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on 7 December 2001
It's true it sounds a little different but that really is only to our modern high frequency, bass reverberating eardrums. Most complaints seem to fall around a "tinny" quality, which I confess doesn't bother me in the slightest - I'm used to hearing many different kinds of music, live and otherwise. It's the "live" element here that makes it a special CD. I've read many descriptions of the electrifying performances of Big Brother and Janis. You probably had to be there really. But this CD is a live performance, from beginning to end. Make no mistake, this what the 1968 San Francisco music scene really sounded like, with all the gaps between songs whilst the band discuss and politely introduce each song, Janis acting as the vocal intro for other acts on that night also. There is also a certain joy here - the band had just come back home after a hard tour and were surrounded by friends. The live versions of the "Cheap Thrills" tracks are interesting, particularly as the "Cheap Thrills" album was supposed to sound like them live. This contains those songs live for real and they sound different to their studio recorded counterparts and much more raw. Acknowledged by the band as possibly the last set of live shows where they were all really happy and gelling as a team. You can't beat the authenticity of listening to this and knowing it's a real concert on 1968 sound equipment. You even pick up the slight echo of Gurley's guitar reverberating around the Winterland hall. Historically, it's fascinating. Musically, Janis is superb and the band are very tight with her. The songs have musical and historical interest. Big Brother's appeal was their live performance hence the emphasis of "Cheap Thrills" to get their live sound. So Big Brother live was v. important at the time. And this is them live. And Janis polite, but in her own fashion, of course !
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on 19 November 2014
The material here was recorded over two sets in April '68. I was fairly disappointed with the seven tracks from the first night; They seem to lack a little energy, the closing song "Farewell Song" is the one track that hasn't appeared on either album and other than that the other songs aren't dramatically different to what was captured on the studio albums. Fortunately the second set saves the album. It has a more promising opening with "Piece of my Heart" followed by two tunes which didn't appear on either studio album and the band all seem to have woken up a bit! Then there's an excellent rendition of "Summertime" before they all really let rip. "Light is Faster than Sound" really captures the spirit of Big Brother and the Holding Company "Cheap Thrills" is the best example of the work of Janis Joplin with the Big Brother Holding Company.
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on 22 June 2001
I'm relatively new to Janis, having been hooked by the recent TV documentary, and this gritty, blood'n'guts live document has been the one that has stayed in my player for the last six weeks.
Tinny? I don't think so. Big Brother sound truly extra-large, the equal of any of their acid rock contemporaries, and Janis is flying, full-on, in heart-rending form.
Superbly recorded, fully the equal of any of the studio albums. Don't miss this one.
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on 26 December 2014
A great album to listen to Janis at the peak of her career,have always been a big fan of her music
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on 27 February 2007
This is a great genuinely live album in a way that Cheap Thrills isn't. I love Thrills but its studio augmented\dubbed\enhanced and misses the true buzz of a real live performance. This album buzzes. The accompanying booklet is a great potted history too - something missing from other Janis albums. There's 14 great buzzing tracks as opposed Thrills 7 (Okay - so two takes of Down on Me). It's raw, exciting, encapsulated in that moment of time and truly off the wall.

There's no delicacy here and sometimes Sam Andrew's vocal gets lost in the mix but never Janis' - hers storms out like a twister in a heatwave. Live versions of "Faster than Sound", "Flower in the Sun", "Magic of Love" & "Easy Rider". Shame there's no "Sweet Mary" or it would have had everything - I can live without "Turtle Blues". So it's rough but not half as rough as many recorded live albums. Someone at the sound desk knew what they were doing and I suspect this was the test run for the soon to follow "Cheap Thrills". If your toying with which Janis to buy and you only want one, this may well meet your needs and certainly gives a great flavour of sixties West Coast psychedelia at its inception.
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on 5 May 2016
A Brilliant album . . . .a must have
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on 4 February 2016
all good, very fast delivery!!!
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on 22 November 2015
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on 28 February 2016
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on 18 January 2001
I'm a massive Jopin fan and this disc really disappointed me. The production makes the band sound flat and tinny and, consequently, gives Joplin's voice little to spar with.
A shame as the playing is good and the songs, of course, are excellent.
But, being a purist, you'll buy it anyway.
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