Rolling Stone reports that one of the most famous voices in psychedelic rock, Marty Balin of Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship, has died. Balin was 76 years old.
There is no word as of yet as to Balin’s cause of death. Previously, Balin had sued Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital in New York City after he claimed the hospital was responsible for his contracting a variety of maladies, including bed sores, a paralyzed vocal chord, among others.
What is known, and what fans will no doubt mourn is the loss of one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most singular voices.
Balin’s voice could be heard on numerous Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship songs. Among the most popular are “Jane” and “Miracles.”
Balin’s tenor voice sounded tailor-made for rock music. Performing within the various songs’ moods and soundscapes, Balin always sounded at ease. Even on songs with troubled storylines, like “Jane,” Balin’s voice took on the necessary punch to deliver the lines about an unfaithful significant other. His voice blended easily with the seemingly supercharged guitar work that also helped make “Jane” a classic.
From the muscular hard rock of “Jane” to the softer but arguably no less aggrieved sounds of “Miracles,” Balin’s voice was a thing to inspire wonder and imitators. His loss will remind audiences how far contemporary times are removed from the age in which Jefferson Airplane rose to prominence.
Thankfully, through the catalog of Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship, Balin’s voice lives on.