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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars marks the end of an era, but with great song material
1978's "Earth" marks the end of an era for Jefferson Starship--both Marty Balin and Grace Slick would leave the band prior to the next album, 1979's "Freedom At Point Zero", which lead to a definite stylistic shift for the band.

It's sort of ironic then that "Earth" very much plays like solo albums from Slick and Balin on shuffle play. Paul Kantner's prescence...
Published on May 17, 2007 by Missing Person

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A flawed reissue?!?
I was pleased to see BMG actually going through and re-issue all of the late 70s Jefferson Starship catalog; and for the most part it has been a good-sounding success. However, it appears the transfer of the song "Crazy Feeling" has a flaw: right after the phrase "weather" it sounds like someone slowed down the recording for just enough time for it...
Published on October 23, 1999


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars marks the end of an era, but with great song material, May 17, 2007
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This review is from: Earth (Audio CD)
1978's "Earth" marks the end of an era for Jefferson Starship--both Marty Balin and Grace Slick would leave the band prior to the next album, 1979's "Freedom At Point Zero", which lead to a definite stylistic shift for the band.

It's sort of ironic then that "Earth" very much plays like solo albums from Slick and Balin on shuffle play. Paul Kantner's prescence is barely detectible apart from the album-closing "All Nite Long"--credited to the whole band and Jesse Barish, it rocks out quite nicely, and is an excellent demonstration of Kantner's characteristic long-and-winding anthemic style.

Sonically, the trademark mid-'70s Starship sound is in full force on "Earth", and with the song material being terrific, this ends up being an irresistible, vastly underrated album.

Balin had seemingly become more interested in finding top-flight material from other songwriters--particularly his friend Jesse Barish--than writing his own, something that would continue with his solo career in the '80s.

And Barish delivers the goods. The breezy, feel-good lite rocker "Crazy Feelin'" is well-crafted and top-tappingly catchy. The Top 10 hit "Count On Me" is a lovely, easy-going soft-rock ballad, although I think they went overboard with the amount of reverb on Balin's lead vocal--stripping some of that away would have added an appealing intimacy to the song.

Balin has two more lead vocal features, both of which are terrific. "Fire" is a hilarious, over-the-top hysterical rocker with Balin singing his head off, endlessly wailing the song's title. And the Top 20 hit "Runaway", written by Balin's former Bodacious D.F. bandmate Greg Dewey, is a dreamy, spine-tingling ballad punctuated by a couple of slightly rocked-up bridge sections where Balin adopts a weird, nasally vocal approach.

Grace Slick is in peak form here as well. She sings lead on 4 songs, two of which she co-wrote--"Take Your Time", co-written by keyboardist Pete Sears, is an awesomely tuneful introspective ballad with a brilliantly-nuanced Slick vocal. The rocking "Skateboard", co-written by lead guitarist Craig Chaquico, is an exciting rocker with a marvelous singalong chorus. The album-opening "Love Too Good" finds the Starship slipping into a seductive, extended funky groove and getting great mileage out of it. Slick also offers "Show Yourself", a raging, impassioned anthemic ballad that just can't be denied.

