My Top 1000 Songs #683: Good Shepherd

[I've been writing up my Top 1000 songs on a daily basis--you can see them all in descending order by hitting the All My Favorite Songs tag.] 

Always been a bit ambivalent on the Jefferson Airplane. Definitely some essential contributions to the classic rock canon, and some decent enough albums, but also a lot of material that kinda chafes, so they end up a bit below the Dead and Moby Grape when I'm thinking about bands emerging from San Francisco's mid/late 60s scene.

I think the closest they came to a consistently solid banger was 1969's Volunteers LP, which was loaded with memorable songs and offered a compelling blend of jammed-out rockers, mellow ballads, and trippy psychedelia. All of those strains show up in "Good Shepherd," a particularly pretty ballad (pastoral in both the figurative & literal sense) with some gorgeous harmonies and cool guitar sounds--that brief guitar lick between each verse, and the distorted solo, is quite affecting.

Live 1969:

Acoustic reunion performance at a 1988 Hot Tuna show: