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Bring back Big Bro & the Holding Co.
on 25 February 2007
For me Janis's albums (not bootlegs or compliations) split down the middle - those with Big Bro & the Holding Co and those without. Those with are the better, the happier, where she felt part of something. They're guitar based psychedelic rock at its best. They're raw, earthy, exciting, naive and bursting with energy. Cheap Thrills is best (live) and the studio Big Brother & the Holding Company an interesting, quirky innocent debut album.
Those without, Pearl & Kozmic Blues, are the unhappy Janis, full production, no band, orchestrated, brass and keyboard albums. They lack the passion and excitement and raw energy. I still play them often and love them dearly but they're not the best. The spark has gone. That said, Pearl is the better of the two.