In the end, "Earth" really is NOT just a non-chalant rehash of previous albums as many seem to think--it's a must-have.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Out of This World, May 9, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Earth (Audio CD)
This is the best and most underrated of all Jefferson Starship albums. Their first four (which are the only ones to include the classic Slick-Balin-Kantner trio)should be more revered than they are today, since these collections accomplished a neat sleight of hand by crossing from pop to a more idiosynchratic musical approach. "Earth" contains many fine moments. The hits "Count On Me" and "Runaway" are pleasant, lilting diversions, but the real goods are held in the songs by Grace Slick. Her cooing and growling on "Love Too Good" open the album with a funkiness not usually attributed to the Starship. "Take Your Time" is about as reflective and personal as Grace gets, and its theme of living life too fast is delivered with a wistful sigh. "Skateboard" is an outre roller that blasts its way out of the speakers, and Grace truly wails. Of course, the album's centerpiece is "Show Yourself", an almost British-rock howler that builds in intensity and musicianship from start to finish. Grace Slick sounds rejuvinated throughout "Earth", coming up with her most cohesive collection of songs in years. The closer, "All Night Long", is another Kantner-Starship anthem in the usual sci-fi tradition that sounds both exuberant and aggressive. The arrangements and approach of the Starship throughout "Earth" bring out the best in every performance. It's worth a visit.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a classic jefferson starship cd, July 30, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Earth (Audio CD)
if you are a true jefferson starship fan you must add this classic cd to your collection. the cd is chock-full of the beautiful ballads and hard-rocking masterpieces that made the starship one of the best bands of the 70's/80's. do not pass this up. this has been a hard to find gem and we can thank amazon.com for un-"earth"-ing this jewel.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars After The Airplane Days, November 22, 2005
This review is from: Earth (Audio CD)
Some real great stuff here but must admit has the feel of a couple fillins but don't let that stop you from the others. Love To Good, Count On Me, Runaway are my top favs here and my young son digs the Skateboard song. Giving new life for old song.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Down To EARTH, December 31, 2009
This review is from: Earth (Audio CD)
I gather there were reasons for Paul Kantner's were relatively low profile on this record. There was always internal strife in the House of Jefferson, of course, and it wasn't all that surprising when a previously dominant figure suddenly downplayed his or her role (think of Marty Balin's merely contributing a single song to BAXTER'S some 10 years before this album's realease). Kantner's political and sci-fi anthems were getting a little dated by the mid-70s, and Jefferson Starship's newfound popularity was scarcely based on his kind of music. Actually, even though Grace remained something of a figurehead for the group and easily their most identifiable member, the group's 70s renaissance had relatively little to do with her quirky tunes either. Instead it had everything to do with Balin's return to the fold AND to his ability to generate soft-rock hits (either self-penned or sought out by and for himself). It must have been a delicious irony for him after seeing the group that he founded some 10 years before (the Airplane) largely taken away from him, only to become something quite different under Slick and Kantner's influence.

Of course, any group with a long enough history turns into a soap opera at some point. And while any given fan might relish the irony of Balin's triumphant return in 1975 and the mega-success of the newly roconstituted group's RED OCTOPUS thereafter, those same fans might find things getting a tad too formulaic a few years and couple of similarly structured albums later. "Miracles" was something of a miracle to be sure, but was this album's Top-40 hit, "Count On Me" really of the same caliber? Well, it still sold well, but critics (and some fans) were starting to mutter about Marty as a "lounge singer." "Runaway,"while a better, hookier tune, also sold pretty well but did little to stop his critics' carping. I dunno if Marty paid all that much attention to the rock press back then, but if he did he'd be entitled to wonder, once again, how he could have gone from hero to goat quicker than Charlie Brown.

I personally didn't mind Marty's occasional sappiness all that much. I'm a fan of both Grace and Marty, and while I don't want a steady diet of mush, I knew you'd never get that within the context of a group co-helmed by Grace Slick. Yeah, I've often said it's a source of some ironic pleasure for me--and I'm sure for other fans as well--that in the Airplane and Starship of the Balin years, the starry eyed, sensitive dreamer was the GUY and the hardnosed, sarcastic cut-up was the WOMAN. It made for an interesting tension.

So this record pretty much alternated Slick and Balin tracks, and was all the better for it. The opener "Love Too Good" was a sharp-as-a-knife Slick vocal that numbers among the most distinctive songs she's ever recorded. At the time, one critic wrote that she delivered a "body blow" with each chorus, and it's hard to think of a more apt phrase. (Maybe Grace's interest in the martial arts was paying off musically). Her other tunes on the album were also top notch (although "Skate Board" was really just a bit of a goof). "Show Yourself" is the kind of political number that's really for the ages. Yeah, she alludes to the "bicentennial," so it could be called dated in that regard. But its theme of sinister and invisible forces in one's government is actually pretty universal and pretty compelling stuff some 30 years on.

And Marty, always a great rock'n'roll singer when he wanted to be, did get a chance to rock out a bit on "Fire" a tour-de-force force for him that recalled the glory days of BLESS ITS POINTED LITTLE HEAD. By the time we reached the closer, "All Nite Long," Grace and Marty have had enough moments to shine, so they trot Paul back out. As the album's sole Kantnerian number (although co-written with Grace and Marty), it's almost a refreshing reminder that the Starship was, at this point, still a group, not just a back-up act for two distinctive, but very different singers. And given his low profile throughout the rest of the record, one can kind of get into the spirit of a Kantner march to close things out. The lyrics are a typically vague Starship spiel that would seem to have something to do with a "gathering of the tribes" and maybe individual or group transcendence. Not much in the way of political themes really, although the title suggests a firm commitment to spelling reform at least.

