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Big Brother and the Holding Company

So, if you don't like the way I've broken down this HUGE amount of music this week, sorry, all I can
say is IF YOU CAN DO BETTER direct me to your blog.....I saved all the Big Brother shit for last, mostly because I have a soft spot for their stoned-out stupidity, Janis J stood above them like, hell, like Jenny McCarthy at a Weight Watcher's convention....but I DO love some drugged out-stupidity from time to time, wonderful period pieces and all of that, so let us get started on (FINALLY!) the final chapter of this, yet another saga in my quest to educate and entertain the masses (that would be YOU)....

Big Brother and the Holding Company,  Janis Joplin' s first backing band, in thier first incarnation (1966) were vocalist Joplin, bassist Peter Albin, guitarist/vocalist Sam Andrews, Drummer Dave Getz, and guitarist/ vocalist James Gurley.....OK, frankly, this ("Light Is Faster Than Sound") is a fairly crappy disc, but a significant one as well, as it has the first Joplin take on "Down On Me", also very early, primative versions of "Combination of the Two", "Bye Bye Baby", "Ball and Chain" and more that would become staples.....they basically sound like a bunch of high school kids coming down off an LSD trip, it's sloppy as hell, and, hey, fuck it, I love it.......1967's "Big Brother and the Holding Company Featuring Janis Joplin" contains a lot of overlapped material, but is probably programmed better, and contains some extra singles and stuff at the end.....given the choice, I think you'd prefer this one.

So, up next, every one of course knows "Cheap Thrills"......it's, in it's own way, a "classic", with it's spaced out performances, Robert Crumb classic cover, and amazing versions of "Piece of My Heart", "Ball and Chain", and a stellar "Combination of the Two".......for better or for worse, or both, one of the classic albums of this era, one of the definitive psychedelic albums of the era also. Myself, I still listen to it frequently, which, for me, personally, is saying a good bit.

OK, now for the oddball stuff......Janis does not sing on "How Hard It Is" (1971), which is a really pretty bad album, to be honest.....Big Brother weren't too much without JJ's magic to carry them....Kathi McDonald and Nick  Gravenites  filled the vocal gap here, not all that successfully.....the only real song of note is a lame version of "Buried Alive" which Joplin had done with about 100x more feeling than this one....however, it's kind of a rarity (for a good reason) and likely you have not heard it......well, here's your chance, don't blow it!

On the next (also pretty bad) release "Can't Go Home Again", Kathi McDonald again goes up against
inurmountable odds in attempting to replace a legendary voice....honestly, were i going to rate this album, I'd think one star would be charitable......it sucks frankly, I guess the "Ghost Riders In the Sky" thing is OK, listen once, and you'll at least have lived the experience.......why do I have one? Fuck, I don't know, but since I do, at least YOU won't have to spend a buck or so at the cut-out bin for this one.

"Cheaper Thrills" is a live recording with Janis from 1966, while not spectacular, it is Janis live, and there are some stellar moments here....."Come On Baby let the Good Times Roll", for example, and as usual a stunning, tortured version of "Ball and Chain".....not all that well known, but check it here the price is right at least.......

OK, the LAST THING I have for ya in this mish mash is "Be a Brother".....(1970), another Janis-less effort, it's fairly crappy as well, to be honest, but I always did have a soft spot for the song "Mr. Natural" ("So, I say, my boy, you got to slow down, and have yourself some fun, so I lay around and I smoke a while and I never get NOTHIN done"........), I don't know, just seemed like a perfect slacker/stoner anthem years before it would even be in vogue, see whatcha think........

Big Brother and the Holding Company were, at no time, a great band.......they were VERY fortunate to have a brush with greatness in one Ms. Janis Joplin who, were it not for her, they would literally be unknown today......Joplin's story is a strange and VERY sad one, if you seek out the biography "Buried Alive" you will see what I mean, and you will also see how accurate and spot on the title was.....I enjoyed sorting out all of her work, I'm just goofing around with this non-Janis Big Brother stuff, but it IS part of the story, and, as you know, I do like to tell the whole story, if I can........enjoy these, leave a comment for god's sake, and by the way FUCK YEAH OHIO STATE takes the first round of the NCAA's (to win the chance to be crushed by my son's team, Arizona)......been working hard to bring you guys some good shit, me and the rest of my team, and we have some other good ideas in mind to, but PLEASE help us, with commentary, with requests, and with submissions.......I DON'T want this blog to be like all the others, I want it to be a free form affair, if you submit something that is solid gold, I'll post it, if you present a tape from the band you heard at the bar last night, I'll post it too.....it's about the ROCK N ROLL, please HELP US to keep this thing going!

LIGHT IS FASTER THAN SOUND-01 Call On Me/02 Combination of the Two/03 Blow My Mind/04 Down On Me/05 All is Loneliness/06 Road Block/07 Light Is Faster Than Sound/08 Bye Bye Baby/09 Goin To Brownsville/10 Ball and Chain/11 I Know You Rider

BIG BROTHER AND THE HOLDING COMPANY FEATURING JANIS JOPLIN-01 Bye Bye Baby/02 Easy Rider/03 Intruder/04 Light Is Faster Than Sound/05 Call On Me/06 Women Is Losers/07 Blindman/08 Down On Me/09 Caterpillar/10 All Is Loneliness/11 Coo Coo (single)/12 The last Time (single)/13 Call On Me (Alternate Take)/14 Bye Bye Baby (Alternate Take)

CHEAP THRILLS-01 Combination of the Two/02 I Need a Man To Love/03 Summertime/04 Piece of
My Heart/05 Turtle Blues/06 Oh Sweet Mary/07 Ball and Chain/08 Roadblock (Studio Outtake)/09 Flower In the Sun (Studio Outtake)/10 Catch me Daddy (Live)/11 Magic Of Love (Live)

HOW HARD IT IS-01 How hard It Is/02 You've Been Talkin Bout Me Baby/03 House On Fire/04 Black Widow Spider/05 Last band On Side One/06 Nu Boogaloo Jam/07 Maui/08 Shine On/09 Buried Alive In the Blues/10 Promise Her Anything But Give Her Arpeggio

CAN'T GO HOME AGAIN-01 Don't You Call me Cryin'/02 I Know/03 As the Years Go Passing By/04 Three Times Last Week/05 Heartache/06Tired of It All/07 I Can't Go Home Again/08 Machine Song/09 Havana Ghila/10 Try It/11 Drivin Stupid/12 Ghost Riders In the Sky/13 Ghost Riders in the Sky (Reprise)

CHEAPER THRILLS-01 (Come On Baby) Let the Good Times Roll/02 I Know You Rider/03 Moanin at
Midnight/04 Hey Baby/05 Down On Me/06 Whisperman/07 Women Is Losers/08 Blow My Mind/09 Ball and Chain/10 Coo Coo/11 Gutra's Garden/12 harry

BE A BROTHER-01 Keep On/02 Joseph's Coat/03 Home On the Strange/04 Someday/05 Heartache People/06 Sunshine Baby/07 Mr Natural/08 Funkie Jim/09 I'll Change Your Flat Tire, Merle/10 Be a Brother

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