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    Review: Big Brother and the Holding Company: Sex, Dope & Cheap Thrills Review (Paste Magazine)

    Review: Big Brother and the Holding Company: Sex, Dope & Cheap Thrills Review (Paste Magazine)

    It’s hard to imagine another sophomore album that not only made a powerful initial impression but at the same time, marked such a stunning farewell. At the time of its release, some 50 years ago, Cheap Thrills proved to be a bombshell and the breakout record for Big Brother’s dynamo of a lead singer, Janis Joplin. Though only seven songs long, it became Joplin’s ultimate tour de force, the standard by which she would be judged for the remainder of her brief career. It was also inevitable that it would also mark her final effort with the group, given the fact that her talent was simply too overwhelming to be contained within the confines of any single ensemble. Nevertheless, the record not only became one of the biggest selling albums of 1968, entrenched at number one for eight consecutive weeks, but a recording destined for immortality when, in 2013, it was enshrined in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress.

    Now reissued as Sex, Dope & Cheap Thrills—the name the band had originally intended but which was ultimately rejected by Columbia, their record label—this sprawling reissue essentially rewrites history courtesy of a two disc set featuring 30 tracks, all but five of which are previously unreleased. That said, the original set list remain intact. They include the trio of standout songs that became the early essence of Joplin’s repertoire: “Summertime,” “Piece of My Heart” and “Ball and Chain.” It’s worth noting that the latter was the only actual concert recording, although it was assumed at the time that the entire album was live to begin with, thanks to Columbia’s insistence on adding crowd noises to enhance the overall ambiance. Here, that version of “Ball and Chain” is omitted in favor of another live performance, one recorded at the Winterland Ballroom the same month as the other.

    Read Lee Zimmerman's full review on PasteMagazine.com

     

    Review: Big Brother & the Holding Company: Sex, Dope & Cheap Thrills (American Songwriter)

    Review: Big Brother & the Holding Company: Sex, Dope & Cheap Thrills (American Songwriter)

     

    Big Brother & the Holding Company
    Sex, Dope & Cheap Thrills
    (Columbia/Legacy)
    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    It’s 50th anniversary time for the album previously known as Cheap Thrills. But this version, like the singer it features, is different than most. 

    Janis Joplin first came to stardom with a fabled performance at June 1967’s Monterey Pop Festival at which point, Big Brother & the Holding Company — the band she fronted — had only delivered a weak debut on the tiny Mainstream label. Clive Davis from Columbia signed them after that explosive gig and off they went to work on their first major label statement. The sessions for that sophomore disc, initially titled Cheap Thrills (shortened from the name of this collection over the objections of the band), were notoriously difficult as the five members, in particular lead singer Joplin, did not connect with producer John Simon. Check out film footage from 1974’s documentary Janis for how difficult and tense that relationship was.

    Read Hal Horowitz's full review here on AmericanSongwriter.com

    Janis Joplin’s Previously Unreleased Live Version Of ‘Ball And Chain’ Is Exquisite Psych-Blues (Uproxx)

    Janis Joplin’s Previously Unreleased Live Version Of ‘Ball And Chain’ Is Exquisite Psych-Blues (Uproxx)

    Any list tabulating the greatest singers of all-time is null and void without the inclusion of Janis Joplin somewhere near the top. The singular power and titanic force she could bring to a song was just as impressive as the exquisite beauty she could render from a single line or lyric with her distinct, raspy tenor. Her early death at the tender age of 27 in 1970, was an incalculable loss.

    2018 marks roughly 50 years since Janis Joplin exploded into the national consciousness with the debut album by the San Francisco band Big Brother And The Holding Company, of which she was the lead singer. Later this month, Sony/Legacy will offer a deluxe edition of that record, filled out with 25, previously unreleased performances by the band titled Sex, Dope & Cheap Thrills. Of the many choice songs that have remained in the vaults for decades is a performance of the song “Ball And Chain” that the band performed at Bill Graham’s venue The Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco on April 12, 1968 that you can listen to for the first time below.

    Read Corbin Reiff's full article on Uproxx.com  

     

    Janis Joplin-led Big Brother & The Holding Company share unreleased outtake “Piece of My Heart (Take 4)” (Consequence of Sound)

    Janis Joplin-led Big Brother & The Holding Company share unreleased outtake “Piece of My Heart (Take 4)” (Consequence of Sound)

    Origins is a new music feature in which an artist reflects on the background of their latest song release.

    On November 30th, Columbia/Legacy will release the restored and retitled version of Big Brother and The Holding Company’s major label debut, Sex, Dope and Cheap Thrills. Called Cheap Thrills upon its initial release in 1968, the album was the major breakthrough for the band and their iconic singer, Janis Joplin.

    Featuring 30 rare performances and 29 outtakes — 25 of which are previously unreleased — the forthcoming reissue celebrates the album’s 50th anniversary and includes liner notes by Jefferson Airplane’s Grace Slick and Big Brother drummer David Getz.

    In anticipation, Consequence of Sound has an exclusive stream of “Piece of My Heart (Take 4)”, which appears on the two-CD version of the album. This early recording of the classic track features a different performance from Janis, unsupported by backing vocals on the memorable chorus. There is one additional voice, however, as someone calls the track what it is right at the end: “Fantastic.”

    Stream the track below and read our exhaustive interview on the reissue with Getz shortly after. Read Ben Kaye's full article on ConsequenceOfSound.com

     

    Big Brother and the Holding Company’s ‘Sex, Dope and Cheap Thrills’ Gets Reissue

    Big Brother and the Holding Company’s ‘Sex, Dope and Cheap Thrills’ Gets Reissue

    Janis Joplin’s final album with band’s 50th anniversary set collects rare performances, outtakes

    Big Brother & the Holding Company‘s Cheap Thrills — Janis Joplin‘s breakout album and her final one with the band — will be reissued on November 30th via Columbia/Legacy Recordings. The 50th anniversary set will be released under its original title, Sex, Dope & Cheap Thrills, which Columbia considered too controversial in 1968.

    The new reissue revisits the 1968 sessions that produced the chart-topping Cheap Thrills and comprises alternate song takes. On the 2-CD edition (a different 2-LP edition will also be available), 25 of the 30 songs have never been previously released.

    Read Althea Legaspi's full article on RollingStone.com