Jefferson Airplane: “White Rabbit” (1967)

[Kronomyth 2.2]
Hare ‘em Scare ‘em.

Fifty years on, this song still terrifies me. Grace Slick and Nico were a pair of witches for the ages, weren’t they? Grace originally recorded the song with Great Society, which was longer and looser and less threatening. Jefferson Airplane tightened the song up into a day-glo Bolero and Grace planted herself between the edge of sanity and lunacy for one of her best performances. Together with “Somebody To Love,” this song was a beacon to the world that San Francisco was the new nexus for the next cultural revolution. The flip side is Marty Balin’s psychedelic “Plastic Fantastic Lover,” which sounds a lot like one of Paul Kantner’s science fiction songs, referencing a futuristic love affair with (according to Balin) his new stereo system. Lyrically, the song is open to interpretation; some have conjectured that Balin is singing about a sex doll or a car, and both are plausible fantastic lovers if you’re inclined to hear things that way. RCA released “White Rabbit” with “Somebody To Love” as a back-to-back hits single soon after and issued it over the years on a variety of different labels.

Original 7-inch single
A1. White Rabbit (Grace Slick) (2:29)
B1. Plastic Fantastic Lover (Marty Balin) (2:35)

Original 7-inch single (Spain)
A1. White Rabbit (Grace Slick)
B1. She Has Funny Cars (Jorma Kaukonen/Marty Balin) (3:04)

Original 7-inch EP single (Portugal)
A1. White Rabbit (Grace Slick) (2:29)
A2. Plastic Fantastic Lover (Marty Balin) (2:35)
B1. Bringing Me Down (Paul Kantner/Marty Balin) (2:22)
B2. Let Me In (Paul Kantner/Marty Balin) (2:55)

Back-to-back hits 7-inch single reissue
A1. White Rabbit (Grace Slick) (2:30)
B1. Somebody To Love (Darby Slick) (2:54)

Back-to-back hits 7-inch extended single reissue
A1. White Rabbit (Grace Slick) (2:27)
B1. Somebody To Love (Darby Slick) (2:54)
B2. Crown of Creation (Paul Kantner) (2:53)

The Plastic
Released on 7-inch single on June 24, 1967 in the US (RCA, 47-9248) and on September 29, 1967 in the UK (RCA, RCA 1631); reached #8 on the US charts. Also released on 7-inch single in Spain (RCA Victor, 3-10248) with “She Has Funny Cars” on the B side with picture sleeve. Also released on 7-inch EP in Portugal (RCA Victor, TP-347) with picture sleeve.

  1. Re-released on back-to-back hits 7-inch single in 1968 in the US (RCA Victor, 447-0796) {black label} with “Somebody To Love” on the flip side.
  2. Re-issued on back-to-back hits 7-inch single in the US (RCA Gold Standard, 447-0796) {red label} with “Somebody To Love” on the flip side.
  3. Re-issued on back-to-back hits 7-inch single in the US (RCA Gold Standard, 447-0796) {black label} with “Somebody To Love” on the flip side.
  4. Re-released on back-to-back hits 7-inch extended single on May 7, 1976 in the UK (RCA Victor, RCA 2676) with “Somebody To Love” and “Crown of Creation” on the flip side.
  5. Re-issued on back-to-back hits 7-inch single in 1979 in the UK (RCA Victor, GOLD-004) with “Somebody To Love” on the flip side.

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