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Baron Von Tollbooth & The Chrome Nun [Import]

David Freiberg, Grace Slick, Paul Kantner Audio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
Price: 5.80 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Baron Von Tollbooth & The Chrome Nun + Sunfighter + Blows Against the Empire
Price For All Three: 18.54

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  • Sunfighter 6.04
  • Blows Against the Empire 6.70

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Product details

  • Audio CD (24 Aug 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: IMPORT
  • ASIN: B002HMHRGE
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,437 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

Product Description

Credited to Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, and David Freiberg, Baron von Tollbooth & The Chrome Nun was the first album made by these erstwhile members of Jefferson Airplane since the breakup of that group. Like such other spin-off projects as Blows Against the Empire and Sunfighter, this one featured a supporting cast of San Francisco Bay Area musicians including present and former members of a variety of groups, such as The Grateful Dead (lead guitarist Jerry Garcia, percussionist Mickey Hart, and lyricist Robert Hunter, who wrote the words to "Harp Tree Lament"), Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (singer David Crosby), and The Flying Burrito Brothers (bassist Chris Ethridge), as well as other former members of The Airplane and future members of Jefferson Starship. The Pointer Sisters even guested on one track. Despite the co-billing, the album's guiding force was Slick, who sang on every track and wrote or co-wrote six of the ten songs, though there was still room for the unbilled Jack Traylor to write, play acoustic guitar, and sing lead vocals on the song "Flowers of the Night," a celebration of monarchial overthrows throughout history. Perhaps more outside songwriting should have been employed, since the compositions here were second-rate. The public was catching on, too: Kantner's Blows Against the Empire had reached the Top 20, but Baron von Tollbooth didn't come near the Top 100. The team would attempt one more splinter project, Slick's "solo" album Manhole, then re-organize as Jefferson Starship in 1974 with the notable return of singer/songwriter Marty Balin.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Paul and Grace, This Is Their Best Ever. 14 Nov 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This album along with "Sunfighter" (1972) represents for me the high point of Paul 'n' Grace's output. The downward move into the shallowness of the ephemeral chart material in the guise of the Starship was a bitter disappointment. Initially released in 1973 on the Grunt label, incidentally the original idea was to call the label Love, Beauty or some such title. As a consequence of the hassles with RCA, the oil shortage, steep hike in prices and other difficulties they settled on Grunt, with the Grunt Man cartoon appearing on the inner sleeve of other lps. "Baron von Tollbooth and the Chrome Nun" allegedly Paul and Grace have their mates from The Grateful Dead Jerry Garcia and Mickey Hart together with David Crosby. The Pointer Sisters are on backing vocals on "Fat" "White Boy" is sci-fi "do you come from the earth, do you come from the sky? it's mystical. Jack Traylor's "Flowers of the night" is terrific, that bass line of Chris Ethridge's just listen to it. Jointly they all produce some stunning songs with Grace's percussive piano and the great vocals and harmonies all add up to a brilliant album without a duff track anywhere. An old fanzine, long since departed, used the title of one of the tracks "Universal Copernican Mumbles" as the title of their editorial page an offspring fanzine called Holding Together is of course a track from "Sunfighter" such is the stature of these albums. It is great to see that both albums are now available on CD. I purchased both vinyl albums way back in 1974!(Yes that long ago) and I still regard them in my personal all time top ten favorite albums. Is it possible to award six stars? Someone once said "Either you own it or you owe to yourself to rectify the situation immediately! All I can say is Buy it Now.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
By Mark Shackelford TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
However much you love the 'Airplane, this beats any of their wonderful albums hands down. Just listen to the incredible harmonies of their voices - Grace SOARING above in the most amazing vocal acrobatics...

Including the RUDEST song ever (Across the Board - "somebody must have measured...") but with the most glorious riff - storming music. And then the finest, extraordinarily beautiful and bewilderingly magnificent "Sketches of China". This is EPIC music, spine-tingling, unbelievably telepathically together.

Coming close is "Sunfighter" - their other solo album - but this one just beats it. I have listened to this music every year since 1973 - and it is still awesome - it still makes me glow - Desert Island, here I come...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The one album above all others in my collection 23 July 2010
Format:Audio CD
Perhaps the most sublime album ever by anyone - Now that's some claim, but I have over 2000 albums. Airplane and Starship albums always seem to have ups and downs but this one goes up and up and soars in new territory where previous attempts only partially succeeded. Ballad of the Chrome Nun starts things off in a breezy light and melodic way and sets us up for what is to come. And there are some absolutely fantastic tracks on a wide range of topics - eerie, haunting strange themes, like White Boy and Your Mind Has Left Your Body; Hymn like songs (Harp Tree Lament and Sketches of China) and perhaps Jack Traylor's finest ever composition, Flowers of the Night.

