Search - Big Brother & the Holding Company, Janis Joplin :: Big Brother And The Holding Company

Big Brother And The Holding Company
Big Brother & the Holding Company, Janis Joplin
Big Brother And The Holding Company
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Big Brother & the Holding Company, Janis Joplin
Title: Big Brother And The Holding Company
Members Wishing: 4
Total Copies: 0
Label: Sony
Release Date: 8/31/1999
Album Type: Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Styles: By Decade, 1960s, Blues Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Album-Oriented Rock (AOR)
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 074646642528

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CD Reviews

Raw, explosive - Best of the San Francisco sound
Charles - Music Lover | Phoenix, AZ, USA | 04/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Simply titled Big Brother & The Holding Company (1967), the album is Janis's one attempt to be part of a group ensemble instead of the "star." The performances are proof-positive that Janis never succeeded at blending in - she had too much power. In the opening number, "Bye, Bye Baby," Janis's voice is double-tracked. Thanks to the elegant re-mastering job, the raw beauty of that performance can now be fully appreciated. The group itself produced a fine debut album, but it's doubtful that the album would have been treated to such a lavish re-mastering job without the historical connection that Joplin provided. This is the best of the San Francisco sound: raw, driven rock where the musicians were genuinely talented. Sounds great!!"
Martin L. King | 02/28/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"you know, this was actually pretty good. i listened to it for the first time, and i was surprised at the folky sound of it. i thought that it was gonna be a blues rock romp. i see this as a preamble to CHEAP THRILLS. janis gets her down, but she does not get off on this one like i thought she would. i like the stuff she does not do lead on as well. very interesting formats."
Elements of Greatness
Kenneth M. Ralston | Berkeley, CA | 03/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"For those who do not already know this album, let me first echo a few of the caveats made by some of the other reviewers: 1) This being Big Brother's first album, made before the Monterey Pop Festival and thus before they, and most especially Janis, hit international stardom, it lacks the developed sound and careful production of Cheap Thrills. 2) Janis sings lead not on every song, but on every second track. 3) A number of the tunes must be taken for what they are: goofy, experimental forays by an inspired group of talented hippie-musicians who were still in the process of discovering what it is that they do best and in so doing developing a unique artistic identity. As such, songs like "Light is Faster Than Sound" and "Caterpillar" (one could add to this list "Harry" and "Gutra's Garden," both of similar ilk found not on this album but on Big Brother live collections) would never have made it onto an album with a more commercially-saavy producer, yet they reveal some of the competing--and fun--elements that were in the Big Brother mix from the beginning.

With those caveats in mind, this album is nevertheless a jewel, expecially when one considers how precious little material exists from Janis's greatest period, the mere two-and-a-half years she spent with Big Brother. Janis's voice here is higher, clearer, and more piercing than the raspiness of her Cheap Thrills period; it and the music have not yet found their way to the hugeness of drama, dissonance and pain that mark that second album.

But the voice and the sound on this album have their own special appeal. Songs like "Women is Losers," "Intruder," "Bye, Bye, Baby," "Down on Me" display a startlingly original talent, a voice with a phrasing and tone and force of conviction that leaps out at the listener with an urgency that is unlike any other.

Finally, a note to those who may already own the original vinyl edition of this album and therefore question whether they need another copy: The original issue and many of the subsequent re-issues did not contain the song "The Last Time," which was the B-side of a single. This song, written entirely (music and lyrics) by Janis, is astonishing. For me, hearing it for the first time only a few years ago, it was as though I had traveled back in time or Janis had traveled forward into the present and I was hearing Janis's incendiary being in all its searingly defiant nakedness and immediacy. It's at moments like these that I can't help but recall the words Janis sings in "Flower in the Sun":
"I see you looking up at the sky
(Oh, how high it is) --
You wonder if there is another me --
Oh, how can there be? How can there be?""