TITLE: Big Brother and the Holding Company Featuring Janis Joplin
YEAR RELEASED: 1967
CHART ACTION: #60, #28 R&B
SINGLES: Bye Bye Baby (#118), Down on Me (#43), Blindman (#110), Coo Coo (#84)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Doubtful that you have, really.
LINEUP: Janis Joplin, Peter Albin, Sam Andrew, David Getz, James Gurley
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A rushed debut recorded before they (and Janis Joplin) hit it big at Monterrey. Eh.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Say what you want about Janis Joplin (me, I think she’s overrated, but that’s just me again), she deserved better than this band and this album.
There are flashes on goodness here. “Intruder” is first rate, and “Down on Me” would become a staple for her in her career. But the band here falters in both material (the originals, and even Joplin’s originals are meh), and performance (they really should have just picked songs that highlighted Janis). It’s also very skimpy – 23 minutes on first release.
If she didn’t wow the audiences wherever they played live, and then had a cult build around her, this would be a forgotten footnote.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: They recorded two tracks in Chicago, then ten others in three days in LA. It sounds rushed for sure.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Originally 10 tracks on Mainstream – when Columbia picked it up they added two sides of a single and ramped the running time to 28:03! Score!
GRADE C-: For diehards. For the diehards of the diehards.