June 1975: Jefferson Starship Release RED OCTOPUS

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Wednesday, March 17, 2021
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RED OCTOPUS

It's been said that Red Octopus captured the Jefferson Starship at the peak of the band's powers, and at one of the hungriest points in the group's long and dramatic history. With Paul Katner and Grace Slick forming the outfit from the ashes of the Jefferson Airplane, the Jefferson Starship had gotten off to a strong start with debut album, Dragon Fly.

Able to coax jilted singer Marty Balin back into the Starship fold, Red Octopus took the foundation built on Dragon Fly, and shot it into the stratosphere--and the top of the charts. Helping power the album's popularity was the Marty Balin-penned single, "Miracles." The song motored up the Hot 100, climbing as high as #3 for the week of October 18, 1975. The #1 song in America that week: Neil Sedaka's "Bad Blood." The second single from Red Octopus, "Play on Love," featured a powerhouse vocal performance from Grace Slick. The tune peaked at #49 on the Hot 100 in January 1976.

Released on June 13, 1975, Jefferson Starship's Red Octopus soared to the #1 spot on the Billboard 200, where it would repeat the feat for a total of four non-consecutive weeks over the course of the year. It still stands as the group's only chart-topping album in America.

"Who the f*ck knows?" Paul Kantner shrugged to Rolling Stone in January 1976 about the massive comeback that was Red Octopus. "I don't know why we were successful the first time, nor do I know why we weren't successful for a while. Relatively unsuccessful. I've been in awe and mystery of that from the beginning."