Prime Music

Buy New

Includes FREE MP3
of this album.
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
Buy Used
Used - Very Good See details
$0.01 + $3.99 shipping
Sold by Round3.

More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

To view this video download Flash Player


18 Essential Songs

Janis JoplinAudio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

Price: $9.78 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
   Provided by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. Terms and Conditions. Does not apply to gift orders.
Only 5 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
Want it tomorrow, Oct. 2? Choose One-Day Shipping at checkout. Details
Complete your purchase to save the MP3 version to your music library.


Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 18 Songs, 1995 $5.99  
Audio CD, 1995 $9.78  
Audio Cassette, 1995 --  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Trouble In Mind (Album Version)Janis Joplin 2:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Down On Me (Album Version)Janis Joplin 2:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Bye, Bye Baby (Album Version)Janis Joplin 2:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Ball And Chain (Live)Janis Joplin (with Big Brother & The Holding Company) 8:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Piece of My HeartBig Brother & The Holding Company 4:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. I Need A Man To Love (Album Version)Janis Joplin 4:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Summertime (from 'Porgy & Bess') (Album Version)Janis Joplin 4:05$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Try (Just A Little Bit Harder) (Album Version)Janis Joplin 3:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. One Good Man (Album Version)Janis Joplin 4:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Kozmic Blues (Album Version)Janis Joplin 4:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Raise Your Hand (Live)Janis Joplin 2:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Tell Mama (Album Version)Janis Joplin 5:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Move Over (Album Version)Janis Joplin 3:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Mercedes Benz (Album Version)Janis Joplin 1:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Get It While You Can (Album Version)Janis Joplin 3:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Half Moon (Album Version)Janis Joplin 3:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. Trust Me (Album Version)Janis Joplin 3:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. Me and Bobby McGeeJanis Joplin 3:57$0.99  Buy MP3 

Amazon's Janis Joplin Store


Image of album by Janis Joplin


Image of Janis Joplin


Born and raised in Port Arthur, Texas, a small Southern petroleum industry town, she gravitated to artistic interests cultivated by parents Seth and Dorothy Joplin. Janis broke with local social traditions during the tense days of racial integration, standing up for the rights of African Americans whose segregated status in her hometown seared her youthful ideals. Along with fellow band ... Read more in Amazon's Janis Joplin Store

Visit Amazon's Janis Joplin Store
for 108 albums, photos, discussions, and more.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Includes FREE MP3 version of this album Here's how (restrictions apply)

Frequently Bought Together

18 Essential Songs + Janis Joplin's Greatest Hits
Price for both: $16.77

Buy the selected items together

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 24, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000002B1A
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,455 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

A slightly flawed collection drawn from the three-CD box set Janis, this still isn't a bad introduction to Haight-Ashbury's favorite blues shrieker. Skimming Cheap Thrills, Kosmic Blues, and Pearl, the disc catches some of Joplin's most stunning moments. In acknowledging the "rarities" aspect of the box, however, Essential occasionally goes wrong; the acoustic demo version of "Me and Bobby McGee" is incredibly touching, but a strange choice if there's room for only one. The must-have version remains the full-blown take heard on Pearl and Janis Joplin's Greatest Hits. That there's enough interest in Janis remaining to justify a set like this one is heartening, though. --Rickey Wright

