The Synth-Rock-Pop band was born from the ashes of two significant 1960’s and 1970’s Psychedelic Rock bands
Starship tops the charts worldwide in 1987 with the “Mannequin” theme “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”
By the 1980’s, several once popular artists from the 1960’s had either vanished, died or simply lost their popularity for good. One band in particular, leader of the 1960’s West Coast Psychedelic Rock movement that produced some of the most seminal songs from that period, mutated in such a strong way that progressively transformed in the 1980’s Synth-Rock-Pop band Starship: The Jefferson Airplane. Not all the original Airplane members transformed into Starship members, it was a progressive thing that started after Jefferson Airplane disbanded in the early 1970’s, giving way to Jefferson Starship throughout the rest of the decade, and finally, simply Starship by the 1980’s. The most charismatic member of the band, and perhaps the most instantly recognizable due to her vocals, Grace Slick, did “mutated” into a 1980’s Synth-Rock-Pop singer, far from her “hippie free spirit” days of the Jefferson Airplane she went from 1967 “White Rabbit” to 1987 “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, with some breaks in between and a somehow short solo career. The Starship, as many other 1980’s bands that feature the same musical style, are now regarded poorly, as if as the 1980’s had a drug effect on once popular, talented musicians and singers to adapt into a “modern beat” filled with synthesizers and poor written (or covered) songs, (remember Mick Jagger and David Bowie.) But Starship,like Bowie and Jagger, thanks to Grace Slick’s timeless charisma and voice, were able to pull it for a while, with (for some people) doubtful hits such as “We Built This City”, and in 1987 they scored the biggest hit of their career with “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, featuring a duet between former Psychedelic queen Grace Slick and Mickey Thomas. The power ballad, that was written by Albert Hammond and Diane Warren, was released as a single by the Starship on January 30, 1987 backed with “Layin’ It on the Line”, and recorded to serve as the theme for the romantic comedy movie “Mannequin”. It hit No. 1 in the Billboard Hot 100 on April 4, 1987 and later on May 9, on the UK singles charts as well as several countries around the globe, becoming one of the best selling singles of 1987. “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” also received an Academy Award nomination for “Best Original Song” at the 60th Academy Awards. The now iconic music video based on the movie “Mannequin”, shows Mickey Thomas pursuing a mannequin come to life, played by Grace Slick, wrapped around footage from the film. Perhaps many 10 year old kids during the 1980’s watching that same music video, despite enjoying the song, asked themselves who was that lady (that looked older than most Pop stars at the time) singing and pretending to be a mannequin, and maybe years later, discovering the Jefferson Airplane, found out who she was, in one of modern Rock and Pop music twists ever. Indeed, then at 48, Grace Slick became the oldest female to reach No.1 on the UK singles chart, a “record” later broken by Cher with “Believe” in 1999.
Look back at the 1987 music video “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” by Starship
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