In their different ways, Slick, Kantner and Balin were all mercurial personalities. EARTH seemed like a transitional album at the time, although clearly, no one could have predicted just what they were transitioning to. Within a year, Slick and Balin would leave the group, the Mickey Thomas years would begin and (even though Grace would eventually return) the commercial fix was pretty much in. And people thought the Marty Balin years were too commercial!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ..A GEM OF A CD!!!!, November 1, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Earth (Audio CD)
I was thrilled when they reissued "Earth" on cd, I wore my tape out from playing it so much.Songs like "Count on Me" and "Runaway" are timeless. If you are just discovering Jefferson Starship, this is a great cd to start your collection!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sumptuous musical feast, August 17, 2009
By 
This review is from: Earth (Audio CD)
Jefferson Starship's "Earth" is a sensational album, a feast of musical achievements conducted in a party-like spirit yet with the band incredibly tight and cohesive. It struck me at the time (1978) as one of the finest rock albums I'd ever heard, and it sounds just as good today. What's the secret of this work of near-perfection?

The answer is complex. First, in Grace Slick and Marty Balin, the band boasted two of the finest rock vocalists of all time. Slick, by far the best female vocalist of this (or of any?) era, provides the power, whilst the legendary vocal skills of Marty Balin supply the mellower counterpoint. And please don't overlook the band's backing vocals - no-one did it better than Jefferson Starship.

So we've got great vocals here, but instrumental performance is every bit as good, and displays marvellous cohesion. The compositions are, without exception, superb.

Lastly, there's something else, harder to define, at work here - a collective feeling that I can best describe as a combination of spirit, professionalism and perfectionism. The band are on a roll here, you feel - and they know it.

The rather gentle but beautifully-crafted opener, "Love too Good", has Grace Slick in mellow form, though displaying a tightness and power which emerge to huge effect later on the album.

Next comes "Count on Me", and the listener is reminded - if he or she did not already know this - that the band boasted not one but two of the best vocalists of this (or any) era. On this Jesse Barish-composed track, Marty Balin delivers his customary, marvellous blend of tone, pace and feeling. The lyrics and the melody perfectly complement each other. A tremendously warm and effective track, with the instrumentals on top form - as they are throughout the album.

"Take Your Time", with Grace back at the mic, is pure sensuality - there's not a salacious word in this beautifully-crafted song, but it's one of the sexiest (and loveliest) songs ever, bearing comparison with "Miracles" from the preceding album ("Red Octopus"). Again, the vocals are superb, but so, too, is the instrumental backing.

Marty is back for "Crazy Feelin'", a (relatively) up-tempo song for him, but one which he handles with his customary panache. The backing vocals are great, and it's another sexy track. It contributes significantly to the ethereal, lighter-than-air feel of the album as a whole.

"Skateboard" sees Grace back on vocals, but with a difference - this time, she's on full power, and demonstrates a combination of vocal tone and muscle which makes her, for me, the finest female rock vocalist of all time. Again, the accompaniment is on the top line. A great track.

"Fire", with Marty on vocals, is another forceful performance, and is followed by "Show Yourself". The theme of this track - a panegyric about America's decay from 1776 idealism to 1978 corporate greed and cynicism - wasn't a new idea, but it can never have been delivered to greater musical effect. Grace's vocals reach new highs here - how on earth did she belt out such power and feeling with losing any of her musical tone? A truly extraordinary performance, by her and by the band.

"Runaway" is yet another high, this time led by Marty. He's brilliant here - as ever - but, this time, it's the sheer musical cohesion of the band that enthralls. And this great track sets us up for the finale, a superlative track, which is....

.........."All Night Long". This track is a tour-de-force and an incredible cut, with the band delivering a driving, superbly-crafted performance that properly concludes this superlative album. There are no more tracks after this - there couldn't be, because you can't top this one.

