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The Essential Janis Joplin [Limited Edition, Original recording remastered]

Janis JoplinAudio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

Price: $15.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 30 Songs, 2003 $16.99  
Audio CD, Limited Edition, Original recording remastered, 2003 $15.99  

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

Disc 1:

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Down On Me (Album Version)Big Brother & The Holding Company Feat. Janis Joplin 2:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Coo Coo (Album Version)Big Brother & The Holding Company;Janis Joplin 1:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Women Is Losers (Album Version)Janis Joplin (with Big Brother & The Holding Company) 2:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Bye, Bye Baby (Album Version)Big Brother & The Holding Company;Janis Joplin 2:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Ball and Chain (Live)Janis Joplin 8:02Album Only
listen  6. RoadblockBig Brother & The Holding Company;Janis Joplin 5:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Piece of My HeartBig Brother & The Holding Company Feat. Janis Joplin 4:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Misery'nJanis Joplin 4:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. I Need a Man to LoveBig Brother & The Holding Company 4:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. SummertimeBig Brother & The Holding Company 3:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Flower In The Sun (Live)Janis Joplin 3:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Farewell Song (Live)Big Brother & The Holding Company;Janis Joplin 4:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Raise Your Hand (Live)Janis Joplin 2:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. To Love Somebody (Live at The Woodstock Music & Art Fair, August 16, 1969)Janis Joplin 5:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Kozmic Blues (Live at The Woodstock Music & Art Fair, August 16, 1969)Janis Joplin 5:05$0.99  Buy MP3 

Disc 2:

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Try (Just A Little Bit Harder) (Album Version)Janis Joplin 3:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. MaybeJanis Joplin 3:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. One Good ManJanis Joplin 4:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Little Girl Blue (Album Version)Janis Joplin 3:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Work Me, Lord (Album Version)Janis Joplin 6:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Tell Mama (Live)Janis Joplin 6:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Move Over (Album Version)Janis Joplin 3:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Cry Baby (Album Version)Janis Joplin 3:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. A Woman Left Lonely (Album Version)Janis Joplin 3:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Half Moon (Album Version)Janis Joplin 3:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. My Baby (Album Version)Janis Joplin 3:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Me And Bobby McGee (Album Version)Janis Joplin 4:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Mercedes Benz (Album Version)Janis Joplin 1:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Trust Me (Album Version)Janis Joplin 3:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Get It While You Can (Album Version)Janis Joplin 3:23$0.99  Buy MP3 

Amazon's Janis Joplin Store


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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
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Special Offers and Product Promotions

Frequently Bought Together

The Essential Janis Joplin + Janis Joplin's Greatest Hits + Pearl
Price for all three: $41.24

Buy the selected items together
  • Janis Joplin's Greatest Hits $7.29
  • Pearl $17.96

Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 14, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Limited Edition, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00007MB6Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,678 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

To Love Somebody and Kozmic Blues (both live at Woodstock) join 28 of Janis' most powerful performances: Piece of My Heart; Mercedes Benz; Try (Just a Little Bit Harder); Me and Bobby McGee; Cry Baby; Down on Me; Coo Coo; Summertime; Trust Me; Move Over; Maybe; Roadblock , and more!

Such was the visceral power of Janis Joplin's voice that her enduring legend as '60s rock icon was based on just a pair of solo albums and the two releases with her fronting Big Brother and the Holding Company that she recorded before her death in 1970 of a drug overdose. This 30-track double-disc anthology offers a concise introduction to the incendiary talents of a singer whose tortured blues seemed no mere affectation; being cruelly voted "Ugliest Man on Campus" during her tenure at the University of Texas barely hinted at the depth of Joplin's personal demons. Organized chronologically with its discs split between her band and solo careers, the anthology documents the story of a raw, riveting talent that carried the often slovenly psychedelic blues of Big Brother to stardom via "Down on Me" and "Piece of Heart," stumbled only slightly on her solo debut (I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama), and then reached full, ragged glory on the quintessential Pearl with tracks like her posthumous hit "Me and Bobby McGee" and the playful "Mercedes Benz." The collection also features a pair of previously unreleased live Big Brother tracks ("To Love Somebody," "Kozmic Blues") recorded at Woodstock '69. --Jerry McCulley

