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The Essential


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Audio CD, October 30, 2012
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 30, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: 2012
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • ASIN: B009904N2I
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,544 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. It's No Secret
2. Somebody To Love
3. White Rabbit
4. Embryonic Journey
5. Plastic Fantastic Lover
6. Comin' Back To Me
7. The Ballad Of You & Me & Pooneil (Digitally Remastered at BMG Studios, NYC December 1995)
8. Greasy Heart
9. Lather
10. Crown Of Creation
See all 19 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Miracles
2. With Your Love
3. Count On Me
4. Runaway
5. Jane
6. Find Your Way Back
7. Stranger
8. Be My Lady
9. No Way Out
10. Layin' It On The Line
See all 16 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

From 1960s through the 1980s, the many permutations of this band consistently delivered the hits. Whether you prefer their counterculture sound or their pop ballads, it's all here on this 2-CD set.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By S. Gunderson on November 1, 2012
Not sure about the purpose of this issue. I don't own this so I'm unaware if there is anything special included in terms of inserts/liner notes or possibly another remaster of the songs but the track listing is identical to those of two previously released double-CD compilations: "Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship/Starship - Hits" (1998--which I do own) and "Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship/Starship - Greatest Hits" (2002), one of which you might be able to get cheaper. Regarding the songs, the collection is OUTSTANDING and is the most comprehensive compilation of the "popular songs" from all three iterations of this band. Also, the songs are essentially presented in chronological order so you can listen to the various changes in the bands' music as they were undergoing seemingly constant lineup (and band name) changes. The liner notes included with the referenced 1998 issue are pretty thorough having a good overview of the band from beginning to end and release and chart performance information for each of the tracks. I would expect/hope that information would be included with this issue as well. ENJOY!!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Paul Tognetti TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 14, 2012
Once again the folks at Sony/Legacy have dipped into the vaults and regurgitated yet another new compilation just in time for the holiday season. The two-disc "Essential Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship/Starship" offers up nearly three dozen tracks from the group in all of its various incarnations. You may recall that this was one group that changed personnel and musical directions so frequently that it would kinda make your head spin. But in the final analysis, this outfit did leave us with a pretty impressive body of work. This two CD set released in 2012 is no doubt one of the best collections that has ever been offered. This is essentially the very same collection as the 1998 import release "Hits" which I already own. Sony/Legacy has included a generous 35 tracks beginning with the best work of Jefferson Airplane from the late 60's. Aside from the obligatory "Somebody To Love" and "White Rabbit", selections include "Ballad of You & Me & Pooneil" as well as the title cuts from two of their popular albums of the day "Crown of Creation" and "Volunteers". Some pretty good stuff here!

For me, the group did it finest work in the mid to late 70's when they were known as Jefferson Starship. All of the hit singles are here including "Miracles", "With Your Love", Count On Me" and one of my personal favorites "Runaway" from 1978. Another terrific tune, 1984's "No Way Out" is also included. The group had another metamorphisis in 1985 when they emerged as simply Starship. And much to my amazement, the group scored with several of its biggest hits ever including "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now", "Sara" and of course their biggest hit of all time "We Built This City" from 1985. I have heard many critics pan this tune as one of the worst singles of all-time. I beg to disagree....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By hyperbolium on January 3, 2013
Legacy's two-disc Essential collection is actually a re-branded reissue of the 1998 Hits release, reiterating the same 35-track lineup and including Ben Fong-Torres original liner notes. If you pop these discs in your computer's CD drive, you're even likely to have the cover image of Hits pulled up by your media player. The set remains a good overview of "the band that transformed with the times," from Jefferson Airplane's scene-leading San Francisco Sound recordings of the mid-to-late `60s, through Jefferson Starship's inheritance and evolution, and the Kantner-less Starship's full-face turn to radio-friendly pop. The musical, social and commercial distance traveled from the Airplane's earthy psychedelic jams to the Starship's synth-laden ballads is itself a monument to adaptability.

The seventeen Airplane selections cover all seven of the band's first run albums (nothing from their 1989 self-titled reunion is included), along with the single-only "Have You Seen the Saucers." A few of their lower charting singles are absent, but other than "Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit," the Airplane was never a Top 40 success, and so the additional album tracks are more telling. Missing are tracks with early Airplane vocalist Signe Anderson singing lead, and even more noticeable is the lack of live material. Performance was an essential element of the San Francisco scene, and no telling of the Airplane's story is truly complete without the stage interplay of vocalists and instrumentalists.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey on July 10, 2013
This set is a great idea, but not quite realized. Disc one runs about 75 minutes and is mostly Jefferson Airplane. Disc two is only about 67 minutes and inexplicably excludes the Jefferson Starship top 40 hit "Winds Of Change" and possibly others. I don't understand why they would leave off an 'essential' hit when there's room for it. There's also a separate The Essential Jefferson Airplane set so if anything, Airplane should have been lighter on tracks here and allowed room for more of the later hits.

I picked this up locally for only 10 bucks and the sound quality is excellent (probably thanks to being a re-release of an earlier import before 'brickwalling' loudness was so commonplace) so I can't complain too much. Maybe they'll put out a 3.0 version as they often do and include the missing hits, and I'll wish I'd waited.
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