If you want to buy just one Jefferson Starship album, make it this one; if you want to experience a piece of rock genius then, again, buy it. And consider investing in the Japanese remastered mini-LP version - it delivers wonderful sound quality, and there can be few albums which can benefit more from this process than "Earth".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC MUSIC!, August 29, 2007
This review is from: Earth (Audio CD)
This is the final album of the 4 that the main line-up of Jefferson Starship would release. Not every track is great. Skateboard isn't all that great, but most of the rest is great. The 3 singles (Count On Me, Crazy Feelin' and Runaway are great songs! (Although the shorter version of Crazy Feelin' on the 45 always seemed more cohesive, it edited out the slow midsection which seems to kill the momentum of the song) 2 of the album cuts Love Too Good and Take Your Time are fantastic songs. Fire and All Night Long are pretty darn good while we're at it. The rest is forgettable with the exception of Skateboard which is just plain dumb.

All in all well worth a listen if you enjoy any of their other 3 releases (Dragonfly, Red Octopus or Spitfire) or like Classic Rock or old 70's AM radio sounds!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Burn on demand disc...the quality is pretty good...but could have been better., August 2, 2013
By 
K. B. Pendry (Sandersville, GA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Earth (Audio CD)
NO liner notes...no liner notes...no liner notes....no liner notes.....how man times do I have to type “No liner notes before I get the required number of words. I’m still very happy to now have this album on cd...the burn on demand quality is very good but not excellent...but I think the source material may be the big issue there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars take a ride around earth, April 24, 2012
By 
This review is from: Earth (Audio CD)
Jefferson Starship's Earth doesn't yet show any signs of songwriting deterioration. This is because all the key band members are still around and of course, this means all the guitar solos, creative songwriting tricks and distinctive qualities have remained firmly intact.

"All Nite Long" is like, *exactly* why I love Jefferson Starship so much! Hard rocking and yet emotionally powerful guitar soloing, Paul Kantner's adventurous vocal range, Grace Slick complimenting Kantner's style with her own unique sound and vocal range, and songwriting that's just really fun and almost danceable. This is truly a special type of rock because it sounds like nothing I've ever experienced that's for sure, which is why Jefferson Starship is so underrated these days. Oh sure, this stuff is probably not quite as good as Jefferson Airplane's best material, but who cares really. This is prime music. "Runaway" is the big hit for a reason. Yes it shows signs of the band turning mellow thanks to the disco movement taking over at the time, but the vocal melody is so wonderful and almost hypnotic that it's VERY easy for me to ignore discos yucky and relentless stronghold on the music scene.

"Love Too Good" is the bands attempt at pure disco and... well it's not *that* bad. In fact since it's based around Grace's wonderful voice and melody singing abilities, I adore it. The rhythm is really groovy and the Supertramp-sounding piano jam at the end is really melodic too (if you don't know the Supertramp reference, check out a song of theirs called "School" or "Child of Vision"). Speaking of Grace, she takes over on "Show Yourself" in dramatic fashion which is basically a continuation of songs such as "Be Young You" and "Ai Garimasu (There Is Love)". An odd songwriting spin is when the song turns gospel-like near the end. A pleasant, unexpected moment that is. "Take Your Time" is a more straight forward Grace Slick tune where her vocals alone elevate the melody, and the gentle atmosphere prevents it from sounding like other 70's songs that happen to share similar attributes.

"Skateboard" focuses around a fierce, slightly disco-flavored beat with Grace's creative lyrics being a standout, "Crazy Feelin" takes a hypnotic atmosphere to a romantic level of near blushing but I don't care since the vocal melody is so wonderful, and "Fire" is strange the way the Marty Balin just screams out the word "FIRE!" and how it then immediately shifts into an emotional rocker of sorts. It's definitely pretty cool and I admire the unique way the vocal melody builds and flows. What starts out as an anthemic ballad of sorts soon reveals a very different and more rocking impression. I admire creativity such as this. On this track Marty almost darn near resembles Brian Johnson from AC/DC, no kidding! Never been a big fan of "Count On Me" but it's hardly terrible or anything. Just never been a favorite of mine. The vocal melody is certainly catchy enough however. Actually the verse melody is really awesome but the chorus just isn't nearly as exciting to me.

Overall, Jefferson Starship delivers with a fourth fantastic album in a row. Great stuff.
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Earth
Earth by Jefferson Starship (Audio CD - 2011)
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