Monday, October 16, 2006

120. Big Brother and The Holding Company- Cheap Thrills (1968)

Track Listing

1. Combination Of The Two
2. I Need A Man To Love
3. Summertime
4. Piece Of My Heart
5. Turtle Blues
6. Oh Sweet Mary
7. Ball And Chain


For those of you not in the know, Big Brother And The Holding Company was Janis Joplin's original band. So, now you know who the fuck these guys are! Of course Janis eclipses everyone in this album, she is really the star, from a time when stars could have been murdered with the ugly stick but still be successful.

I really can't see many people signing Janis today and that is a very, very sad state of affairs. She had talent, she felt her songs deeply and transmited her passion perfectly. Yes, she did sound a bit like Bonnie Tyler and Axel Rose's lovechild, and if you see her perform she even performs a bit like Axel Rose, thing is, she was really talented and it really worked with her.

This is therefore a great album, parts of it are live and others are studio performances, but they are all equally excellent. And if any tracks stand out those are surely Piece Of My Heart and Summertime, probably the best version of the Gershwin standard.

To be honest Janis shouldn't work, she has a gravely voice, as I said, but the feeling and passion is such, just the way she gives herself to her music makes her performances ethereal. Unlike Axel Rose she doesn't scream for the sake of screaming, she is actually transmiting something, and that's what separates the great from the mediocre. Another big plus for this album is the cover artwork by the legendery Robert Crumb, worth getting in vinyl just to have a big Crumb print in your house. Definitely listen to it, either from Napster or Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. Piece Of My Heart
2. Summertime
3. I Need A Man To Love
4. Ball And Chain

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

In 2003, the album was ranked number 338 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. The cover, one of the most memorable in rock history, was drawn by underground cartoonist Robert Crumb. It is number 9 on Rolling Stone's list of 100 greatest album covers.

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