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Rock - Released January 11, 1971 | Columbia - Legacy

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Rock - Released January 11, 1971 | Columbia - Legacy

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Janis Joplin's second masterpiece (after Cheap Thrills), Pearl was designed as a showcase for her powerhouse vocals, stripping down the arrangements that had often previously cluttered her music or threatened to drown her out. Thanks also to a more consistent set of songs, the results are magnificent -- given room to breathe, Joplin's trademark rasp conveys an aching, desperate passion on funked-up, bluesy rockers, ballads both dramatic and tender, and her signature song, the posthumous number one hit "Me and Bobby McGee." The unfinished "Buried Alive in the Blues" features no Joplin vocals -- she was scheduled to record them on the day after she was found dead. Its incompleteness mirrors Joplin's career: Pearl's power leaves the listener to wonder what else Joplin could have accomplished, but few artists could ask for a better final statement. © Steve Huey /TiVo
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Rock - Released September 11, 1969 | Columbia - Legacy

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Rock - Released January 14, 2003 | Columbia - Legacy

Columbia has managed to squeeze an impressive, perhaps excessive, number of compilations out of Janis Joplin's relatively slim body of recordings. With this two-CD set, The Essential Janis Joplin, the label's at it again, though it's a good one to get if you don't want to collect all the Joplin releases, and certainly don't want to get the expensive Joplin boxes, but want more than what fits onto a single disc. Including both solo recordings and highlights of her stint with Big Brother & the Holding Company, it has all the songs fans and critics would consider milestones in her career: "Ball and Chain" (a version recorded live in 1967 at the Monterey Pop Festival, not the more familiar one from Cheap Thrills), "Piece of My Heart," "Down on Me," "Summertime," "Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)," "Tell Mama" (the live 1970 performance from the expanded edition of Pearl), "Get It While You Can," "Mercedes Benz," and "Me and Bobby McGee." And there are also good tracks that aren't as overly familiar, like "Coo Coo," "Misery'n," "Maybe," "Work Me, Lord," and "A Woman Left Lonely." The substitution of the less familiar renditions of "Ball and Chain" and "Tell Mama" might rankle some consumers expecting to hear the more common ones, but that's frankly unlikely. So what does the set offer to those Joplin fans who already have a lot of her material? Well, not much, but in the time-honored manner of attaching bonus tracks to oft-recycled material, this does have a couple of previously unissued live cuts ("Kozmic Blues" and the Bee Gees' "To Love Somebody") from her 1969 set at Woodstock. Those songs are actually reasonably good, but aren't worth buying the whole set for. They would have been a better deal if served out as part of a legit collection of her Woodstock performances, or as a collection of previously unreleased live Joplin performances, if enough high-caliber stuff of the sort was available. © Richie Unterberger /TiVo
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Rock - Released August 23, 1999 | Columbia - Legacy

A limited-edition five-CD box set comprising both albums that Janis Joplin made with Big Brother & the Holding Company (Cheap Thrills and Big Brother & the Holding Company), both of her solo albums (I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama! and Pearl), and a bonus EP with five previously unreleased recordings. Each of these four albums includes previously unreleased bonus tracks (including live material), and each is available separately with the same bonus cuts. The tracks on the bonus EP aren't available anywhere else, and if you're devoted enough to consider laying out for this deluxe box, you're probably most interested in what's on that fifth disc. There are a couple of Cheap Thrills outtakes, "It's a Deal" and "Crazy Once You Know How," with a garagey feel and some typically scorching, uninhibited Big Brother lead guitar; it can be seen why they may not have been deemed strong enough for the album, but they're pretty cool to have. The live versions of "Maybe" (April 1969) and "Raise Your Hand" (October 1969) are OK, but not essential; of greater curiosity is the raw live charge through "Bo Diddley" (also October 1969). In the original long-box shaped release, each of the CDs is packaged in a mini-LP-type jacket, which would be really cool except for the fact that, cheapskates that Sony management is, none has an inner-sleeve, so the CDs tend to roll out of the sleeve once they're unsealed, unless you put them back in the box very carefully; additionally, the producers didn't re-create the gatefold design of Cheap Thrills; there are two subsequent versions of the set, a domestic wide CD-sized box containing full, jewel-cased versions of the five discs, and a Japanese version in mini-LP sleeves (with inner sleeves) and with two accompanying booklets. Note that this box does not include a good deal of material that has shown up on the Janis box, the Janis movie soundtrack, In Concert, and Farewell Song, so it's not a complete collection of Joplin's recordings. © Richie Unterberger & Bruce Eder /TiVo
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Rock - Released June 22, 1973 | Columbia - Legacy

