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Paul Kantner — Have You Seen The Stars Tonite
Album: Blows Against The Empire
Avg rating:
7.4

Your rating:
Total ratings: 764









Released: 1970
Length: 3:43
Plays (last 30 days): 2
Have you seen the stars tonight?
Would you like to go up on A-deck and look at them with me?
Have you seen the stars tonight?
Would you like to go up for a stroll and keep me company?

Did you know
We could go
We are free
Any place
You can think of
We can be

Have you seen the stars tonight?
Have you looked at all of the galaxy of stars?
Comments (126)add comment
 mtbiker493 wrote:

I picked this record up recently in the dollar bin at my local record shop. To my surprise when I got home there was weed in the crevice of the gatefold and zigzag rolling papers in the sleeve with the record.



How was it? :D
 hippiechick wrote:
Damn! I was hoping it was "We Built This City"! 

{#Mrgreen}


You like where the DJ is talking, am I right?
Nice interlude from the DJ about Kantner and "The Worst Rock Song of All Time", (We Build This City) by Starship. But this was from the first album by Jefferson (was it really Starship then, or still Airplane)?
I proclaim a shout-out to Laura M. and Mark B, who first turned me on to this magnificence; Life and Essence, forever & without end, Amen -- & let's party again!
 DelightedIdiot wrote:

The stereo is on the cinderblock and wooden plank shelf behind us playing this song. We're sitting in armchairs in my 3rd floor dorm room circa 1971. Me, Marcus and Pete, side by side facing the 2 picture windows overlooking the campus. We have a clear view of the starry night sky all the way down to the lights at the top of the city skyscrapers shining a mile or two away. Our feet are braced up against the window sill. Our backs are pressed tight against the chairbacks and we grip the armrests firmly. We are ready for take off.

But first this 3:43 seconds of bliss. And then, the sudden segue to X-M and blast off. We take off for the night sky hanging on for dear life to our standard university issue dormroom chairs. Now, we are miles above the city looking down at the lights, from A-Deck. We are far away from campus. Far away from America. Searching for a better way.

You didn't need to be high in 1971 to get this album. But you did have to be there.


Purple something or another!

Then went to central park and saw them play for free!
 DelightedIdiot wrote:

The stereo is on the cinderblock and wooden plank shelf behind us playing this song. We're sitting in armchairs in my 3rd floor dorm room circa 1971. Me, Marcus and Pete, side by side facing the 2 picture windows overlooking the campus. We have a clear view of the starry night sky all the way down to the lights at the top of the city skyscrapers shining a mile or two away. Our feet are braced up against the window sill. Our backs are pressed tight against the chairbacks and we grip the armrests firmly. We are ready for take off.

But first this 3:43 seconds of bliss. And then, the sudden segue to X-M and blast off. We take off for the night sky hanging on for dear life to our standard university issue dormroom chairs. Now, we are miles above the city looking down at the lights, from A-Deck. We are far away from campus. Far away from America. Searching for a better way.

You didn't need to be high in 1971 to get this album. But you did have to be there.



Iwasthere!
The stereo is on the cinderblock and wooden plank shelf behind us playing this song. We're sitting in armchairs in my 3rd floor dorm room circa 1971. Me, Marcus and Pete, side by side facing the 2 picture windows overlooking the campus. We have a clear view of the starry night sky all the way down to the lights at the top of the city skyscrapers shining a mile or two away. Our feet are braced up against the window sill. Our backs are pressed tight against the chairbacks and we grip the armrests firmly. We are ready for take off.

But first this 3:43 seconds of bliss. And then, the sudden segue to X-M and blast off. We take off for the night sky hanging on for dear life to our standard university issue dormroom chairs. Now, we are miles above the city looking down at the lights, from A-Deck. We are far away from campus. Far away from America. Searching for a better way.

You didn't need to be high in 1971 to get this album. But you did have to be there.
I used to sign off from my college FM radio gig every week with this song.  It's perfect!
Why were you surprised 
 
mtbiker493 wrote:
I picked this record up recently in the dollar bin at my local record shop. To my surprise when I got home there was weed in the crevice of the gatefold and zigzag rolling papers in the sleeve with the record.
 

 hippiechick wrote:
Damn! I was hoping it was "We Built This City"! 

