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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!
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...
Published on January 14, 2003 by J. Lund

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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars scratchy sound
Although this CD has a lot of great songs on it I found that I am not one of those that enoys listening to that scratchy sound that the recordings of that era had. If you don't mind this, and I know there are plenty of die hards who want to experience the feeling of being brought back to those times, then you will enjoy it.
Published on July 8, 2012 by Jean Giles


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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
This review is from: The Essential Janis Joplin (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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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We Miss This Voice, January 11, 2006
This review is from: The Essential Janis Joplin (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
This review is from: The Essential Janis Joplin (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
This review is from: The Essential Janis Joplin (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 Essential, January 30, 2011
This review is from: The Essential Janis Joplin (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.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SOUL SISTER, August 3, 2013
By 
Jukebox Dave (RECORD TOWN, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Essential Janis Joplin (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.

RATING: FIVE PEARLS
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Janis Joplin CD Review, April 25, 2014
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This review is from: The Essential Janis Joplin (Audio CD)
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. Joplin is a true legend and her music will live forever! I love the instrumental sounds of the guitars playing harmony and melody on "Summertime". I can listen to that again and again. Totally LOVE this CD!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!, September 9, 2008
This review is from: The Essential Janis Joplin (Audio CD)
I am a "new" Janis Joplin fan and have scoured the internet looking for something that would give me samples of all of the types of her music, early, live, unreleased. This is an unbelievable collection and am SO glad that I made this purchase. What an extreme loss for all of us

Gina B
41
Southern California
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential... yes!, July 1, 2004
This review is from: The Essential Janis Joplin (Audio CD)
With a good selection of studio and live tracks, this is THE best introduction into Janis' music. This collection has all of her good songs, but you will need to get something like Cheap Thrills or Pearl to get the full effect.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Blues, great singer, March 26, 2009
This review is from: The Essential Janis Joplin (Audio CD)
Just a great CD. Has a little of evrything you want to hear from the greatest female rock singer.
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The Essential Janis Joplin
The Essential Janis Joplin by Janis Joplin (Audio CD - 2003)
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