29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Ultimate Collection (Audio CD)
Though one shouldn't buy 'Greatest Hits' or 'Collections', but instead try to hear the songs in their original context, there is enough rare and difficult-to-acquire material on here to justify splashing out. The closer alone, 'Farewell Song', is worth the asking price: a stomping pseudo-ballad which knocks any remaining spots off other female blues singers of the time. There are cuts from all her most important records, 'Pearl', Cheap Thrills' and earlier Big Brother efforts, and much of this material will be familiar to anyone who purchased the remastered, reissued, extended 'Greatest Hits' three years ago. All 12 songs re-appear here in one form or another, with an improved live version of 'Maybe', inferior takes on 'Bye, Bye, Baby' and 'Summertime' and a similarly explosive 'Ball and Chain'. It isn't that the additional rare tracks are perfect- Janis spoils 'Drown In My Tears', where Ray Charles had done it masterfully, and an ill-judged Bee Gees cover ('To Love Somebody') is worth skipping, but more that the wealth of quality is such that this is a record you simply must own. 'One Night Stand' is exceptional, 'Move Over' and 'Kozmic Blues' essential and 'Piece of My Heart' as fresh as it ever was.