Jefferson Airplane - Crown of Creation

Jefferson Airplane - Crown of Creation
Authored By Dawn Rossiter

As you know, I’m a fan of all west coast psychedelic music of the late 60s. It is such a unique time in the history of rock n roll. A time before ‘rock’ was really a big industry and when boundaries were far more vague. There was no classic rock, indie rock or college rock. Just rock and that was often tinged with folk, jazz, blues. Any label you want to put on Jefferson Airplane just slides right off. They were everything and all at once, which is perhaps the essence of the best psychedelic music, given how one of the most common LSD and psilocybin experiences is that feeling that ‘everything is everything else.’

There’s no beating about the bush with Airplane. It is music made by people on drugs for people on drugs. You don’t have to be high to dig it, of course, but pretty much everyone who does, has been at one time or another. Crown of Creation is at the apex of that for me. 

The whole record is like an acid flashback. It smells, it tastes of tripping. It sends you back into that headspace. The weirdness of Lather who is snorting the best licks in town. The spaced out left field oddity that is Triad. If You Feel’s sunlit reverb riff and its clarion call to ‘break China laughing’ is all wonderful. The title track is a manifesto for otherness. A marching song for Heads who wanted a future built on different principles. I was 7 in 1968 but I imagine if you were 17 this would’ve been quite profound. It shone a torch through the darkness of the straight world madness into the upland pastures of freakdom.  

You are the crown of creation

You are the crown of creation

And you've got no place to go

Soon you'll attain the stability you strive for 

In the only way that it's granted 

In a place among the fossils of our time

In loyalty to their kind

They cannot tolerate our minds

In loyalty to our kind

We cannot tolerate their obstruction

Life is change

How it differs from the rocks 

I've seen their ways too often for my liking 

New worlds to gain 

My life is too survive 

And be alive for you 


It feels and sounds almost like religious music. Holy and above and profound. 

The album closes with the surging weirdness of The House at Pooneil Corners which somehow manages to be an aural recreation of that first surge when you’re coming up on hallucinogenic when suddenly you are on a higher plane and can feel the vibration of the molecules of existence. To listen to it sober is to be transported there again, to be taken through a door that never really closes once opened. Lyrically it is intense and rambling and incredibly emotional.

You and me we keep walkin' around and we see

All the bullshit around us

You try and keep your mind on what's going down

Can't help but see the rhinoceros around us

And you wonder what you can be

And you do what you can

To get bald and high

And you know I'm still goin' need you around

You say it's healing but nobody's feeling it

Somebody's dealing, somebody's stealing it

You say you don't see and you don't

You say you won't know and you won't let it come

Everything someday will be gone except silence

Earth will be quiet again

Seas from clouds will wash off the ashes of violence

Left as the memory of men

There will be no survivor my friend

Suddenly everyone will look surprised

Stars spinning wheels in the skies

Sun is scrambled in their eyes

While the moon circles like a vulture

Some stood at a window and cried

'One tear I thought that should stop a war

But someone is killing me'

That's the last hour to think anymore

Jelly and juice and bubbles, bubbles on the floor

Castles on the cliffs vanish

Cliffs like heaps of rubbish

Seen from the stars hour by hour

As splintered scraps and black powder

From here to heaven is a scar

Dead center, deep as death

All the idiots have left

The cows are almost cooing

Turtle doves are mooing

Which is why a poo is pooing

In the sun


It leaves you exhausted and elated in a way that few songs do. What an incredible record and more incredible still that such radical music got to #6 on the USA charts. It clearly connected to millions of synapses and vibrated many a pineal gland. If you’ve not played it in a while, do revisit it and for 40 minutes be transported.

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