Happy 45th: Jefferson Starship, RED OCTOPUS

Monday, June 15, 2020
Jefferson Starship RED OCTOPUS Cover

45 years ago this week – the anniversary was actually this weekend, but since we weren’t on the clock then, we’re writing about it now – Jefferson Starship released their second studio album, an LP which helped the band successfully push the band formerly known as Jefferson Airplane into a heretofore-unachieved level of popularity.

Recorded at Wally Heider Studios in San Francisco and – like its predecessor – co-produced by the band and Larry Cox, RED OCTOPUS arrived only a year after Jefferson Starship’s first album, DRAGON FLY, an LP which climbed to #11 but failed to deliver a significant hit single. In addition, that album only featured a fleeting appearance by Marty Balin, who’d been one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. This time around, Balin was back in the band full-time, and the band was back in the singles charts in a big way, thanks to “Miracles,” which hit #3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

For as successful as the various incarnations of the band have been, no album by Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, or just plain ol’ Starship has been as successful as RED OCTOPUS, which was officially certified double platinum in 1995. It’s literally the only album by any of those incarnations that ever topped the Billboard 200, and many fans consider it to be their best. We’re not trying to force you to feel the same way, of course, but if you’re on the fence, you might want to give it a spin and see if it makes the difference.

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