{#Mrgreen}
 

I always mocked that song, and then a musician friend of mine did an acoustic cover, and showed me how it's actually a pretty good song. It's just their production that really really really hurts the ears.
dam, now I must play the entire album
I love this album but it always made me a bit sad. Seems to me to be an acknowledgement that the hopes of the late sixties were a beautiful fantasy 
 mtbiker493 wrote:
I picked this record up recently in the dollar bin at my local record shop. To my surprise when I got home there was weed in the crevice of the gatefold and zigzag rolling papers in the sleeve with the record.
 
Over 3,000 albums and I never had this experience.  Figures.
WOW!!
Haven't heard this song in ages.
The entire side of the LP that has this song is incredible. Each song flows into the next, as if they artists were all on acid when they recorded it. (which is likely).  I believe Crosby helped out Kanter/Slick and Co.
Would like to hear the whole thing some time, or at least 2-3 songs in sequence.
Yeah,
     I thought I left that somewhere. 

jb

 
mtbiker493 wrote:
I picked this record up recently in the dollar bin at my local record shop. To my surprise when I got home there was weed in the crevice of the gatefold and zigzag rolling papers in the sleeve with the record.
 

Oh Bill, you've done it now. Makes my Christmas Day. Lyrics to heed. Thank you so much!
 mtbiker493 wrote:
I picked this record up recently in the dollar bin at my local record shop. To my surprise when I got home there was weed in the crevice of the gatefold and zigzag rolling papers in the sleeve with the record.
 
Talk about a bonus!  Great record and great recreational activities ahead (albeit a small amount I'm sure) - I've got this one at 8 for the fact I love looking at the stars, hard to do even where I live (15 miles out of Seattle) and one of the reasons why I like to backpack in the wilderness....Long Live RP!!
I picked this record up recently in the dollar bin at my local record shop. To my surprise when I got home there was weed in the crevice of the gatefold and zigzag rolling papers in the sleeve with the record.
 bam23 wrote:
 Then why does the cover refer to them as Jefferson Starship? This was their first and best release, before they descended into parody.
 
"In 1970, while Jefferson Airplane was on break from touring, singer-guitarist Paul Kantner recorded "Blows Against the Empire". This was a concept album featuring an ad hoc group of musicians (centered on Kantner, Grace Slick, Joey Covington, and Jack Casady of Jefferson Airplane; David Crosby & Graham Nash; and members of Grateful Dead and Santana) credited on the LP as "Paul Kantner & Jefferson Starship", marking the first use of that name.  This agglomeration was informally known as the Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra, a moniker later used on a Kantner album in the early 1980s."
Loved it from the first moment I heard it
I used to find a lot of new music to buy by listening to RP, and that still happens occasionally, but it seems like there‚Äôs been a strong shift to obscure (i.e., crappy) classic rock like this on the main stream.
I remember a day when we thought this music wasn't just silly bullsh*t... It hasn't withstood the test of time really well but it nonetheless remains  wormhole to the past. 
Laying out at 3am watching the 2018 Perseid meteor shower last weekend -  I thought of this song.  Captures the celestial awe quite well.
The remastered CD is worth purchasing.  When I first heard this LP (only a few years ago; late to the party, I know), I thought that must be Nicky Hopkins on the keys.  Nope, BUT, I was partly right as the liner notes point out that Nicky taught Grace Slick a few tricks that she specifically brought to this recording.  Sublime stuff.
This was a favorite record of mine to pull out and turn on people who'd thought they'd heard everything back in the day... Masterpiece!
Had this album many years ago — hadn't heard it in a while . Need to get it on CD...
Quite moving isn't it? Just beautiful. It's meant so much to me since it came out. Thank you Bill.
The atmosphere in this one! WOW a 9
This was/still is such a great album. At least the side with this song. My vinyl copy is well worn.
The Airplane with help from Crosby and a fair amount of acid.  Please play the entire side some time.
This album has taken on new life with the current world-wide political climate. 
One of the most important songs in my musical memory.  Thank you. 


This went in my stargazing playlist.
Wow... that took me to a wonderful space........
more than just a concept album,
it was beautiful and a very impressive recording
 
{#Cry}
Even better in context of the whole album.

