Jefferson Airplane - Sweeping Up The Spotlight: Live At The Fillmore East 1969

Unearthed 12-track live set; one week later came Altamont

Sweeping Up The Spotlight: Live At The Fillmore East 1969

Capturing the Surrealistic Pillow line-up that lead guitarist Jorma Kaukonen regards as “the classic one” in his sleevenotes, this official release should be excitedly snapped up by devoted fans. It features superb sound for an archive live recording, being mixed from the original multi-track recordings, and is previously unreleased apart from two of the highlights: a stretched out, guitarheavy Good Shepherd and a rocking Plastic Fantastic Lover that both appeared on the Volunteers: Expanded Edition.

Recorded in November 1969 at Bill Graham’s East Coast rock venue, it makes a worthy companion to Bless Its Pointed Little Head, recorded the previous year at the Fillmores East and West, but doesn’t quite match the incendiary performances on that release, as vocalist Grace Slick seems relatively subdued. Her astounding voice never really soars as it so often did. That said, Kaukonen is in his prime, contributing searing improvised psychedelic guitar to Ballad Of You & Me & Poohneil, a 10-minute cover of live favourite, Fred Neil’s The Other Side Of This Life, and the Marty Balin-penned rarity You Wear Your Dresses Too Short.

3 stars 3 stars 3 stars

RCA/Legacy | 82876815582

Reviewed by Jon Harrington
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