Wow. What a box set! I came to Janis Joplin through a rather circuitous route. I am a fan of Kris Kristofferson, and a friend recommended that I listen to her rendition of `Me and Bobby McGee', one of my favourite tracks of his. I was totally blown away by her stunning performance - such an incredibly powerful voice, almost wild and untamed, that just took the song to a whole new level. Based on this I decided to listen to more of her work, and after a bit of research I decided to go for this box set rather than a simple best of or a particular album.
And am I glad I did! Collected here are all four albums that Joplin released in her all to short life, and an extra disc of unreleased rarities. Each of the albums also contains a wealth of extras such as contemporary singles. As far as I can tell there isn't much of her recorded work left out. There is a big informative booklet with many decent pictures, and the rather eye catching artwork is apparently taken from the picture she had painted on her car. As box sets go I have to say it's very well done, comprehensive, informative and the music presented in a logical fashion.
So much for the quality of the release - what about the music? Well, it's excellent. There is track after track of Joplin's unique blend of Californian hippie rock, blues and country, all delivered with her distinctive style. Her version of Summertime, covered by almost every musician on the planet, is head shoulders above all the rest. Totally unique, so raw and powerful. It's sublime. And there is just track after track of the same. If pressed I would say that `I got dem ol kozmic blues again mama!' is my favourite album, but it's a close run thing, the others are equally as good.
Rarely have I heard such consistent quality across an entire five CDs, it's a testament to Joplin's abilities. And seeing how she progressed through her career it's a tragedy she died so young and we never got to see where she was going next.
A real pearl of a box set, five stars no hesitation. Recommended to anyone with an interest in late sixties rock of the Woodstock variety.
on 11 April 2015
The music is, absolutely, wonderful. Takes me right back. Just as enjoyable now, as it was in the sixties.
The only negative - given, I first listened to Janis in the sixties and given my age now, the print size on the CD sleeves and in the accompanying booklet, could have done with being two or three font sizes larger. Ahem!
on 30 December 2001
..if Janis was alive she would have had bought this box instead of anything else. it's got the most beautiful psychedelic pictures outside on the box and the best song inside of the box. it is limited edition, it is the one cd collection everyone needs to buy. it includes quite a few previously unreleased songs and also some live recordings from woodstock..etc. all the songs that you ever wanted to listen to: from the classics (piece of my heart, summertime..) to the not very well known (little girl blue, call mama..) it is all there in a wonderful box. don't miss it.
on 1 February 2009
I received this on the morning I was about ready to leave for work. I thought OK lets give it a demo run through the rush hour traffic and the heavy rain.
I care fully unwrapped the parcel and was stunned to see the best presentation box I have seen for a long while. The box its self with its sharp burst of colors accustomed to the sixties and seventies pop art instantly drove the rain clouds away.
The first track I had to listen to must be "Mercedes Benz". I popped in the CD with this track on but in order to get there I decided to play all the tracks from the beginning. The first track hit like a freight train and put a smile on my face, The second track lifted me so high with memories that I cursed "why has it took so long to rediscover Janice".
After that the ride to work turned out to be a detour from work to listen to all the tracks. It's the first time I have ever been late for work but what the hell it was well worth it.
Recommend this box collection to any one that needs to relive the good old days. Even my daughter who is 17 remarked on the vocals of Janice as been raunchy, I will take this as a thumbs up that she likes some of dads taste in music. The pearl that just keeps growing. Fantastic..................
on 2 December 2013
I got "Janis Joplin" first because of my curiosity, because there was a great offer price. I still love to ear that sort of box set. So I did decide to buy this and be sure to got all the Janis's performances and I did very well. Nice remastered if you compare the age of this music and the poor quality of recording instruments. I love those years because it was my childhood end and people like Janis, Jimi, Doors, Dead, Airplane & Co. help me to grow up surround the best music ever.