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Jefferson Airplane — Embryonic Journey
Album: Surrealistic Pillow
Avg rating:
8.4

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1684









Released: 1967
Length: 1:50
Plays (last 30 days): 2
(Instrumental)
Comments (282)add comment
May be I'm too nostalgic, but this song and SP have been part of the soundtrack of my life for most of its 61 years. A heartily 10!
 MassivRuss wrote:

Nah.
"Intro (Sweet Jane)" - Steve Hunter (Lou Reed)
"The Water Song" - Jorma Kaukonnen (same guy; Hot Tuna)
 

Hard agree on "The Water Song".
A rare 10 for me.
With all the talent pouring in, I think this has to be seen as one of the greatest records of all time.  And this was Jorma's shining moment.  All of Windham Hill is beholden to this short song.  And many others as well.
This is a wonderful piece of music. I think it was featured in the film the Rookie along with some great Carter Burrell pieces.
Rip it, Jorma, rip it!
This song reminds you of the amazing variety of this album.
Thanks, Bill........hardly ever hear this played ANYWHERE! 47 years ago I went to Greece to school for a year. A friend gave me a cassette of groovy tunes to take with me. This was one of my favorites on that tape, and still is....Good stuff, Maynard! RP, too!
Career American radio network person here...If there was a finer chain than the CHUM group of stations I have yet to see it. That company was run by real radio people. Thanks for
the flashback. 

 
westslope wrote:

10 or 11 to be precise. A couple of years later, I would be listening to CHOM-FM out of Montreal. Don't explicitly recall would guess they played this one often.


 

The album cover really reminds me of War on Drugs Lost in the Dream
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
lovely
One of the great instrumentals.  But too damn short!!
As always thank you Bill!!!
Thank you Jorma!
Ohhh so beautiful. Thanks Bill!
 Jay_Tea wrote:
Best 1:50 of rock instrumental ever made.
 
Nah.
"Intro (Sweet Jane)" - Steve Hunter (Lou Reed)
"The Water Song" - Jorma Kaukonnen (same guy; Hot Tuna)
Best 1:50 of rock instrumental ever made.
{#Devil_pimp}zesty ! shades of things to come ooooh hot tuna !
 haresfur wrote:
My first real job, in a bush camp by a lake with no radio reception, supply flights every 2 weeks. A co-worker played this on guitar in the evening around the fire where we would try to balance keeping smoke out of our eyes with getting enough to chase the mosquitoes away. It is part of me forever.
 
Wow.  What a memory.
My first real job, in a bush camp by a lake with no radio reception, supply flights every 2 weeks. A co-worker played this on guitar in the evening around the fire where we would try to balance keeping smoke out of our eyes with getting enough to chase the mosquitoes away. It is part of me forever.
Those of you who remember the heady days of "underground" FM radio you will not only remember the eclectic playlists but the DJ's habit of sometimes forgetting to announce the playlist after a long set (and a few bong hits perhaps).

For years I did not know who played this until I started listening to RP with the handy artist info.

So, thanks RP! 
Must have been fun with hallucinogens. 
 black321 wrote:
Airplane...didn't exactly have a cohesive sound.  from the acoustic to heavy rock sound of the Jorma tunes, to the Pop of Grace and Marty and psychedelia of Kantor.  This tune is outstanding. 

 
Well said. 
As others have said - Scott Muni indeed, WNEW, always comes to mind when I hear this gem.
Half a century ago.
Airplane...didn't exactly have a cohesive sound.  from the acoustic to heavy rock sound of the Jorma tunes, to the Pop of Grace and Marty and psychedelia of Kantor.  This tune is outstanding. 
Tears of joy 

fabulous 
Truly INSPIRED guitar-work... The rock-solid guitar-man of a one-of-a-kind band; an absolute time-marker on the musical landscape...
I am so lucky and blessed that I got to see him and Jack jam at the old (and since gone) Blue Note in Boulder in the '80s. THANKS!
Jormaaaaa!  Kaukonen composed the tune 54 years ago in 1962 at the age of 21 as part of a guitar workshop in Santa Clara and included it on Surrealistic Pillow at the band's behest. Time flies, eh? https://jormakaukonen.com/cracksinthefinish/  and  https://jormakaukonen.com/tour.php

Excellent tune!

{#Guitarist}
I hear notes of it from time to time....stolen....but this is the real thing! Expands my mind too
Never sounds old - I feel the mind expansion every time 😀
Sweet perfection. {#Music} {#Hearteyes}
Whoa!  Really takes me back..........................   {#Clap}{#Bananasplit}{#Music}  A good one!
Wow... that's twice in one day for me!  :-)  It was on my iPod in the car this morning.  Don't get much better.
{#Crown}
{#Meditate}             so excellent
Great piece of guitar music. Will survive through the ages!  Kottke recognized it as a gem, to be preserved.  Great dynamics, melody, technique!  Just super!
 jagdriver wrote:
A freakin' masterpiece.

