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Janis Box set


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Audio CD, Box set, November 23, 1993
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Music

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Photos

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Biography

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

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 23, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00000286P
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,871 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. What Good Can Drinkin' Do
2. Trouble In Mind
3. Hesitation Blues
4. Easy Rider
5. Coo Coo
6. Down On Me
See all 18 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Combination Of The Two
2. Need A Man To Love
3. Piece Of My Heart
4. Turtle Blues
5. Oh, Sweet Mary
6. Catch Me Daddy
See all 17 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Me And Bobby McGee
2. One Night Stand
3. Tell Mama
4. Try (Just A Little Bit Harder)
5. Cry Baby
6. Move Over
See all 14 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

A host of contradictions--the insufficiency of her collaborators, the spectacular potential of her voice, the inconsistency of her efforts--have left Joplin's historical legacy a tangled mess. The new 3 CD box set, Janis, captures that mess in all its glory but does little to untangle it. Typical of compiler Bob Irwin's decisions was his choice to replace the familiar version of George Gershwin's "Summertime" from the "Cheap Thrills" album by a weaker but unreleased alternate take. There are too many examples of strangled singing by Joplin's male partners in Big Brother and not enough examples of her incendiary live performances. The album begins with Joplin's first-ever recording, a vocal-and-autoharp version of "What Good Can Drinkin' Do" taped in a friend's living room in Austin in '62. That's followed by two unreleased blues recorded with guitarist Jorma Kaukonen in a San Francisco living room in '65 and eight songs from the controversial (and hard-to-find) 1966 debut album, "Big Brother & the Holding Company." "Cheap Thrills" is represented by five cuts, four outtakes and one live version; "I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!" is represented by seven cuts, one outtake and two live versions; and "Pearl" by eight cuts and three outtakes. Other rarities include a longer spoken introduction to "Mercedes Benz" and two live performances on "The Ed Sullivan Show."

The 48-page booklet features nude photos of Joplin on the outside and feminist essays about her on the inside. Ellen Willis compares Joplin's self-created image to Madonna's, ignoring the crucial fact that Joplin was a brilliant singer while Madonna is hardly any kind of singer at all. Ann Powers addresses the music itself and correctly points out that Joplin's art was not merely unmediated emotion but a premeditated mix of gambles and craft, of Bessie Smith's open-throated wails and Otis Redding's gruff shouts. She was some kind of singer, and that's what she should be remembered for. --Geoffrey Himes

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Gregor von Kallahann on October 4, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This remarkable collection was released in 1993, a de facto companion release for sister Laura Joplin's biography _Love, Janis_ , with both serving to commemorate Janis' 50th birthday. If you were aware of that fact, at the time, it only served as a reminder of what a presence was lost on October 4, 1970--and what a great great middle-aged broad Janis (to paraphrase Bill Graham, the presumable announcer on _Cheap Thrills_) would likely have been had she lived.
I write this on the 30th anniversary of Janis' death, and can't help wonder how Janis might have been at age 57. It is, of course, impossible to say, but whether you fantasize that she would be as outrageous as ever--still performing and raising hell--or living in virtual retirement (perhaps returning to her first love, painting), she would nonetheless have remained a fascinating figure.
One thing is certain, as this box set attests, she would indeed have continued to grow and develop musically for as long as she chose to record and perform. There is no denying that her voice altered drastically over the course of her brief career, and there is every indication that, by the time of her death, she had lost much of her upper register (compare the studio version of "Try" on disc 2 to the "live" version that appears on disc 3 and you'll notice how she cannot begin to recreate those scalding wails with which she closed out the song only a year before). But Janis was also a resourceful singer, and when her attempt to reach those impossible high notes fails, she takes another tack and begins to vamp over the the band's instrumental finale. It's not as exciting, but it shows that she was thinking, and that she was capable of compensating for any vocal limitations (whether they were temporary or permanent).
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Karen Anderson on July 27, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This box set walks the line between appealing to collectors and to the average listener. The project is basically well-thought out with the exception of a few of the tracks.
First, I definitely love the alternate version of "Cry Baby" released here. You hear Janis cracking up at herself as she misses a high note but never a beat, meanwhile letting it rip with this great studio take. The track includes a hilarious vamp/rap with Janis in fine form lamenting the guy who opts for the road instead of her satin sheets, fur and chicken. She cracks herself up again when she says, "And that should be identity enough for any man." You just gotta love it.
Another superlative moment that cannot be found anywhere else [18 Essentials does not include the studio discussion featured here] is the acoustic demo of "Me and Bobby McGee," featuring a solo Janis accompanying herself on guitar. Again, the track includes an introductory studio discussion with Janis's hilarious comments about her guitar playing and recurring Texas accent. But more importantly, the track reveals how Janis herself mapped out one of the great recordings in rock history. She's the one who kicks it up a notch during the la-la-la portion of the song before exclaiming "that's when somebody else has to take over.." It's vintage Janis and worth the price of the box set to obtain.
Another standout is the very hard-to-find Saturday afternoon performance of "Ball and Chain" at the Monterey Pop Festival. This is the quintessential moment for Janis and Big Brother and the Holding Company, the one that left Mama Cass looking on in awe. The Sunday night version is the one always featured in Janis documentaries in which she performs in her gold lame pantsuit.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 12, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I have owned this collection going on five years and I still love every minute of it. If you like to hear rare speaking clips and great soulful music then this is the one to buy. There is also a nice biograghical booklet included. If you are a Janis Joplin fan and are tired of hearing only "Me and My Bobby McGee" and "Take a Piece of my Heart" then try this 3 disc compilation on for size. My favorite- "Trust Me"
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 15, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I rated this 5 stars because it fits that rating perfectly. It has basically everything from her studio albums, except some missing tracks (BIG BROTHER-"Blindman", "Caterpillar"; CHEAP THRILLS-"Ball and Chain"; KOZMIC BLUES-"Little Girl Blue", "Work Me Lord" the real one; PEARL-"Cry Baby" the real one). Some nice goodies, but seriously, there is so much more out there. I know Laura Joplin must have put herself out for this one, considering it's the largest output we've had from Janis in a while. Rolling Stone said, "It's hard to imagine a better representation of Joplin's career..." Well, for true Joplin fans, it isn't.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 25, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This box-set is brilliant, it captures Janis at all of her finest moments, pre-Big Brother, Montrey, and everything after. Just listening to the CD's in order, and you can hear the development of her voice and character. Shy texas girl, to sadly drugged-up Janis. Any Janis fan should definately invest in this. I wouldn't suggest it for someone who's curious about her music, it's a bit to much at once. Instead I'd suggest getting '18 essential songs'. She is so great you can hear her pain and anguish through every song, she's totally a legend.
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