This is an excellent album. Released in 1967, Janis was just 15 when her first record was released. It's brilliantly produced by Shadow Morton - of The Shangri-las fame! - and this is the mono mix, direct from the original Verve label masters.
It kicks off with the US top twenty single 'Society's Child', a story about interracial romance that stirred up a veritable hornet's nest. Radio stations banned it and one, that dared to play it, was burned to the ground! There was a period where Janis even feared for her life - yet still it made the charts. A bit like The Pistols' 'God Save the Queen' furore, only a decade earlier!
There's some raga-fuzz guitar on 'Go Way little Girl', a song that lampoons parental fear-mongering. 'Hair Of Spun Gold' is more conventionally folky, again with controversial subject matter - about teenage pregnancy. 'Pro Girl' has a Bo Diddley beat and examines prostitution (!) whilst 'Younger Generation Blues' has a Dylan feel and was mixed live in the studio complete with sirens, whistles and a kind of party atmosphere. The final song, 'Janey's Blues', has some lovely vibrato guitar and expressive organ that helps it stomp along.
Along with her 1974 album 'Stars' and the later hit single 'At Seventeen', this is easily her best work. From the mid-70's onwards she veered too much toward a sort of easy listening folky jazz that just became plain boring. This is anything but, sounding fresh, alive and urgent. Although it has its roots in folk music there's a good mix of pop, blues, rock and psychedelic sounds throughout. It's an essential purchase if you want the best of Janis Ian.