Drawing inspiration from Bessie Smith and Odetta, Janis Joplin developed a brash, uncompromising vocal style quite unlike traditional folk Madonnas. In 1966, Joplin was invited to the Bay Area to front Big Brother & the Holding Company. Cheap Thrills, a joyous celebration of true psychedelic soul, contained two Joplin "standards" in "Piece of My Heart" and "Ball and Chain," but she left the group in November 1968. Electric Flag members Mike Bloomfield, Harvey Brooks, and Nick Gravenites helped assemble a new act, known as the Kozmic Blues Band. I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama! was coolly received, but the set contained several excellent Joplin vocals, notably "Try," "Maybe," and "Little Girl Blue." The singer subsequently dissolved the band and undertook medical advice for drinking and drug abuse. A slimmed-down group, the Full Tilt Boogie Band, was unveiled in May 1970 featuring a tighter, more intimate sound. Sessions for a debut album were all but complete when, on October 4, 1970, Joplin died of a heroin overdose at her Hollywood hotel. The posthumous Pearl proved her most consistent work, with "My Baby," "Cry Baby," and the anthemic "Get It While You Can." The highlight was the chart-topping "Me and Bobby McGee," which allowed Joplin to be both vulnerable and assertive. Joplin knew few boundaries, artistic or personal, and her sadly brief catalog is marked by her bare-nerved honesty. © Rovi Staff /TiVo
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Pop/Rock - Released June 30, 2009 | Columbia - Legacy

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Pop/Rock - Released April 24, 1972 | Columbia

About half of this two-record set features Janis Joplin with Big Brother & the Holding Company in 1968, performing songs like "Down on Me" and "Piece of My Heart." The rest, recorded in 1970, finds her with her backup group, Full Tilt Boogie, mostly performing songs from I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama! Joplin puts herself out on-stage, both in terms of singing until her voice is raw and describing her life to her audiences. Parts of this album are moving, parts are heartbreaking, and the rest is just great rock & roll. © William Ruhlmann /TiVo
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Rock - Released March 22, 2019 | Columbia - Legacy

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Rock - Released February 12, 2016 | Columbia - Legacy

The soundtrack to the movie Janis:Little Blue Girl  has been running in cinemas since the 14th of January, 2016. It consists of 17 songs from the iconic singer who went on to become one of the most tragic figures of the Woodstock generation. Amy Berg's documentary shows us an up close and personal view of the musician, who was full of self-doubt which eventually spawned the self-destructive Actress. We witness a woman who prevailed in an era of music completely dominate by men and today, more than 45 years after her death at just 27, many have forgotten of her untimely depart from this world. The soundtrack to the film includes classics like Cry Baby and Piece Of My Heart and is very much like the soundtrack to her beautiful yet painful life. © MH / Qobuz
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Pop/Rock - Released January 11, 1971 | Columbia - Legacy

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Progressive Rock - Released July 3, 2017 | Groove Dust

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Blues - Released August 1, 2008 | ITM

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Rock - Released October 15, 2020 | Turnstile

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Pop/Rock - Released October 1, 1981 | Columbia

A ragtag collection of odds and ends, live and studio, from both the Big Brother and solo era. The best cuts are on the Janis box in different versions, but serious fans will find some interesting items here, especially the Cheap Thrills-era outtakes and live performances; "Misery 'N," "Farewell Song," and "Catch Me Daddy" were easily good enough to have qualified for inclusion on that album. © Richie Unterberger /TiVo
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Blues - Released March 3, 2021 | G Records

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Rock - Released January 25, 2018 | Resurfaced Records

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Rock - Released October 18, 1974 | Columbia - Legacy

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Jazz - Released November 12, 2019 | Eco Sound