 
'nuf said.
A freakin' masterpiece.
i still love this.
Grace Slick is unbelievably beautiful ...their music was kinda okay as well
Thank you for this beautiful music! After 10 pm and I've got some wood refinishing to do, and this sweet Jorma sound brightens my spirit and livens me right up, Namaste
 On_The_Beach wrote:
Well, that was pleasant.  : )

 
that it was..
I like this original version, and I also really like Leo Kottke's version.
Well, that was pleasant.  : )
{#Music}
Jorma's Blessing us all!!!  excellant, thank you DJ
Ah, this song reminds me of summers spent idling way my youth and drinking much too much wine.  What a wonderful guitar composition that is beautifully played.  Brings back superb memories.

 C57BL6 wrote:
This song goes well with my daily grind of mouse embryos.
 

 
Sloggydog wrote:

Man you gotta get a better breakfast cereal

 

; 0=

I hate it when the vomit goes up my nose 'cause I'm laughing so hard. 
thank you, a beautiful instrumental
 Cynaera wrote:
I can't believe how many of these "old" songs I first heard on our local hinky-dink radio station! We had a DJ named Jim Holdren, and his "theme" song was "Machine Number Two" by Leo Kottke.  Tim Blissenbach never had a set theme song - he just shot from the hip and it was always great. My friend Rich used that Todd Rundgren song about "I just wanna bang on the drum all day."

Damn, I miss really good FM radio... RP is the closest thing to it that I'll probably ever find, and it doesn't work on my MP3 player! 

BTW:  I love this song. The guitar work is rather ahead of its time. {#Sunny}
 
Miss you so much, Cynaera...

love this marvelous music from a great classic album...
 

Go Jorma, go!
 Toke wrote:
Its amazing as soon as the first 2/3 bars I knew I was back in the 60's ... Oh for those days again :-)
 
If you figure it out, take me with you.
Archetypal 60s.  Jorma was always awesome.


absolutely gorgeous music...  I still have the original vinyl album...  love the whole album...
 
Its amazing as soon as the first 2/3 bars I knew I was back in the 60's ... Oh for those days again :-)
Timeless
 polymerchm wrote:
Jorma's perfect song.  Nothing more to say.
 
beautiful. makes me smile each time.
Youngsters of today may not know where this came from, but now they know.
 dougmbrown wrote:
Love hearing the song but it always reminds me of hot summer days in my childhood, listening to Scott Muni on WNEW (his end of shift exit music). Thanks for playing.

 
This, "Breathless" by Todd Rundgren, "Cast You Fates to the WInd", by Vince Guaraldi and "Borne on the Solar Wind" by Jade Warrior, where wonderful endings to various WNEW DJs sets.  WNEW, NY introduced me to the world of music.  I am forever grateful.

As an side, a student I worked with in Graduate school used to talk about her Uncle Scott the DJ.  I took me a year to realize she meant Scott Muni.  Cool!!!  
Jorma's perfect song.  Nothing more to say.
This is the perfect anytime song.
this to me is the perfect morning song. evokes images of chirping birds and crisp blue skies


truly great music from an incredible album...  love it...

 
That really sounded like Leo Kottke to me.
 Cynaera wrote:

  And I can't be "chauvinistic" because I'm female.
 
You may want to look that one up.  Just sayin'.
Have seen him twice in the last couple of years and evidently, age has nothing to do with it. Coming to a city near you soon.

https://jormakaukonen.com/tour.html

 Jeff09 wrote:
How can Jorma Kaukonen be 71?  He will always be the simply amazing young Turk guitarist I remember from back then...

 

 C57BL6 wrote:
This song goes well with my daily grind of mouse embryos.
 
Man you gotta get a better breakfast cereal
How can Jorma Kaukonen be 71?  He will always be the simply amazing young Turk guitarist I remember from back then...

If you like this, try Jorma Kaukonen's Quah, or better yet, Blue Country Heart.
This song goes well with my daily grind of mouse embryos.
Yep, it's 8/10 in my book.
So
rry, Cynaera, unless 'chauvinism' is prefixed with 'male' then it is a reference to extreme nationalism and nothing to do with sexism.



yowza this is awesome...


 old_shep wrote:
To say that a piece was "ahead of its time" is extremely condecending and chauvinistic .... because the inference is that only current music could possibly be this good, and the fact that this piece is 40 odd years old must therefore be surprising because people back then were not "cool" and therefore this performance must have been a fluke.  I wonder how many of today's tunes will be played in 2050.

