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Live At The Carousel Ballroom 1968


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Audio CD, March 13, 2012
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Live At The Carousel Ballroom 1968 + Live at Winterland '68 + Cheap Thrills
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Editorial Reviews

Columbia/Legacy Recordings is proud to announce the release of Live at the Carousel Ballroom 1968, a previously unavailable live concert recording of Big Brother and the Holding Company featuring Janis Joplin, recorded June 23, 1968 by legendary soundman Owsley Stanley, a/k/a "Bear," who supervised the mastering of this release before his fatal car accident on March 12, 2011, in his adopted homeland of Australia. The release of the album marks the one-year anniversary of his passing and is dedicated to Bear.

"Care was taken to preserve and ensure the integrity of the music as well as to present an accurate snapshot of the masterful talent of one of the greatest singers of her generation and one of the hottest live bands in the San Francisco scene," wrote Bear's widow, Sheilah Stanley, in her dedication to Live at the Carousel Ballroom 1968. "This is Bear's vision how he heard the band live, and how he wanted to transmit that to you... this truly is Bear s presentation of this phenomenal band and inspirational music."

1. Combination Of The Two
2. I Need A Man To Love
3. Flower In The Sun
4. Light Is Faster Than Sound
5. Summertime
6. Catch Me Daddy
7. It s A Deal
8. Call On Me
9. Jam I m Mad
10. Piece Of My Heart
11. Coo Coo
12. Ball & Chain
13. Down On Me
14. Call On Me (Saturday Show June 22, 1968)

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 13, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: 2012
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • ASIN: B006T5FDHK
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,776 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

105 of 110 people found the following review helpful By Stuart Jefferson TOP 100 REVIEWER on March 13, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Wow! This is BIG BROTHER AND THE HOLDING COMPANY the way they should be heard. This night was somehow different. One of those times that happens to good bands (and audiences) every so often. This is the stuff of legend. Something special was happening right before your eyes and ears. A couple of songs in and you just knew. Everything came together into one overwhelming sonic experience-one of those special nights when everything was right. The late Chet Helms was right in 1966, adding Joplin into this band that felt they needed a powerful singer. Both Janis Joplin and the band (especially James Gurley's guitar work) are so connected, so in tune with each other and the music, that this particular night stands as one of their best shows-period. The band came to play-no aimless noodling or overwrought vocals, on that summer evening in 1968 (shortly before the band broke apart), at the Carousel Ballroom.

It's interesting to think that around the same time when this concert was recorded, the album "Sex, Dope, and Cheap Thrills" (soon titled just "Cheap Thrills") was being readied (final mixing went 36 hours straight) for release. Like many "live" (or partially live) albums, it was tinkered with. The audience noise on the "live" tracks wasn't authentic-it was people screaming and clapping in the studio. The opening introduction from (the late) Bill Graham was added in the studio. But the album did capture some of the feel (along with the help of R. Crumb's artwork) of the band live-but not like this new album.

Joplin's vocals are transcendent-full of emotion, and sex, and pain. The band is right there with Joplin at every twist and turn. David Getz' (he was also a Fulbright Fellow and art teacher at S.F.
Read more ›
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By GtheK on March 23, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As always it is nice to have another Janis Joplin/Big Brother live recording (or in this case, it is really Big Brother with Janis show). The previous release "Live at Winterland, 1968" has much more going for it than this recording:

- more interesting selection of songs (including an early version of "Piece of my heart")
- easier to listen to mix (rather than the awkward mono/left right mix of this album
- better booklet that includes a copy of handwritten material by Janis
- a great cover (the new one does not really look like Janis, as good as the art is)

If you are interested in earlier live material (1966/1967) try, the previous release,"Lost Tapes by Big Brother & The Holding Company". This is a great listen, even if parts of it are not quite as well recorded. It includes "Amazing grace", where Janis and the band deconstruct the song and give us a mix of gospel/punk/psychedelia/rock and roll. There is nothing quite like it on this new release. I would urge you to consider buying the "Live at Winterland" or "Lost Tapes" first and then PERHAPS the "Carousel" show. The "Carousel" release is certainly not the place to start if you want prime early live Joplin.

A side note, the European release of "Lost Tapes" (called "Ball and Chain" a Charly release) includes two cd rom videos.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Stefan Low on April 19, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've seen people pan this CD for a variety of reasons -- sound quality, spotty performance... I don't get it. It's not a "live album" per se, those are generally touched up in a studio. Read the liner notes: this is an untouched, un-remixed recording exactly as it happened, "warts and all" as Owsley says. Intended originally as a reference for band and soundman, not for release. As such it is an amazing historical document -- follow Bear's instructions on how to listen properly and it is revelatory.
Sure, some vocals stray from the harmonies, but bear in mind this was before the days of stage monitors -- the sound comes off as somewhat primitive because the GEAR was all so primitive! I'd call it primal instead, and on that level -- WOW. Poor playing? I would direct your attention to the chorused "waterfall" guitar in Summertime, really sublime. The band may not be one "for the ages" without Janis, but they were certainly perfect "for the moment" and created something that is still worth hearing -- and celebrating.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Avalon Don on June 1, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Technically not as professional as the half live "Cheap Thrills", bombs away "Winterland" or dynamic "Monterey Pop". What "At The Carousel" has going for it is a concert where I felt like I was standing 20 feet from the stage. Soundman Bear by keeping the imperfections of monitors going off, speakers pounding off the floor and screechy guitars is bring the ultimate ballroom show right back to one's home. Janis and Big Brother And The Holding Company do what they do best - grinding "Freak Out"/Blues Rock. Because of the separation not at all for headset listening. The band is very much ON. Big Brother live always got the most out of Janis because she had to raise the level of her voice to match the power of this group. All the songs are top notch except "Ball And Chain" where I've heard BBHC exceed the version offered here. Still it blows away anything "Full Tilt" ever tried to do on this song. I put "At The Carousel" in the mode of The Doors "Detroit" and Allman Brothers "Ludlow Garage", as in loose, live and legitimate. Another fine release by the Janis Joplin estate who have not abused the the money at all costs angle used by the camps of Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix and the Doors.
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