Peace, Paul. 
thank you RP for keeping artists alive!  Beautiful music, original vocalist died also

Signe Anderson, Jefferson Airplane Singer, Dies at 74
 OCDHG wrote:
My cue to turn off RP and go find something else. You guys have fun
 

you do that! disco is probably your best suit!
ocdgh, go get high somewhere else!
yes, nice compliment.

 
Bleyfusz wrote:
This is sure a nice follow-up to The Church.
 


My cue to turn off RP and go find something else. You guys have fun
This is sure a nice follow-up to The Church.
My God......lovely.....9
I was turned onto this by some really cool people I partied with in Engineering School days, in Rolla, Mo, in '81 or so...Mark B. and Laura, I remember, in particular. It opened up a wilder, wider Universe for me, that's for sure...and this record became a party staple there, in Boulder, and beyond. Loved the incendiary lyrics on Amerikon, and how he dissed both Reagan and Nixon in cool manner; wonder if I can still remember it: "You unleash the Grade-B movie star governor's war, while you sit in the dark, insane with the fear of dying...We'll ball in your parks, sane with the flash of living! Hey, Dick, whatever you think of us is TOTALLY IRRELEVANT! So drop your f—-ing bombs, burn your demon babies, I will BE ALIVE again. Rabid lover...feeling the starch on your grin...coming from acid, cocaine and grass, and receive all my home-made gin...So push the button, pull the switch, cut the beam, come on, make it march! Sign me up as a Diplomat, my only office is the park! Open it baby, open it...open up that door!" I finally had to part with this sacred LP to Bart's Records in late December of 2001 with tears in my eyes. I do recall that Jerry Garcia was listed on the album credits, and David Crosby, too. I liked Ride the Tiger from Dragonfly, and Jane came along and really did seem to rock, but they were never again like they had once been, and I tend to agree that this was probably their peak. Kantner assembled a truly fine crew for this voyage, and commanded it with aplomb; on this ultimate concept album, they were able to reach artistic glory!

 Cynaera wrote:
(I love the last line - "medical reasons." I wish I could have used that excuse when I showed up to work stoned as a goat on a toxtail with more drugs than the local pharmacy.) That was then, this is now.
 
Arf! {#Roflol}

Do goats really get stoned (on drugs, not because they've committed adultery or whatnot)? I'd like to see that! Mind you, Brits do say "pissed as a fart" which makes even less sense - you can get a goat stoned but you can't get a fart drunk.

Photo of a stoned goat?
 bam23 wrote:
 Then why does the cover refer to them as Jefferson Starship? This was their first and best release, before they descended into parody.
 
Here's a quote from  Wiki (and we all know if it's on Wiki, it's gotta be TRUE...) {#Roflol}

Jefferson Starship, reunion and recent events: 1974 to present
Main article: Jefferson Starship
to for Flight Log album ad, 1977. From left: Grace Slick, Marty Balin, Jorma Kaukonen, Paul Kantner, Jack Casady, Spencer Dryden.

In 1974, four years after Blows Against The Empire (the Jefferson Starship-prototype album with Paul Kantner and Grace Slick), Jefferson Starship was formally launched with the release of the album Dragon Fly and its single "Ride The Tiger". Balin sang on one song, "Caroline," and in addition to Kantner and Slick the band consisted of David Freiberg (keyboards, bass), Craig Chaquico (lead guitar), Pete Sears (bass, keyboards), John Barbata (drums) and Papa John Creach (electric violin). Jefferson Starship continued in one form or the other into the 80s, but never achieved the critical acclaim of its predecessor band.

After the acrimonious events that resulted in Jefferson Starship's 1984 breakup, Paul Kantner reunited with Balin and Jack Casady in 1985 to form the KBC Band. They released their only album, KBC Band (which included Kantner's hit, "America"), in 1987 on Arista Records. The KBC Band also featured keyboardist Tim Gorman, who had played with The Who, and guitarist Slick Aguilar, who had played with David Crosby's band.