 
If I wanted to be critical, I'd mention that you misspelled "condescending."  And I can't be "chauvinistic" because I'm female. What I meant by my comment was that this particular work was misplaced in its time - it wasn't as widely accepted in the mainstream then as it is now, in the age of acoustic instrumentals.  People are ALWAYS cool. Sometimes, they take a little longer to wake up, but I meant no disrespect to Jorma, or the Airplane. I was merely pointing out that this song was exceptionally brilliant in a time when acoustic rock was not being played regularly on the radio.

BTW - "ahead of its time" means exactly that. This song fits perfectly in 2011. It was a novelty when it first came out, and people (myself included) didn't understand it, and tended to disregard it as a "fluke." It found its true place in the future. Which only makes me love Airplane more, here in this 2011 future.

Jorma!  DC Represent!
 WonderLizard wrote:

I'm not sure what you mean by this, but the Starship was Paul Kantner's band. Balin, Slick, and other members of the original and revamped Airplane passed through the line-up from time to time, but the Starship was all Kantner. Here's a reference:

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/jefferson-starship-p195171/biography

 
It may have been Paul Kantner's band but the really sucky songs are Balin songs.  If you go back through the old Rolling Stones, Marty gets a fair bit of the press.  I think he had a lot of influence in turning the group to pop.

Wouldn't mind hearing more Blows Against the Empire, though.

 Cynaera wrote:
I can't believe how many of these "old" songs I first heard on our local hinky-dink radio station! ....
...BTW:  I love this song. The guitar work is rather ahead of its time. {#Sunny}
 

 old_shep wrote:
To say that a piece was "ahead of its time" is extremely condecending and chauvinistic .... because the inference is that only current music could possibly be this good, and the fact that this piece is 40 odd years old must therefore be surprising because people back then were not "cool" and therefore this performance must have been a fluke.  I wonder how many of today's tunes will be played in 2050.

 
That may be what you infer from the comments, but I don't think that's what the original post implied (writers "imply", readers "infer").  There is no inference that people back then "were not cool".  Calling an artist "ahead of his time" would imply (to me) that they had done or addressed things which most other artists would not do or address until some later time.  It does not imply that works from one era are superior or inferior to those of another era.  The expression is carelessly over-used and really only describes a handful of people in the history of humankind.  One recent example I could think of would be Lenny Bruce: his subject matter and style were not widely explored or employed by many other comedians until well after his death.  That doesn't imply that Comedy from his era was inferior to that from later eras. 
Anyhow, the guitar work on this song - though very adept and tasty - does not seem ahead of its time to me.  People have been playing guitars and other stringed instruments like that long before Jefferson Airplane.

 calypsus_1 wrote:


One of the greatest Rock & Roll (Psychedelic Rock & Roll) bands of all time, Jefferson Airplane By wayupnorthtonowhere Roman Rice
https://www.flickr.com/photos/10227535@N08/

.Copyright All rights reserved



 



Jorma always wore the coolest t-shirts in the 60s...like the one on the cover of surrealistic pillow...a real rock star
Love hearing the song but it always reminds me of hot summer days in my childhood, listening to Scott Muni on WNEW (his end of shift exit music). Thanks for playing.

 DaveInVA wrote:
This song never gets old for me....
 
Got that right!



Hot Tuna in Truckee, CA, several summers ago.
This song never gets old for me....
Yup, it's hard to beat Jorma, for sure...Saw him and Casady jam at a place in Boulder years ago, and many of us had tears in our eyes more than a couple times...
Must be a good day if we get to hear Water Song and Embryonic Journey.  Love me some acoustic Jorma. Gorgeous.
I like this piece. Jorma's playing reminds me of John Fahey or Leo Kottke. However, my ears would be perfectly happy to be spared listening to "White Rabbit" and "Somebody to Love" again and again. My older sisters exposed me to lots of amazing music from the late 60s. The Airplane, however, were so far behind their most of the peers. Get out of the wayback machine, Boomers. Not everything you did deserves a trophy.

Wow.  Had no idea they could/did play music like this.  I guess I am another pathetic victim of corporate radio.  Thanks RP!
Where was this recorded?  Love "The Sound" . . . one aspect of why I love this piece.
This one and Hot Tuna's Water Song are simply brilliant. Jorma Kaukonen now tops my list of artists to explore. Too bad it took 40 years for me to figure that out!
Is this the one the played at the very end of the last episode of Friends?

If there's a plane to catch, this is it.


 Sjaaks wrote:


That's just what i was about to say.... Indeed, timeless as well!

9
 
I agree...timeless.

 Cynaera wrote:
The guitar work is rather ahead of its time. {#Sunny}
 

That's just what i was about to say.... Indeed, timeless as well!

9
 haresfur wrote:

Marty Balin.

