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Requiem for a "Miracles" Man

And through an open window where no curtain hung
I saw you
I saw you
Comin' back to me
--"Comin' Back to Me," Jefferson Airplane (written by Marty Balin)

Marty Balin died on September 27. Balin was co-founder and singer of Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship--for the latter, he wrote and sang lead on their biggest hit, "Miracles" (1975). For the next few years, he crooned on other hits, such as "With Your Love" (1976) and "Count on Me" and "Runaway" (both 1978) before leaving the band. On his own, he scored two hits, "Hearts" and "Atlanta Lady" (both 1981).

By the time I became a fan of Jefferson Starship in 1979, Balin was gone and so was the romantic pop direction he had guided so successfully. I discovered the band after it had transitioned into a hard rock unit with the soaring high tenor of Mickey Thomas at the helm. But I explored Balin's contributions through the band's radio hits and album…

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