Song of the Day #5,194: ‘Somebody to Love’ – The Great Society

Today we have our second example of a band kinda sorta covering itself (The Mamas and the Papas’ ‘California Dreamin’‘ was the first).

In this case, the two songs share lead singer Grace Slick, who took ‘Somebody to Love’ to #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 with Jefferson Airplane in 1967. But before that, she recorded the song with her previous band, The Great Society.

The Great Society featured (among others) Slick’s husband Jerry Slick on drums and her brother-in-law Darby Slick on guitar. Darby wrote ‘Somebody to Love’ and the band released the song as the B-side to their 1966 single ‘Free Advice.’

The band often opened for fellow West Coast rockers Jefferson Airplane and they were starting to gain momentum, eventually getting a contract offer from Columbia Records. But when Jefferson Airplane founding member and lead singer Signe Toly Anderson left the band to spend more time with her husband and newborn child, Grace Slick decided to take her place.

Slick brought ‘Somebody to Love’ with her, along with a track she wrote for The Great Society titled ‘White Rabbit.’ Both songs would become top ten hits on 1967’s Surrealistic Pillow, the first Airplane album featuring Slick as lead singer.

The Great Society didn’t stand much of a chance without Grace Slick, and soon dissolved. So did Grace’s marriage to Jerry Slick.

When the truth is found to be lies
And all the joy within you dies

Don’t you want somebody to love?
Don’t you need somebody to love?
Wouldn’t you love somebody to love?
You better find somebody to love

Tears are running down your dress
And your friends, they treat you like a guest

Don’t you want somebody to love?
Don’t you need somebody to love?
Wouldn’t you love somebody to love?
You better find somebody to love

Don’t you want somebody to love?
Don’t you need somebody to love?
Wouldn’t you love somebody to love?
You better find somebody to love

When the garden flowers are dead
And your mind is full of red

Don’t you want somebody to love?
Don’t you need somebody to love?
Wouldn’t you love somebody to love?
Well, you better find somebody to love

One thought on “Song of the Day #5,194: ‘Somebody to Love’ – The Great Society

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Interesting story, but, again, I’m not sure this is what we think of as a cover song.

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