Writers: Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, Byong You
Producers: Jefferson Starship and Larry Cox
Recorded: Spring and summer 1974 at Wally Heider's in San Francisco, California
Released: Fall 1974
|Players:||Grace Slick — vocals
Paul Kantner — vocals, guitar
Craig Chaquico — guitar
David Freiberg — keyboards, vocals
Pete Sears — bass
John Barbata — drums
|Album:||Dragonfly (Grunt, 1974)|
The Jefferson Airplane was still in existence at the beginning of 1974, though largely inactive, as Grace Slick released her first solo album, Manhole.
Jefferson Starship was the result of a substantial overhaul in which Airplane stalwarts Slick, Paul Kantner, David Freiberg, John Barbata, and violinist Papa John Creach added two new members–19-year-old guitarist Craig Chaquico and bassist Peter Kaukonen, the younger brother of original Airplane guitarist Jorma Kaukonen. Kaukonen eventually quit Starship and was replaced by veteran British session bassist Pete Sears, who had played on Manhole.
The hard rocking “Ride The Tiger” was the lead track from the first Starship album, Dragonfly, and quickly became an audience favorite and standard concert opener for the band.
The song, co-written by Kantner, Slick, and a Chinese friend named Byong Yu, spouts the virtues of Eastern philosophy and outlook, championing it as deeper and more meaningful than Western attitudes.
“Ride The Tiger” was also the Starship's inaugural single, peaking at Number 84 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Fans gave the band a warm welcome, and Dragonfly reached Number 11 on the Billboard 200.
Also appearing for one song (“Caroline”) on Dragonfly was Jefferson Airplane co-founder Marty Balin, who had quit the group in 1971. He subsequently rejoined Jefferson Starship full-time.