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I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!

4.6 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews

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MP3 Music, August 31, 1999
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Audio CD, February 5, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Her 1969 solo record, garnished with a session outtake of Dear Landlord and unreleased live versions of Summertime and Piece of My Heart from Woodstock.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)
  2. Maybe
  3. One Good Man
  4. As Good As You've Been to This World
  5. To Love Somebody
  6. Kozmic Blues
  7. Little Girl Blue
  8. Work Me, Lord
  9. Dear Landlord
  10. Summertime
  11. Piece of My Heart


Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 5, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: February 5, 2008
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: SBME SPECIAL MKTS.
  • Run Time: 50 minutes
  • ASIN: B0012GMW5M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,192 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Myra Friedman (who also was Janis' first biographer) writes above that "Big Brother loyalists were determined to hate" Janis' second band. Even critics who found Big Brother sloppy and amateurish were dismissive of the Kozmic Blues Band. That may have had as much to do with the way it all happened (rather suddenly and right on the heels of the major success of CHEAP THRILLS) than with the fact that it did happen. Janis tried to explain that she "loved those guys" but that they were stagnating artistically. That may well have been true, but it was hard to sell the public or the emerging rock-crit establishment on that point so soon after a major hit album.
And, of course, it seemed like a violation of the hippie ethos. Forget the fact, that virtually all bands of that era had internal strife and endured nasty break-ups that would probably have made Janis' departure from the group that brought her into the public eye seem like small and underdone potatoes. It was viewed by many as an unforgiveable offense--worse than Dylan going electric.
All that seems very far away now (as indeed, it is) and Janis' recorded legacy is so slight that many who resisted this release at first have come to accept it as a valid stage in Janis' musical evolution. More importantly, it happens to be pretty darn good on its own terms.
Friedman's comments above that the band never quite jelled is probably a fair criticism, but they certainly had their moments. And the idea of Janis' working with a horn section always had real appeal, even if the ideal was never quite realized. When people complain about the horns proving to be musical "sludge," I think they're primarily talking about the intro to the track "As Good as You've Been to this World," which is just a bit too long and gets a little draggy.
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Format: Audio CD
Back in the year, Janis Joplin's departure from Big Brother and the Holding Company for this aggregation and album to launch a solo career got mixed reviews at best---either people thought she wasn't a rock singer anymore; or, they thought she hadn't paid enough dues to qualify as the soul singer this album presented her to be. There were those critics who thought she should have dumped this band and returned (as would guitarist Sam Andrew, who came with her in the first place) to Big Brother---whose sloppy psychedelic blues flash got sloppy enough to prod her to leave in the first place when it looked like she was going to have a career no matter with or without them. It couldn't have been easy for even so stubborn yet sensitive an individualist as Joplin to record or break in a new band under that kind of pressurised oversight.

The only problem with this album, really, was a) the aggregation, a great idea on paper and full of outstanding musicians, didn't have all that much time to jell; and, b) the Bee Gees may have written "To Love Somebody" for Otis Redding, whose brand of soul was one of this band's most obvious influences, but Joplin and company took it too far over the top to deliver it as the soul ballad it was intended to be. The obvious highlights are "Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)," an R and B chestnut given a sharp band performance and a classic Joplin reading; "Little Girl Blue," in which Joplin proves her deconstruction of "Summertime" was no fluke when it came to reimagining Gershwin; and, "One Good Man," an original Joplin blues that puts her back into her truest element with sensitive band support and an appropriately crying guitar break from guest Mike Bloomfield (who'd helped her put the band together in the first place).
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2 Comments 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A Customer on December 26, 1998
Format: Audio CD
Janis Joplin's farewell album PEARL was a pretty good album, but the music didn't vary and a lot of the songs sounded the same. Here, there is blues, soul, rock, pop, and jazz, plus some old-fashioned 50's R&B. "Try" is rockin', "Maybe" is smooth and classy, "One Good Man" is Janis' best blues number, "As Good..." isn't bad, more of a spotlight on the band. "To Love Somebody" beats Bee Gees into the dirt, "Kozmic Blues" is heartfelt and soulful, "Little Girl Blue" is tearjerking, and "Work Me Lord" is a great spectacle for both Joplin and Sam Andrew, guitarist. Do not pass this album up, there is something for everyone, the horn section is an excellent addition, and it certainly remains my favorite solo Joplin studio sessions. :-)
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Format: Audio CD
What a kickin album this is, when we heard Janis had gotten a horn section for her new band back in the day we did not imagine just how powerful they would be. Her friend Lydia Pense had done this for sometime with ColdBlood and Janis always wanted to use horns Lydia says. Of course there was the always present Sam Andew on guitar who had been with her for sometime now, but the new players were an awesome choice. Richard Kermode on keys and trumpet player Luis Gasca from "Malo", also from Buddy Miles fame was Baritone Sax player Cornelius'Snooky' Flowers and tenor sax Terry Clements. This band was so tight she took them with her to Woodstock which you can see on the new version movie, this is a great Cd and Janis really gets off on all tunes here. Three bonus tracks and two of them being from Woodstock so you really get all you need in this cd and besides if your just a straight out janis fan you'll get it just for that reason!
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