27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Big Brother and Janis was the real deal
, 10 Aug. 2001
This review is from: Cheap Thrills (Audio CD)
This is West Coast psychedelia at its best - and recorded live. Janis belts them out but don't underestimate the power of those twin guitars from Sam Andrew and Jim Gurley. They're transendental at time, climactic at others - hammering away as the perfect foil for those screaming rasping vocals. It's improvised at times but everyone knows where each other is and where they're going. Then it all comes back together behind Dave's drums right on cue and into the next section. The bonus tracks are a bonus too - certainly not just fillers. Okay, so 'Piece of my Heart' and 'Ball and Chain' are the stand out tracks but I love 'Sweet Mary'- partly because Janis doesn't have the feature vocal but mainly for the soaring meandering guitar work and the oh so archetypal sixties hippy sound.
Rest your soul Janis. When I listen to this and the early stuff I gotta believe your happiest years were when you were in a gigging band. The later stuff's good but it's orchestrated and produced and somehow lacking. This is raw, earthy, full of passion, a sense of being and togetherness. Big Brother are still gigging and play an excellent set if you see them on tour. Certainly worth checking out as they're usually at affordable and intimate venues. Seminal stuff.
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