Product Description

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential but not definitive June 16, 2002
Format:Audio CD
So far, no one has been able to put together the definitive collection of Janis tracks. Which means you need to buy all the CDs, including "Farewell Song" and "Live at Winterland '68" and create your own definitive collection.
This collection misses the mark on several crucial points, but is still better than the Greatest Hits album, mainly because it features the legendary Saturday afternoon recording of Ball and Chain at the Monterey Pop Festival, the moment that launched Janis into super stardom, with Mama Cass watching in awe. (The Greatest Hits album features the inferior Full Tilt version of Ball and Chain. The one we see on film was recorded the second night at Monterey, where Janis is wearing a gold lame pantsuit.)
All of the tracks on 18 Essentials were culled from the 3CD box set, thus some are not definitive, rather alternate. Such is the case with "Summertime." I've always felt that the bootleg live in Amsterdam version is the absolute best on record, but at the very least there are better "Summertime" tracks from the Cheap Thrills recording sessions than this one. I was also dismayed by the omission of "Cry Baby," the second-best charting single from the Pearl album. Granted, the alternate take of "Cry Baby" featured on the boxed set is not the same as on Pearl, but to me it is a great cut none-the-less and should have been included in lieu of "Trust Me," which doesn't showcase Janis at her best.
Also, no where to be found is "Little Girl Blue" from the Kozmic Blues album. This was Janis's favorite of all her recorded tracks, and should have been included because it is, in a word, ESSENTIAL. I personally like the inclusion of the acoustic demo of Bobby McGee in this collection.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best compilation for beginning fans December 1, 1999
Format:Audio CD
While many people found this mediocre because of its exclusion of the original version of "Bobby McGee", they need to understand that this CD was made especially for those who were looking for something else besides that song. For those people who have heard her classic #1 song and wondered what else there is. And there certainly is PLENTY more, as evidenced by the extent of her fabulous work on every album released by her. This goes through every phase of her musical career briefly and to the point (but I do wonder why her best song ever "Little Girl Blue" isn't here?). Yes, it is essentially a sampler from the JANIS 3-CD set, but would you really want to buy an expensive set just to find that you don't like Janis as much as you thought you did? This is a great way out of that predicament and is a LOT better than the supposed GREATEST HITS, despite its re-release with bonus tracks. If you're looking to get into Janis, try this (if you want the full spectrum of her career) or KOZMIC BLUES (to get her best album).
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
When I was first turned on to Janis a few years ago, I bought this CD, not knowing a single one of her songs (call it a deprived childhood). In no time I was one of her most loyal (not to mention youngest) fans. Everything on it is vintage, though surely it was tough to exclude much of the material from the boxed set. This CD truly lets you hear Janis evolve through her short, brilliant career, from her pre-Big Brother blues days, to the raw power of Cheap Thriils, to her legendary live performances and the more nuanced final recordings. The acoustic demo of "Me and Bobby McGee" gives me goose bumps to this day. Even now that I've collected almost all of her discography, this is still the album I recommend to people looking to start their Joplin collection.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a good choice for ANY Janis listener June 17, 2006
Format:Audio CD
The one-star rating is not a commentary on Janis Joplin's music. It is a commentary on the record label's curious selection of tracks for this album, and the questionable decision to call this eclectic collection of songs "essential". This album is NOT essential, neither for the casual listener who just wants a good selection of songs from Janis' primary albums, nor for the dedicated fan who wants previously unissued material to supplement other Janis CDs.

The tracks on this CD are a mixture of previously unissued material and of the formal studio recordings (or sometimes the live performances) that appear on her previous primary CDs. A classic example of the former: the version here of "Me and Bobby McGee" -- her one number one hit -- is not the traditional version that appears on her "Pearl" album, but rather, is a previously unissued solo demo prepared for the album's producer.

So if you just want a 'traditional' overview of Janis Joplin's music, the "Greatest Hits" album is probably your best bet. If you're a dedicated fan -- who WANTS the solo demo of "Bobby McGee" or the track of "Trouble in Mind" recorded in an apartment with a typewriter clacking in the background -- you might look at the 3-disc 49-track "Janis" album from which the tracks on the current CD were culled. Alternatively, if you just want to supplement an already largely complete collection with the previously unissued tracks, they're all available for download.

But it's hard for me to imagine WHO the audience would be for the curious collection of tracks on the "18 Essential Songs" album.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A flower child from the 60's says...
I love Janis, so this review is prejudiced. But she is the Queen and will always be the Queen!
A great CD! Miss you Janis !
Published 6 days ago by Jennifer Rowland
5.0 out of 5 stars Hey! It's Janis!
Hey! It's Janis! She rocks!
Published 26 days ago by Raymond
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by Peter L. Greenawalt
5.0 out of 5 stars janis jopplin rocks!
for some reason im atrracted to the 60's music. janis , hendrix, anyone from woodstock, none of this modern crap!!! lol.
Published 3 months ago by MountainMike
5.0 out of 5 stars Janis Joplin
I LOVE this CD!!! So many amazing songs and wonderful memories! For any Janis fan this is a "have-to-have" CD.
Published 5 months ago by priscilla eastty
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor, to top it!
As an introduction, am into 60s rock across genres - whether rock, psychedelia, the blues, jazz, or otherwise. Had heard Joplin off and on, and at a lot of parties. Read more
Published 14 months ago by G. Narula
5.0 out of 5 stars Me & Bobby McGee worth the price
After listening to the acoustic version of Me & Bobby McGee on this disc, I can hardly stand to listen to the one that was a hit; it just feels syrupy and over-produced. Read more
Published 16 months ago by M. Zimmer
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 essential songs
The best of Janis - the music showcases her amazing talent as well as her rawness in singing the blues -
Published 21 months ago by Rhonda Weaver
5.0 out of 5 stars PERFECT.
This is exactly what I was looking for. It's got all of the best songs. It was packaged like a new CD, too.
Published 21 months ago by Kymberlee
5.0 out of 5 stars Was exactly what I was looking for!
Had the same CD for 20 years and lost it (probably left it in the CD player of a car I sold)...but I had to replace it. Nothing like Janis Joplin!
Published on September 27, 2010 by Janis Suchyta
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Look for Similar Items by Category