Starship, and thus began their most successful phase, all without Kantner of course. Boy, I bet he was pissed!

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#1 | jeffrey343 on January 01 1970 01:00:00
I can't say that I was ever a big fan of Jefferson Airplane / Jefferson Starship before this album came out, although they had a few songs that I had really liked ('Stranger', 'Winds Of Change', 'Find Your Way Back', and 'Jane'). My buddy recorded this on a cassette for me, and I played the heck out of it for many years. The first four songs are pure AOR bliss. They built up enough goodwill that I was willing to give the rest of the album a fair chance, despite the quirkiness of the remaining songs. And I grew to enjoy those quirky songs, even though they're not the type that I would usually go for. I mean, I can't see me owning this album if it started with 'Connections' or 'Rose Goes To Yale', but I enjoy the latter part of this album only marginally less than the first four tracks. Go figure... I did seek this out on CD a couple of years ago and got a Japanese import for $35 (at the time, the most I'd ever paid for a CD). It's a fixture in my car. The kids like it too, especially the line in 'Champion' that says 'And there will be no more a**holes (there will always be a**holes)'. I consider that to be among the greatest nuggets of wisdom ever delivered in a rock song.
#2 | Jez on June 13 2008 10:03:06
Another album that starts off brilliantly, but falls off big time towards the end. The opening four tracks are superb and where the real interset lies with this album. By halfway things take a real turn with the more 'Quirky' Paul Kantner stuff (Rosie Goes To Vale, Champion & Connection). If only they had carried on where the opening four tracks finished,this would have been an absolute killer disc. Still it's worth adding to the old collection for those aformentioned 4 tracks alone.
#3 | richardb on June 13 2008 10:04:46
I found this very disappointing. Too bland (even for my tastes!)and not a patch on 'Freedom at point zero' or 'Modern times'

Richard B
#4 | Eric on December 17 2008 23:04:03
'No Way Out' was one of Jefferson Starship's best songs ruined by one of the stupidest videos ever created. Father Guido Sarducci?? What were they thinking?
#5 | gdazegod on May 20 2014 22:50:50
Jefferson Starship - 1984 No Way Out

YouTube Video:
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