knee-deep in

Knee Deep in the Hoopla

Knee Deep in the Hoopla is the first release by Starship in 1985, the successor band to Jefferson Airplane and later Jefferson Starship. It went platinum, and is best remembered for spawning the #1 hits "We Built This City" and "Sara", which were also the first such hits from any incarnation of Jefferson Airplane.

"We Built This City" was written by Bernie Taupin, Martin Page, Dennis Lambert, and Peter Wolf, and inspired by Bay Area power rock station KSAN-FM. It was trashed at the time by former Jefferson Starship band member Paul Kantner, and later declared to be the 'worst song of all time' by Blender magazine. VH1 also named it the number one 'Most Awesomely Bad Song' in a Top 50 countdown co-branded with Blender.

"We Built This City" was also released in different versions in different cities around the United States: on the album version of the song, the traffic report is for the San Francisco area; the version that played on the radio in New York, NY, included a traffic report describing conditions on the George Washington Bridge. A further version of the song released to radio stations lacked the spoken section so that the stations could add their own.


Side One

  1. "We Built This City" (Bernie Taupin, Martin Page, Dennis Lambert, Peter Wolf) – 4:53
  2. "Sara" (Ina Wolf, Peter Wolf) – 4:48
  3. "Tomorrow Doesn't Matter Tonight" (Steven Cristol, Robin Randall) – 3:41
  4. "Rock Myself To Sleep" (Kimberley Rew, Vince De la Cruz) – 3:24
  5. "Desperate Heart" (Randy Goodrum, Michael Bolton) – 4:04

Side Two

  1. "Private Room" (Craig Chaquico, Mickey Thomas) – 4:51
  2. "Before I Go" (David Roberts) – 5:11
  3. "Hearts of the World" (Stephen Broughton Lunt, Arthur Stead) – 4:21
  4. "Love Rusts" (Bernie Taupin, Martin Page) – 4:57

CD Remaster Bonus Track

  1. "Casualty" (Peter Wolf, Jeremy Smith) [Remaster Only]

Singles / Music videos

  • "We Built This City" (1985)
  • "Sara" (1986)
  • "Tomorrow Doesn't Matter Tonight" (1986)
  • "Before I Go" (1986) (single only / no music video)


Additional Personnel

Additional Background Vocals on "Tomorrow Doesn't Matter Tonight":

Additional Vocal on "Rock Myself to Sleep":

Additional Background Vocal on "Desperate Heart":

Additional Background Vocals on "Love Rusts":


  • Produced by Peter Wolf & Jeremy Smith
  • Executive Producer: Dennis Lambert
  • Keyboards & Electronics: Peter Wolf
  • Engineered by Jeremy Smith
  • Production Coordinator: Skip Johnson
  • Manager: Bill Thompson
  • Recorded at The Plant Studios, Sausalito, CA; The Music Grinder, Los Angeles, CA
  • Mixed at Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, CA
  • "We Built This City" re-mixed at The Soundcastle, L. A.
  • Mastered at Precision Lacquer, Los Angeles, CA by Stephen Marcussen
  • Arrangements by Peter Wolf
  • Engineered by Jeremy Smith assisted by Paul Ericksen
  • "We Built This City" mixed by Bill Bottrell
  • Additional Engineering: Tom Size
  • Assistant Engineers: Paul Ericksen, Dana Chappelle, David Luke, Maureen Droney
  • Art & Design: Ted Raess / Raess Design
  • Photography: Bill Robbins


Year Chart Position
1986 The Billboard 200 7


Year Single Chart Position
1985 "We Built This City" The Billboard Hot 100 1
1985 "We Built This City" Mainstream Rock Tracks 1
1985 "We Built This City (Remix)" Hot Dance Music / Club Play 37
1986 "Sara" The Billboard Hot 100 1
1986 "Sara" Mainstream Rock Tracks 12
1986 "Sara" Adult Contemporary 1
1986 "Tomorrow Doesn't Matter Tonight" Billboard Hot 100 26
1986 "Tomorrow Doesn't Matter Tonight" Mainstream Rock Tracks 25
1986 "Before I Go" Billboard Hot 100 68

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