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The Lost Tapes

Big Brother and The Holding CompanyAudio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 26 Songs, 2011 $15.98  
Audio CD, 2010 $15.42  
Audio CD, 2008 --  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 24, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: 2008
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • ASIN: B00197U0Y4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #376,566 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Bye Bye Baby
2. Great White Guru
3. Women Is Losers
4. Oh My Soul
5. Amazing Grace
6. Caterpillar
7. It's A Deal
8. Hi Heel Sneakers
9. Faster Pussycat Kill Kill
10. Turtle Blues
See all 12 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. (Come On Baby) Let The Good Times Roll
2. I Know You Rider
3. Moanin' At Midnight
4. Hey Baby
5. Down On Me
6. Whisperman
7. Women Is Losers
8. Blow My Mind
9. Oh My Soul
10. Ball & Chain
See all 14 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Big Brother occupies a significant place in the history of San Francisco psychedelic rock, as one of the bands that best captured the era's loosest, reckless, and indulgent qualities in its high-energy mutations of blues and folk-rock. Big Brother are primarily remembered as the group that gave Janis Joplin her start, but that is not the whole story. There are not many Big Brother gigs featuring Janis on tape. The music on Disc 2 has been released in various forms by less than reputable record labels, although it is presented here in its first official release. Disc 1 is the Holy Grail for Big Brother fans. 12 unreleased tracks presented here for the first time, recently discovered by the surviving members of Big Brother. Not only is the sound pristine, the performances show remarkable maturity for a group developing their trademark sound at hyperspeed. Back in 66 right after Janis joined the band, Big Brother & The Holding Company were habitually blowing people's minds; each and every time they performed in front of an audience.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Early Big Brother August 29, 2008
Format:Audio CD
The second disc in this 2-CD set is not very "lost." It originally came out, minus the last track, on a vinyl Rhino LP called Cheaper Thrills. Then the British Edsel label put out a CD version called Live 1966, adding the last track (which is actually from 1967, recorded for the KQED radio station). Then the US Varese Sarabande label reissued it as Live In San Francisco 1966, plus there's some other CD reissue called, once again, Cheaper Thrills. The recording on the Varese Sarabande version (still available) is excellent, and both discs in this set are comparable.

I imagine that there are plenty of reviews available for what appears here as Disc 2, so I'm going to confine myself to reviewing Disc 1. There's no recording date given but it sounds to me like it's from the same period, 1966. Almost all of the material that has studio versions is from the first album, and the band isn't as sharp as they got to be later on, with the great Cheap Thrills album and the Live At Winterland 1968 disc that came out a few years ago. Of the songs that overlap on the two discs there isn't a lot of qualitative difference that I can discern, so what's of primary interest on Disc 1 is the new material, some of it previously unheard in any performance.

The Great White Guru is not so much a song as a repeated riff with Peter Albin telling a story over it, in the shouted southern preachin' style, about LSD. Amazing Grace this time comes in three parts. The first part is vocal harmony, in which Big Brother vies for the Grateful Dead's title for most wretched vocal harmonies ever (on the wonderful Live/Dead).
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lost Tapes/Lost Times February 13, 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I gave this Big Brother/Janis CD 5 stars not because the recordings were flawlessly produced, but because they were not. I gave it the top rating because this is really close to the Big Brother I remember at the shows I saw.

In my humble opinion Janis was at her best with Big Brother; and Big Brother was at their best with Janis. If you like the album 'Cheap Thrills' you will most likely appreciate these pre-Cheap Thrills Big Brother recordings.

I was fortunate enough to hear many of the great rock bands in San Francisco venues back in the late 1960/early 70s. You could dance, you could sit on the floor, get close enough to see the artists as well as hear them.

I put a lot of these tracks on a play list along with others of the era, early Airplane, the Dead, Quicksilver, Hot Tuna. Put that on shuffle and they transport me back to that earlier time....
The San Francisco sound.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Way before Monterey... July 31, 2008
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
...Big Brother and the Holding Company was a band which included a very talented, new female vocalist. This collection of recordings documents that wonderful year before they became Janis Joplin's backup band. Disc two's offerings have been given a sound-enhancing make-over that reveals subtle sonic details which previous releases of this material submerged in distortion. Disc one is, however, the star of the show, as most of this stuff has never before seen the light of day, unless on obscure bootlegs, and some of the songs can be heard nowhere else. The quality of the recording is better that that of disc two, and that matches the improved quality of the muscianship(James and Sam engage in some very interesting extended interplay). They're all a bit sloppy at times, but that was part of the San Francisco charm. Assuming this all came from the same show or series of shows, disc one's program was recorded in January 1967 at the Matrix in SF (8 months after disc two's show). Truncated teaser versions of "Amazing Grace" and "High-Heal Sneakers" appear on the album "Farewell Song"(with recording date noted). Here they are presented in full, complete with Peter Albin's acid-rant sermon, distorted guitar wailing from James and Sam, and melodic/rhythmic bits that would later evolve into their song "Catch Me Daddy". What comes out of both discs is just what BBHC was about as a real band. They were about taking musical chances, pushing their own and each other's envelopes, rocking out, and amusing their audience(at times, Peter Albin comes off as a cross between Dick Cavett and Tom Smothers -- witty, articulate, and strangely goofy). Too bad that so much had to change after Montery Pop..ped the magic bubble that encased this band in harmony. If your are a fan, you need this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A blues band June 19, 2012
By McEldoy
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
A good live album with little to nonexistant breaks between tracks. Not alot of passion to the songs like the Fillmore West album so, somewhat slow.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good buy, good sound quality August 1, 2008
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is a Big Brother album not just Janis with backup. This is a band all working together which shows off Janis' , and everyone else's, power to its best I always felt. The guys sound great. Some of the early hippier songs like Amazing Grace are a real delight.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great music October 24, 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I had forgotton just how great early Big Brother with Janis was. They are some of the most talented and creative musicians out there from the era. The sound recording is excellent too. Again, really great music!
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