Live in Central Park, NYC May 12, 1975

Jefferson Starship

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Live in Central Park, NYC May 12, 1975 Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Real Gone's double-disc collection Live in Central Park, NYC May 12, 1975 finds Jefferson Starship in a transitional phase. They had only one LP to the Jefferson Starship name -- 1974's Dragon Fly; Red Octopus, the album that firmly established this incarnation as its own entity, had been completed but not released -- so they were still relying heavily on the Jefferson Airplane catalog for this 15-song set, closing out the concert with "White Rabbit," "Sweeter Than Honey," "Somebody to Love," and "Volunteers." They may have been drawing on the past but they were sounding very mid-'70s, relying on thick, heavy guitars and extended instrumental sections that felt grittier than psychedelia. Of course, that grittiness is unintentionally emphasized on this release via the insanely thin audio quality; this sounds grainy and brittle, as if it were recorded off an AM radio. Nevertheless, the performance is powerful enough to make it worth hearing, at least for hardcore fans who can see through the aural flaws and appreciate a strong show from a band that was on the cusp of change.

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