With Kantner reunited with Balin and Casady, the KBC Band opened the door to a full-blown Jefferson Airplane reunion. On March 4, 1988, during a Hot Tuna San Francisco gig at the Fillmore (with Paul Kantner, as well as Papa John Creach joining in) Grace Slick made a cameo appearance. This led to a formal reunion of the original Jefferson Airplane, featuring nearly all the main members, including founder Marty Balin, but without Spencer Dryden. A self-titled album was released by Columbia Records to modest sales but the accompanying tour was a success. In 1996, Jefferson Airplane was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, with Balin, Casady, Dryden, Kantner & Kaukonen attending & performing at the ceremony. Grace Slick was absent, as she was unable to travel due to medical reasons.

 

(I love the last line - "medical reasons." I wish I could have used that excuse when I showed up to work stoned as a goat on a toxtail with more drugs than the local pharmacy.) That was then, this is now.




laying on the car hood, under starry southern skies, smoking a joint and listening to this song on the car cassette player....brings back some great memories.
 rabbi_phil wrote:
sorry to split hairs but this isn't Starship. that didn't happen (formally) until Dragonfly. nonetheless this is pretty much an awesome collective of musicians.
  Then why does the cover refer to them as Jefferson Starship? This was their first and best release, before they descended into parody.


sorry to split hairs but this isn't Starship. that didn't happen (formally) until Dragonfly. nonetheless this is pretty much an awesome collective of musicians.

Yes, I have...
 drews wrote:
The sound of hippy stoners building utopia...(only joking)
 
{#Lol}  I've never heard this song before, but it's hard to believe it's not Jefferson Airplane. Good song - and I think I might have been one of those hippy stoners building utopia - except I wanted a marble fountain and they told me it was too "establishment." Dang.

So good to hear this song again....gotta return to my storage unit and dig out this Starship album.  
The original Rolling Stone review of this album was pithy: "Slaps against the empire."
 DanFHiggins wrote:
Blew me away then as it does now! WOW I am so ready
 
  This track made me dream of being in California back in the day. Now I'm HERE!


 jagdriver wrote:
Love it!
 
Yeah. Not bad.

YES!

{#Clap}
I know that you can't live in the past but this album is really special to me. I think Paul Kantner hit a home run with Blows Against The Empire. 

Thanks!  I needed this on  a dreary Monday at work (bleccchh!)
Still a few of us about then!
The sound of hippy stoners building utopia...(only joking)
 wally42 wrote:
I can't believe there are actually ratings of 1 for this.

This album is a masterpiece...
 
I always chalk up these ludicrous ratings to keyboard cats. 

Blew me away then as it does now! WOW I am so ready
I thought it was "Rise", not "Blows".  That doesn't say anything about me, does it?

Jerry on pedal steel - takes me back....


Classic Starship!
...very cool...
My favorite "mood" music from my high school days... wow 40 years ago. I still remember how great this sounded in a certain frame of mind.... in the dark. Sigh.
beautiful!
 jagdriver wrote:


Used to sit and listen to this in my bedroom back in SE Michigan when I was in high school. I'd look at picture books of California (read: Big Sur) and dream of going to college here. That never happened, but through fate here I am nearly 40 years later writing this in Grass Valley, just a tad south of RP's "broadcast house."
 
similar California dreaming for a CT teenager, visions of the great open West flooding out the metropolitan stranglehold of people I just wanted to get away from

now happy in the wet woods of OR


Love it!
Beutiful, inspirational, romantic in the most sublime manner.
 mxdcec wrote:
What a nicely arranged piece of music.

My memories of Jefferson Airplane/Starship are tainted by a very poor performance. The audience actually began demanding a refund, to which the elegant, daughter of high society- Grace Slick responded, "You want your money back? Well you aint gettin'n it back mother fuckers!"

Somehow they never sounded the same again.

Mark
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
 

With your comment you got me thinking of my only experience seeing Starship with Grace and that other guy, can't remember his name but he can sing like a bird and used to record and tour with Elvin Bishop. He was the singer that took Starship commercial. Anyway, Lakeland Florida, about 1979 or 80. Lakeland police at the civic center was not going to have any more dope smoking in the civic center. They where using this concert as an example of there inforcement and up coming policies for future concerts. Pady wagon buses where outside and there was no shortage of pot smokers at the concert to fill up the buses since many concert goers have been to shows at the civic center and there was never this police action before. The band got wind of the police action, they played several tunes directed at this unnecessary police action. I believe they even did a blues type improvision tune to the police telling them to F#*k off and die. After that, they never sounded the same, in a good way though.


 jagdriver wrote:

Yup, and the best thing Kantner's ever done.
 

