One of the oddest best-of albums in rock history, HITS documents, in chronological order, the evolution of Jefferson Airplane, a band that provided the soundtrack for a great deal of the '60s counterculture, into Starship, a band that provided the soundtrack for the Reagan-era Andrew McCarthy movie MANNEQUIN. Which is to say that despite the presence of ice-queen vocalist Grace Slick on just about every song here, there's next to no stylistic connection between the Airplane's acid/folk/rock agit-pop, Jefferson Starship's slick, neo-Fleetwood Mac California-pop-lite, and Starship's even slicker '80s new-wave ear candy. Of course, the fact that the same band (nominally) could be responsible for both "White Rabbit" and "We Built This City" is obviously a metaphor for something; whether it's devolution or progress is a judgment call listeners will have to make for themselves.
When this collection was released some years ago I was rather amused by another reviewer's description of "Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship/Starship Hits" as being rather "bizarre". I must concur that this is an apt description as this is one group that changed personnel and musical directions so frequently that it would make your head spin. But in the final analysis, this outfit left us with a pretty impressive body of work. … more