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
56 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent overview of Janis on stage and in the studio! January 14, 2003
By J. Lund
Format:Audio CD
With the release of the 2-CD ESSENTIAL, interested listeners can now sample Janis' career in either 1, 2, or 3 disc sets. Although those who just want the major moments may still want to opt for a single package, ESSENTIAL is an excellent choice for those who want a bit more perspective on the entirety of Janis' brief career...I'd recommend this over the 3-disc boxed set to everyone except collectors.
Disc one starts with Janis' breakthrough hit DOWN ON ME, offers a few additional quality tracks from the same sessions (12/66), then gets into three key tracks from the classic 1968 album CHEAP THRILLS. From there disc one takes it to the stage for a selection of live cuts from such major gigs as Monterey, Woodstock, and Winterland. Previously these Sony ESSENTIAL sets tended to avoid concert tracks, but Janis' legendary, energetic live performances were obviously too compelling to ignore.
Except for a live version of `Tell Mama,' disc two focuses on tracks from Janis' last two studio albums: 1969's KOZMIC BLUES (5 tracks) and the posthumously-issued 1971 PEARL (9 tracks--i.e., EVERY vocal track from the original album...and all the original masters, no alternate takes!). MERCEDES BENZ was recorded just three days prior to her passing. At the time of her death, Janis seemed to be in transition, singing with a bit less volume...but no less passion or feeling. One cannot help but wonder where Joplin's obvious desire to create music would have taken her had she lived.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We Miss This Voice January 11, 2006
Format:Audio CD
Aside from the absence of her great little birthday tribute to John Lennon, this is a wonderfully comprehensive collection of Janis Joplin's work, ranging from her days with Big Brother & the Holding Company to her last recordings, and including all her most popular songs. The sound quality is excellent. Many have designated her performance of "Ball and Chain" at Monterey as her defining moment (and it is included here), but her soaring performances of "Work Me Lord," "Little Girl Blue," and "My Baby" may make you question that. All told, a fabulous retrospective on a magnificent voice that was silenced too soon.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great tribute to the goddess of blues November 10, 2005
Format:Audio CD
It would be difficult for me to rate any Janis Joplin CD with anything but 5 stars. I have never heard Janis sing anything that I did not love. I have been a Janis fan for over 40 years and I am happy to see her music still drawing crowds. This CD has many of the not-so-commercially-popular tracts, such as "Half Moon" and "Work Me, Lord" that are as great, if not greater, than her more commercially popular tunes like "Me and Bobby McGee" and "Piece of My Heart". I think anyone who is interested in getting to know Janis better would benefit from this CD.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All you'll ever need........ February 20, 2005
Format:Audio CD
This is the best Joplin CD to get for both novice and true fan. It covers all the bases in a nice chronological order, and gives a great overview of what all the shouting is about. Note to Jerry McCulley: Big Brother was NOT her band at Woodstock! Put down the bong next time you write an intro and do a little fact-checking.........
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SOUL SISTER August 3, 2013
Format:Audio CD
JANIS JOPLIN-THE ESSENTIAL JANIS JOPLIN: As rock and roll's single most original, important and influential female belter, one of a kind caterwauler JANIS JOPLIN balled up raw blues, folk, gospel and psychedelia into a soul-shaking cornucopia that resonated with personal pain and street smart passion. From her legendary CHEAP THRILLS smash PIECE OF MY HEART and an aching rendition of the GERSHWIN standard SUMMERTIME, (with wonderfully ragged backing by BIG BROTHER & THE HOLDING COMPANY) to her posthumous chart-topping triumph ME & BOBBY MCGEE, JOPLIN proved the most riveting and unconventional of stars, pouring every ounce of her being into each greasy groove. Whether tackling a funky original like MERCEDES BENZ or nailing down definitive versions of BIG MAMA THORNTON's BALL & CHAIN and the STAX chestnut RAISE YOUR HAND, the Port Arthur, Texas chanteuse's smoking charisma and raspy no holds barred delivery was a measuring stick for every roots rock performer that followed in her wake. Weighing in with thirty achingly powerful tracks, ESSENTIAL covers the bulk of JANIS' criminally brief time in the spotlight.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential January 30, 2011
Format:Audio CD
'The Essential Janis Joplin' is a pretty good place to start if you want to learn more about this amazing and influential singer. This has an array of tracks spanning her career and shows how she could go from storming raw blues to soulful, almost jazzy vocals without blinking an eye. This has such tracks as 'Me and Bobby McGee', 'Piece of My Heart' and 'Mercedes Benz', but for me this album would be worth buying for 'Little Girl Blue' alone. Never will you hear such emotion and pain in one song, it moves me deeply every time I hear it. Janis has become one of those sixties artists that everyone mentions in the same breath as Hendrix and Morrison and whilst she is as influential and symbolises that era, she was also an outstanding performer in her own right. Joplin is well known for her outlandish lifestyle and extreme living, but in this case let her music do the talking for her and you'll soon get a picture of what a complex and versatile character she actually was. If the music has piqued your interest I recommend 'Scars of Sweet Paradise: The Life and Times Of Janis Joplin' by Alice Echols, which is an in-depth biography of Joplins life and makes for interesting reading.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
it's just great.
Published 2 months ago by Adele Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Janis Joplin
These CD's have all my favorite songs by Janis Joplin. Very pleased with the set. I enjoy listening to it.
Published 4 months ago by Tricia Harvey
5.0 out of 5 stars Where did all the years go since Janis?!?
Truly weird how listening to "The Essential" makes me feel drawn right back to the time we were "free" in so many ways yet locked within ourselves. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Beverly
4.0 out of 5 stars Janis Joplin CD Review
What an amazing singer with a powerhouse voice! I've never heard anyone sing with so much emotion. Her raspy melodic tone will never be replicated. Ms. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Dawn Warren
5.0 out of 5 stars Well named
What can be said about this Jewel that has not already been said? I remember the first time I heard her sing. The radio was playing 'Oh Lord Won't You Buy Me a Mercedes-Benz'. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Patricia Kinner
5.0 out of 5 stars nostalgia
Has all the force and clarity of the wax records I once used in a high school class to talk about passion in music.
Published 8 months ago by Ed Wever
4.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia is sometimes tricky
Still, there's no denying that Janis Joplin had a style all her own. The recordings included in this MP3 album are about what you'd expect, and include the songs that Janis made... Read more
Published 8 months ago by P. Vandenberg
4.0 out of 5 stars Review for Janis Joplin
This 2 disc CD is well worth the price. Classic Joplin! Rock on! I would highly recommend purchasing this CD.
Published 10 months ago by Mary Ann
5.0 out of 5 stars My go=-to singer
If you're a Joplinphile, this is one to have. i keep it in the car and play it whenever I need a quick pick-me-up, or need to take my mind off something unpleasant. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Alice M. Gardner
5.0 out of 5 stars Turned on to Janis
I was a teenager in the short, meteoric "Janis era," but somehow I didn't catch on to much of her music at the time. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Kathyngs
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