Rather unbelievably 34 years has already passed since Grace Slick unveiled her most commercially successful and still incredibly relevant sophomore studio album Dreams back in 1980. At the time Slick was still best known for her work alongside Jefferson Airplane (although she had also experienced critical acclaim as part of The Great Society), with her work in Jefferson Starship slightly overshadowed by the band’s issues with her alocoholism. Having unveiled her debut solo release, Manhole, in 1974, it was always apparent that Slick had ambitions outside of her band setting, but it was not until the release of Dreams that these would be realised on a global scale.
Unlike its predecessor, Dreams was recorded away from the security of the Jefferson groups. While all the members of Jefferson Grace+Slick+-+Dreams+-+LP+RECORD-247854Starship appeared in some form onManholeDreams‘ psychedlic rock tones were completely Slick’s own creation. With the album having been nominated for a Grammy Award, and charting in both the US and UK album charts, there is no denying that at the time of release, Dreams was celebrated for its innovative approach and Slick’s unforgettable contralto voice.
However, unlike many of her contemporaries – Kate Bush, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell – Slick’s solo legacy appears to be often overlooked. For although Slick continued to record solo material for a further two albums – 1981′s Welcome To The Wrecking Ball! and 1984′s Software – her brief return to Jefferson Starship, followed by Jefferson Airplane and her retirement from the music industry has resulted in the focus on her celebrated art career overshadowing one of the strongest and most inspirational releases of the early 1980s.
With Slick cited as an influential figure for Stevie Nicks, Siouxsie Sioux and Patti Smith, there is no denying that alongside Janis Joplin, Slick is one of the strongest female figures in the early days of punk and psychedelic rock. But what of the album itself?
Berkeley in the Sixties
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