Grace Slick

Welcome to the Wrecking Ball!

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To coincide with the 1981 album Welcome to the Wrecking Ball, Grace Slick released an insightful interview disc which is actually more fun than the record. The album isn't bad, mind you, it's just that she's such a personality that listening to the star ramble on about the wrecking ball as a symbol of destruction along with her other opinions on life is thoroughly enjoyable. The three essential elements of her Dreams album from the year before reprise their roles here, producer Ron Frangipane, engineer Ed Sprigg, and guitarist Scott Zito writing all the music on Wrecking Ball. Slick creates only lyrics to four of the ten titles, so this is really a Scott Zito album with Grace Slick as the vocalist. Where on the previous disc, Dreams, the singer composed five of the ten totally without a collaborator, that album is closer to what the fans expect from "White Rabbit"'s author. Dreams, Manhole, and Software have more of her personality in the grooves. The first track, "Wrecking Ball," explodes off the disc, a complement to the photos on the cover and inside the gatefold. It is heavy stuff, crunching along and is one of the better tracks here. You won't find a member of Pablo Cruise crashing this party, as Steve Price did on the previous outing. Maybe the disc didn't sell enough for Sonny & Cher to file a lawsuit because "No More Heroes" is the exact melody to the verse of "Bang Bang," you can even sing along "I was five and he was six/we rode on horses made of sticks," though Grace Slick sounds like she's fronting Genesis vocally while the band dwells on hard rock. It's an intriguing progression going from solo album to solo album to see what mood Slick was in what year. Software in 1984, produced by Ron Nevison, featuring Slick's songwriting collaborations with producer Peter Wolf, is far more interesting. Track down the radio promo disc on this, though. The legendary singer gives a great image and superb PR; too bad she mailed her performance in.

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