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4. Starship

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We Built This City
Highest Billboard Position:
#1 in 1985

Fans of the great Hall of Fame outfielder, Willie Mays, try to forget his last two bungling years with the New York Mets.  His skills were clearly eroded and he was more like “Confused Grandpa” than the “Say Hey Kid”.  Somehow, we think Grace Slick can identify with Mays just a little too well.

Before Starship was Starship, they were Jefferson Starship, and before that they were Jefferson Airplane, one of the premier psychedelic bands in music history.  They have the distinction of being the only band to be a part of Altamont, Monterrey Pop and Woodstock, the three key music festivals of the 60’s.  Sixteen years after Woodstock, the band that Slick had so triumphantly fronted was stripped of any aspect of the counter culture that she was once the symbol of.  Rather, she now fronted “Corporate Rock”, music palatable for elevators and dentist chairs.  For a song talking about building a city on Rock and Roll, there was nothing “Rock” at all about this attempted anthem.  Slick has gone to say that the music really wasn’t her, and we accept her apology.

How awful is "We Built this City"?

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I totally agree, this song is god awful! - 20%
This song is bad, but there is much worse. - 60%
This song is actually a guilty pleasure. - 20%
No opinion. - 0%
You are nuts, this song is amazing. - 0%
Last modified on Friday, 29 June 2012 14:35

Comments   

 
+1 #1 Knuckles 2012-05-22 11:52
Whatever they were on when they wrote they wrote the song must have been something. I hope it never sees the light of day ever again.
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+1 #2 Darryl Tahirali 2012-07-12 19:07
Slick might be right. By the time she sang on this monstrosity, she was the only Airplaner left in the band. They even had to shorten their name to Starship because Paul Kantner had left, legally taking the "Jefferson" with him.

I always thought this obnoxious song was crass nostalgia-monge ring on their part, or else hometown boasting a la Journey's "Lights" (I was living in the SF Bay Area at the time and had to endure both on a regular basis). However, in looking it up, I see that the song was not written by Slick or anyone else associated with the Airplane, or even with the Starship except when they became simply Starship,

"City" was written by . . . Bernie Taupin, Martin Page, Dennis Lambert, and Peter Wolf. Taupin of course is Elton John's longtime lyricist (yes, I smell song-doctoring going on here too), but this Peter Wolf is not the J. Geils frontman. This Peter Wolf is an Austrian music whiz who played keyboards with Frank Zappa before becoming a hit pop producer in the 1980s, including "City" and another song on this list of 100 worst, Wang Chung's "Everybody Have Fun Tonight." He also produced Heart's big ballad "What about Love," which I presume just missed the cut here, although I would gladly swap Maria Muldaur's "Midnight at the Oasis" for it.

I'm surprised there hasn't been a cover version, "ironic" or not.
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