Used to sit and listen to this in my bedroom back in SE Michigan when I was in high school. I'd look at picture books of California (read: Big Sur) and dream of going to college here. That never happened, but through fate here I am nearly 40 years later writing this in Grass Valley, just a tad south of RP's "broadcast house."
It's the "RP Classic" Monday morning, designed to ease us back into the work grind after the holidays:

Have You Seen The Stars Tonight/Rickover's Dream/Honey and the Moon/Don't Think I'll Ever Get Over You.

Some of this stuff takes me into deep space/deep feelings, but in this moment it's workin.
Outstanding song, wrong album listing. This isn't the version off Blows.
Damn! I was hoping it was "We Built This City"! 

{#Mrgreen}
Nice.  Great to hear this again.
 wally42 wrote:
I can't believe there are actually ratings of 1 for this.

This album is a masterpiece...
 
Yup, and the best thing Kantner's ever done.
Hey - someone at Radio Paradise radio, you need to correct your artist listing for this song. It is a Paul Kantner album, with Jefferson Starship listed as the back-up band. Despite back-up band's name, this album has almost nothing to do with Jefferson Starship. Been enjoying side two of this allbum for over 30 years. The whole second side flows from one song to the next, like the second side of Abbey Road.

 rbigelo wrote:
A final gem before they descended into AM radio airplay.

 

