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Live At The Carousel Ballroom 1968
Format: Audio CDChange
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
There is so much that could be said about this album - without any doubt 5 stars for anyone who loves or loved the West Coast music or lovers of Janis. However perhaps I'll let Bear describe the performance in his own words:

"I believe this album will be hailed as the definitive Big Brother live album of all time. If perhaps on some other night they gave a better and more energetic performance, I don't know - I wasn't lucky enough to be present at it. I was at this one, and I thought at the time it was exceptional. The important thing is these tapes survived. This is Janis at her absolute peak, and the band was rarely so "on" as they were at these shows. They were kicking ass and having a hell of a time".

The above is an extract from Bear's short essay in an excellent 28 page booklet that also includes a page comment by Sheilah Stanley and an essay by Bear's son Starfinder Stanley. There's even instructions on positioning your speakers to reproduce as close as possible the sound of the band as you would have experienced them at the Carousel - needless to say it tells you to play it loud!!

For anyone who has not in the past considered Big Brother a fully paid-up member of the SF psychedelic scene, then they should listen to this. Many of the BB favorites are featured with full-on performances!!

I note that Amazon only shows 13 tracks listed (which are from the Sunday June 23 performance), but my copy has a bonus of "Call On Me" taken from the Saturday night.

Well done to Sony for a 100% cardboard and paper packaging, it's a fold-out slip case with the CD one side and booklet the other.

As a final comment, Bear's son states that this is the first posthumous release made at the Carousel - if there's more to come, then I say bring it on!!!!!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 2 May 2015
I was a bit put off by some of the reviews saying the sound quality wasn't good and the song selection poor. However, having got the CD. In my view it is quite brilliant and just as good as live at Winterland for example.

The whole point of the CD is to accurately reflect what it would have been like to have been there at a Big Brother and the Holding Company concert, and this it does fanatically.

The booklet is full of information about sound recording and

A common criticism of the time (1966) was that live albums didn't actually capture what bands sounded like live. Not only is this explained, it is also explained why this album is an exception. Buy it, read the booklet and enjoy the concert, it is the closest your get to a time machine to 1966.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 21 March 2012
Of course, you know what you're going to get before you listen - the spine-tingling thrill that transfers like lightning from Joplin's vocals - but you are still amazed and awed by the energy and joyous commotion of this performance by Janis and her Big Brothers.

This is sublimely raw too at times. Guitars are slightly out of tune here and there; the solos occasionally naive but fuzzed to nirvana by that energy and electrification. The opening four tracks are blisteringly brash, then you come to fifth 'Summertime' where the guitars and Janis' beautifully strained voice simply soar with soul and grace. This is a tight and controlled slice of early excellence. Sixth 'Catch Me Daddy' returns us to a delightfully rougher ride.

So many of her great songs are here, and Sam Andrews provides powerful supporting and accompanying vocals, especially during 'Call On Me' [both offerings] and 'Piece of My Heart'. The whole band gets a sustained SF psychedelic work-out on eleventh track 'Coo Coo'.

'Ball and Chain' is, well, spellbinding. Just imagine having been there in '68 and hearing this [or in the unrecorded `67 Saturday afternoon Monterey set]. Mind altering - no drugs needed. When the James Curley guitar break comes in its empathetic pain is palpable.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 24 March 2012
As always it is nice to have another Janis Joplin/Big Brother live recording (or in this case, it is really a Big Brother with Janis show).

The previous release "Live at Winterland, 1968" has much more going for it than this recording:

- more interesting selection of songs (including an early version of "Piece of my heart")
- easier to listen to mix (rather than the awkward mono/left/right mix of this album
- better booklet that includes a copy of handwritten material by Janis
- a great cover (the new one does not really look like Janis, as good as the art is)

If you are interested in earlier live material (1966/1967) try, the previous release,"Ball and Chain" by Big Brother & The Holding Company. This is a great listen, even if parts of it are not quite as well recorded. It includes "Amazing grace", where Janis and the band deconstruct the song and give us a mix of gospel/punk/psychedelia/rock and roll. There is nothing quite like it on this new release.

I would urge you to consider buying the "Live at Winterland" or "Ball and Chain" first (called "Lost Tapes" in North America)and then PERHAPS the "Carousel" show. The "Carousel" release is certainly not the place to start if you want prime early live Joplin.

A side note, the European release of "Ball and Chain" includes two cd rom videos.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 July 2013
A really excellent piece of Kit ! the summertime version is one of the best she ever did . Worthwhile implementing the sleeve notes to fully appreciate the recording
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 December 2013
Janis's voice is one of my favourite of all in recorded history. She rocks and this album is a good example of her at her energetic and soulful best.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 January 2014
Janis Joplin and Big Brother and The Holding Co at their raw best. The sound quality could be better, but they're still electric!
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