6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Still Exciting, and Functions Almost as a Best-Of,
This review is from: Cheap Thrills (Audio CD)
"Cheap Thrills" (Exp) [Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered], is a live recording by Big Brother and the Holding Company, a psychedelic blues rock San Francisco-based band during the late 1960's. The record survives largely because of their great, great chick singer, Janis Joplin. Of course, Joplin fans will know that she did not, unfortunately, survive the 1970's, as she passed on October 4, 1970 (aged 27), in Los Angeles, California. But in her brief career, despite her troubled life, she left behind a stunning, gutsy repertory of work that has long since floated free of, and outlived, Big Brother.
This record, although made rather early in her all-too short career, functions almost as a best-of: it's got a number of her biggest hits on it, including "Combination of the Two," "I Need a Man to Love," "Summertime," "Piece of My Heart," and "Ball and Chain," all delivered thrillingly, and in her trademark growling/shouting style. Weren't very many female blues shouters in her day. It also conveys the excitement of the live performance.
I actually somehow managed to see Joplin live, with "Big Brother," performing this repertory, at a famous venue of the time, Bill Graham's Fillmore East, on New York's Lower East Side, when it really was pretty scrappy. (Graham also owned the even-more famous Fillmore West, located in SF, at the time.) All these years later, I still remember the expectant hush when the house lights went down, the sweet aroma of various illegal substances, and Joplin's electrifying performance. It was quite a night, I can tell you. But don't wish you could have been there yourself that would make you as old as me....