By 1971 Jefferson Airplane wasn’t the same band that played Woodstock. Founding member Marty Balin was gone (for now), as was drummer Spencer Dryden. The band added a violinist, Papa John Creach, too.
They were big time now, too, a band with its own record label named Grunt. Bark was the first release for both the fledgling label and the new lineup.
It’s a solid album, very much of the period: lots of tasty wah-soaked blues riffs and freakout lyrics like “Crazy Miranda / Lives on propaganda.”
As a fan I’m disappointed that Grace Slick has retired from performing, but again I admire her decision. She believes that rock and roll is a young person’s game and she sticks to her guns. Still, I’d love to hear her sing those old Airplane tunes.
Bark hasn’t found the same place in music history as Surrealistic Pillow, but the packaging in particular is really innovative: A traditional album sleeve shipped in a paper bag, with a list of uses for the bag printed on the back of the enclosed lyric sheet: