This was requested several months ago, the quite hard to find JEFFERSON STARSHIP's "Modern Times / Nuclear Furniture" remastered deluxe 2-CD set done by Friday Music Records. Impeccably remastered by Joe Reagoso, this is the first time in almost two decades that either of these fine albums have been available on compact disc, except for an expensive Japanese release several years ago.
"Modern Times" represents the zenith of the brief heavier-rocking period between Jefferson Starship‘s early era and their subsequent turn toward Rock&pop / AOR as Starship. On no other album is founding guitarist Craig Chaquico’s electric more front and center.
Chaquico, like guitarist / vocalist Paul Kantner and the returning lead vocalist Grace Slick, had been part of Jefferson Starship since its early-1970s formation. They were known quantities. The question remained, in just their second album-length collaboration, how new frontman Mickey Thomas would cope with this edgier sound.
It worked like a charm.
Produced by my favorite knob-twiddler of all time - Ron Nevison - the glossy, edgy sound on "Modern Times" in many ways set a template for ’80s-era success soon followed by Nevison-produced bands like Heart, Ozzy Osbourne and Chicago.
Grace Slick re-joined Jefferson Starship for this album, and she arrived too late for the album-cover band photo, but managed a duet with new frontman Mickey Thomas on the Pete Sears-composed “Stranger”, while adding background vocals throughout the recording.
The heart of this arena-rocking album, however, can be found elsewhere – inside Kantner’s eruptive “Wild Eyes (Angel)”, Chaquico’s scalding turn on “Save Your Love”, his also composed riffy “Mary”, and the snarky “Free”.
But my absolute favorite - and an AOR classic - is the wonderful opener "Find Your Way Back". Those keyboards, the crescendo, pulsating rhythm and that chorus... this is a pure representation of early, foundational '80s AOR.
The song would become a No. 3 hit on the newly minted Billboard Mainstream Rock charts, and since then has become a classic rock / FM radio staple.
It's great that finally RCA / BMG considered the release of "Modern Times", after all these years, on compact disc. And it has been even a better move to provide the license to Friday Music Records, as they did a stupendous job with the remastering.
The album sound is full-on, the bass punch is terrific and wait to listen to the drums, performed by the legendary Aynsley Dunbar (Journey, Whitesnake's 1987). A blast.
Very, Highly Recommended
01 - Find Your Way Back
02 - Stranger
03 - Wild Eyes (Stranger)
04 - Save Your Love
05 - Modern Times
06 - Mary
07 - Free
08 - Alien
09 - Stairway To Cleveland (We Do What We Want)
Mickey Thomas – lead vocals
Grace Slick – lead vocals
Craig Chaquico – guitar, synthesizer, steel drums
Aynsley Dunbar – drums, percussion, synthesizer
David Freiberg – vocals, bass, piano
Paul Kantner – vocals, rhythm guitar, Oberheim 8-voice synth
Pete Sears – bass, piano, synthesizer, Moog
Produced by Ron Nevison
BUY IT !