Even Walking Down the Road to Glory, Fishman and Fat, more lighthearted in their content are still wonderful songs that woiuld stand out on any other album.

And everyone has musicianship of the finest quality - ones you might expect such as Garcia and Traylor and perhaps ones you might not such as the Pointer Sisters - each put in for what they could contribute to each particular track - each with its own arrnagement and with a production that surpasses the best. And all have the Paul Kantner stamp on them.

Truly a "must have" for everyone on the planet! If you have not already got it then - why not???

Bill
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
along with Dragonfly, one of the few great albums to emerge between the Airplane's low points of Bark and Long John Silver, and the descent into permapop that the Starship became. A couple of fflaws apart, this ranges from the political anthem (Flowers of the night) to the spacey (Your Mind has left your body), the sexy (Fishman) to the Jokey (Nobody needs to baptise me...). If ever you liked and Kantner and Slick, try this!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another vote for Kantner & Slick at their best 30 Oct 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Another of my favourites from its initial release back in 1973, this has stood the test of time well. Credited to Kantner, Slick and David Freiberg they are assisted by a stellar cast of other West coast luminaries including David Crosby; Jorma and Jack from the Airplane; Jerry and Mickey from the Dead; Chris Ethridge, ex-Flying Burrito Brother; and even the Pointer Sisters. Basically everyone does what they do best - Grace's and Paul's compositions are exactly what you'd expect from them (veering into the sexual and the pompous respectively) but they are both at the top of their game. That said there are some very pleasant surprises too. 'Walkin'' has a great spring in its step (sorry) and 'Ballad of the Chrome Nun' is an incredibly catchy tune that lyrically manages to take some fierce swipes at religion and authority. There's not a weak track on the album but for me the original side one outshines side two climaxing as it does with the awesome 'Your mind has left your body', certainly a candidate for Kantner's best ever composition, and featuring both Jorma (gtr) and Jerry (pedal steel). The playing, singing and production are first rate throughout. I agree with some other reviewers that 'Sunfighter' is also great but this just has the edge.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great music shame about the mix.
This is an excellent album from some of the JA gang with the title being David Crosbys' nicknames for Paul Kantner and Grace Slick. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Zomby Woof
3.0 out of 5 stars Maybe not one of the greats...
Bought "Blows Against The Empire" and was astonished at the visionary gleam and musical accomplishmnet. Read more
Published on 9 Jun 2011 by Nicholas Jefferies
3.0 out of 5 stars of its time
The other reviewers get the balance slightly wrong on this , in that although good , it is not great . Read more
Published on 26 May 2011 by ben
4.0 out of 5 stars Baron Von Tollbooth and the Chrome Nun
Again, another CD replacement for my now redundant vinyl collection - if you like weird and wonderful with Grace Slick's snarling vocals then you'll love this.
Published on 12 Dec 2010 by Jill
5.0 out of 5 stars An overlooked psychedelic classic.
Although the other reviewers' comments make me think it might no longer be overlooked. I won't reiterate the other reviews. Read more
Published on 15 Nov 2010 by B. Arthur
5.0 out of 5 stars Yeah, like cool
Yeah, man. Like this is where it's at. I mean yeah, this is where it was at but I'm caught in a time warp, man, which is a great place to be.
Published on 12 Sep 2010 by SS
5.0 out of 5 stars the best ever album to come from the airplane /starship family
nothing comes close to this in the grunt catalogue. it is as good if not better than the velvet underground and nico. everyone should here if not own this album. Read more
Published on 21 April 2010 by Jim Mckelvie
5.0 out of 5 stars In honour of Hypergod
I'd never heard of this album until I met Hypergod on the way to the first PPU in Weston-super-Mare last year and even he couldn't remember its name until a few days later. Read more
Published on 9 April 2010 by Greysuit
5.0 out of 5 stars first outings for the core of Jefferson Starship
Wonderful and indispensable. But why is it listed as a David Freiberg album. He's on it and he contributes some good songs, but it's a Grace slick/Paul Kantner album(2 of Jefferson... Read more
Published on 20 May 2007 by Jm Leven
5.0 out of 5 stars baronvontollbooth and the chrome nun
this is pure class.
a pure pleasure from the opening track
to the epic closeing track sketches of china.
go ride the music.
Published on 3 Feb 2004 by jackie blundell
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