 
I'm not sure what you mean by this, but the Starship was Paul Kantner's band. Balin, Slick, and other members of the original and revamped Airplane passed through the line-up from time to time, but the Starship was all Kantner. Here's a reference:

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/jefferson-starship-p195171/biography

 Cynaera wrote:
I can't believe how many of these "old" songs I first heard on our local hinky-dink radio station! We had a DJ named Jim Holdren, and his "theme" song was "Machine Number Two" by Leo Kottke.  Tim Blissenbach never had a set theme song - he just shot from the hip and it was always great. My friend Rich used that Todd Rundgren song about "I just wanna bang on the drum all day."

Damn, I miss really good FM radio... RP is the closest thing to it that I'll probably ever find, and it doesn't work on my MP3 player! 

BTW:  I love this song. The guitar work is rather ahead of its time. {#Sunny}
 
Hear Hear! Earl Bailey used to use this as intro and outro music when was on WMMR in Philadelphia. Now he's with XM on Deep Cuts. Music needs a human touch.
{#Meditate} Altering my state...  More please.
Not bad, a 7
Another terrific song from their best album.
I can't believe how many of these "old" songs I first heard on our local hinky-dink radio station! We had a DJ named Jim Holdren, and his "theme" song was "Machine Number Two" by Leo Kottke.  Tim Blissenbach never had a set theme song - he just shot from the hip and it was always great. My friend Rich used that Todd Rundgren song about "I just wanna bang on the drum all day."

Damn, I miss really good FM radio... RP is the closest thing to it that I'll probably ever find, and it doesn't work on my MP3 player! 

BTW:  I love this song. The guitar work is rather ahead of its time. {#Sunny}
 kcar wrote:


Could someone explain to me how and why Jefferson Airplane turned into the relentlessly awful Jefferson Starship?!? 

 
 
Marty Balin.

Jorma and Jack are still blowing me away. 


love it...

 


awesome...


 
 calypsus_1 wrote:


One of the greatest Rock & Roll (Psychedelic Rock & Roll) bands of all time, Jefferson Airplane By wayupnorthtonowhere Roman Rice
https://www.flickr.com/photos/10227535@N08/

.Copyright All rights reserved

 

Could someone explain to me how and why Jefferson Airplane turned into the relentlessly awful Jefferson Starship?!? 

 


One of the greatest Rock & Roll (Psychedelic Rock & Roll) bands of all time, Jefferson Airplane By wayupnorthtonowhere Roman Rice
https://www.flickr.com/photos/10227535@N08/

.Copyright All rights reserved





Yessss...  oh, yessss....  love it...

 
There are very, very few recordings that need to be rated higher than a 10. This is one of them. It's a right hum-dinger it is.
a journey from embryo to this
spring has hinted at summer
The old great KKCY in San Francisco played this as their very first song, then when they went off the air, it was their last song.  What a great station that was.
 nagsheadlocal wrote:
Long a favorite of mine. Back in the days of "underground FM radio" a DJ that I really liked used this as his intro. I can remember being shocked when I found out it was Jefferson Airplane.
 
Very shocked.... cool tune

 gatorade wrote:
What are ya trying to do to me? I'm supposed to be balancing my bank acc't. and w/such great tunes, all I do is keep turning it up and listening. One of my all time favorites. This album changed my life.
  This and many others of the day changed mine.


 lattalo wrote:

You were likely a child when this was released.

 

10 or 11 to be precise. A couple of years later, I would be listening to CHOM-FM out of Montreal. Don't explicitly recall would guess they played this one often.


Long a favorite of mine. Back in the days of "underground FM radio" a DJ that I really liked used this as his intro. I can remember being shocked when I found out it was Jefferson Airplane.
 bknv wrote:
Thought it was Leo Kottke.  Amazing, play this anytime!
 

me too! god, i love that!!!


soooo groooovy...


Ah, a staple from the days of "underground" FM radio.
 gatorade wrote:
What are ya trying to do to me? I'm supposed to be balancing my bank acc't. and w/such great tunes, all I do is keep turning it up and listening. One of my all time favorites. This album changed my life.
 
One of my faves back then.  I still dig it out once in a while.

I played this tune at the weekend to some visiting friends very late at night, lights down, volume at a pleasant level, beer in hand.  Gave me goosebumps then and now.  Lush!


 lattalo wrote:

I still have it too.  I had an older friend who had a bad trip and gave me his album
collection, he was a hippie child of the sixties.  I was too young to be THERE.  But
I have all the music on LP, all of it!!!!!!!

 


That is awesome!  I love this song...



What are ya trying to do to me? I'm supposed to be balancing my bank acc't. and w/such great tunes, all I do is keep turning it up and listening. One of my all time favorites. This album changed my life.
 romeotuma wrote:


This is so good...  I still have the original album...  time flies when you're having fun...  sigh...

 
I still have it too.  I had an older friend who had a bad trip and gave me his album
collection, he was a hippie child of the sixties.  I was too young to be THERE.  But
I have all the music on LP, all of it!!!!!!!