{#Yes}
jeffersons 1 master , took me 10 years to locate this album. Missed this type of music more story telling
I can't believe there are actually ratings of 1 for this. This album is a masterpiece...
Had this album back in the day. Man it was really something special! Haven't heard this track in over 30 years! Most sincere thanks RP, made my X'mas eve, pert near! DC also in here, from memory....... yep another fan of his IICORMN masterpiece!
A final gem before they descended into AM radio airplay.
Hannio wrote:
This was Jefferson Airplane, essentially.
This version of Starship had as many members of the Greatful Dead as it did Airplane.
healyf52 wrote:
Now if only RP would play something from David Crosby's "If I Could Only Remember My Name", I would be a happy man.
Yet another ditto. It's a most excellent album!
GDTRFB wrote:
Another Ditto. I discovered these albums at about the same time in my life (college ), and they've been linked in my mind ever since. They had similitiaries in that they were both solo efforts, from the same place and time, made excellent via. the contributions of many (most) of the best musicians in the San Francisco area. It's a real shame Crosby's Masterpiece has gotten NO airplay on RP. Come on Bill!
The recent reissue of Crosby's first solo album sounds excellent. One of my faves.
I'm with Jade. This is great JS.
Beautiful! The last expression of the JA as JS before they sold out to the pop crap revisionism of the consumer AM dial.
keller1 wrote:
All this time I thought this was a Jefferson Airplane tune. A masterpiece.
This was Jefferson Airplane, essentially.
Whoa, haven't heard this in a million years! This was back when the Starship was still good, still close to their Airplane roots, but with a different sound. I used to love this record. And it still sounds fine!
healyf52 wrote:
Now if only RP would play something from David Crosby's "If I Could Only Remember My Name", I would be a happy man.
Another Ditto. I discovered these albums at about the same time in my life (college ), and they've been linked in my mind ever since. They had similitiaries in that they were both solo efforts, from the same place and time, made excellent via. the contributions of many (most) of the best musicians in the San Francisco area. It's a real shame Crosby's Masterpiece has gotten NO airplay on RP. Come on Bill!
All this time I thought this was a Jefferson Airplane tune. A masterpiece.
Never heard this before....really nice change from their later work. Guess they still had something good to say.
mxdcec wrote:
What a nicely arranged piece of music.
Indeed.
Gregorama wrote:
Didn't they build this city with rock & roll?
While riding on a Tiger!
Didn't they build this city with rock & roll?
What a nicely arranged piece of music. My memories of Jefferson Airplane/Starship are tainted by a very poor performance. The audience actually began demanding a refund, to which the elegant, daughter of high society- Grace Slick responded, "You want your money back? Well you aint gettin'n it back mother fuckers!" Somehow they never sounded the same again. Mark Dubai, United Arab Emirates
healyf52 wrote:
Now if only RP would play something from David Crosby's "If I Could Only Remember My Name", I would be a happy man.
What an album THAT is! This song's beginning ALWAYS makes me think of that album, too.
healyf52 wrote:
Now if only RP would play something from David Crosby's "If I Could Only Remember My Name", I would be a happy man.
super ditto ditto on that one! That is a masterpiece cover to cover!!
Pyro wrote:
The beginning pedal steel, and subsequent harmonies have a real early CSN feel to them. A good thing.
That's Jerry Garcia on pedal steel. What a talented musician, guitar, banjo, pedal steel-he was amazing!
radiojunkie wrote:
the true soul of Jefferson Airplane was embodied by Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Cassady and Marty Balin. Play some original Airplane -- "Comin' Back to Me" "Crown of Creation" "Volunteers" -- rather than wasting time on this!
While I agree with the heart of your post, "Have you seen..." is still a great song. And remember even your examples "Crown..", and "Volunteers" were both co-written by Paul Kantner as were many others of the great works of the Airplane. The soul of the Airplane was the three you mention and Spencer Dryden, Paul Kantner and Grace Slick. That Paul and Grace lost their way with later Jefferson Starship doesn't diminish their earlier contributions.
Now if only RP would play something from David Crosby's "If I Could Only Remember My Name", I would be a happy man.
The beginning pedal steel, and subsequent harmonies have a real early CSN feel to them. A good thing.
I can't believe, with all the inexplicably negative comments I've seen on RP for truly great classics, that this piece of goo-gooey crap garners nearly universal praise! I didn't like it much when it first came out, and I still don't think it's much of anything now. The only thing it shows is that Paul Kantner was an egotistical space freak, Grace Slick was his equally spacey cohort until she dumped him (or he her; not sure which) and the true soul of Jefferson Airplane was embodied by Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Cassady and Marty Balin. Play some original Airplane -- "Comin' Back to Me" "Crown of Creation" "Volunteers" -- rather than wasting time on this!
What a group!
Ahh! The heart and soul of the Airplane incarnated in JS. How brilliantly creative, beautiful and mysitical.
Never heard this before. Instant classic.
justDave wrote:
Could that be Jerry's pedal steel work in the background?
Yes. This is Paul Kantner's first solo album (the Airplane was still recording); he gathered together quite a crew including Grace Slick, Jerry Garcia, and David Crosby.
This is the best album and the last album from the real Jefferson Starship. Everything afterwards was pure garbage! This song should also be played in it's entirety including Casady's solo at the end!
It could just be the speakers on this laptop, but......... This just doesn't sound like much of anything.
Ahhh! Excellent choice. I wish we could hear more tracks from that album in the future. Thanks.
justDave wrote:
Could that be Jerry's pedal steel work in the background?
Last time I heard this I was cruising Ventura headed for John's At The Beach. Still sounds good!
Could that be Jerry's pedal steel work in the background?
How many CD's have I put this song on...more than I can count. It is very good to know that there are others out there who love this tune, as well. Good to hear it other than from my own CD player and turntable.
This piece of music still takes me to a time when infinity was within my grasp. It is not the LSD, it is the music itself. Paul Kantner published his music under the name "God Tunes" which sort of sums it up. It is not nostalgia. This tune goes beyond time.
Ahh..... Before I *knew* about music... I first heard "Sunrise" during a peak time in my life and special ordered this CD from my local music shop. To this day, I can not listen to it less then once. I pop the cd in my car sterio and it just stays there for days on end. I don't know how to explain it, it just does stuff to me, even well past my electric days. So now, I search for more... ...and find Radio Paradise. Thank you RP for giving me more music then I ever knew existed.
What timing! Sitting in the living room, watching the sun set agains the fall colors, listening to starship. Ahhhh....
excellent track that takes me back to the days of \"head shops\" and eight track stereos.
ahhhhhh The best track on this CD This is what introduced me to airplane. Then I foud out it was a solo album blah blah blah