Cheap Thrills – Big Brother and the Holding Company (1968)

Album no. 120/1001

It’s 4 blokes and a broad – Big Brother and the Holding Company! That ‘broad’ is the one and only Janis Joplin – so it’s kind of a big deal.

This album was originally going to be called ‘Sex Drugs and Cheap Thrills’, but the stiffs at their record label wouldn’t let them. Buzzkills. They were also going to make the cover of the album a photo of the band naked in a hotel bed – but the band decided they didn’t like it.

Have you listened to this album before?

NK: I have not, but Janis Joplin was the singer and I am EXCITED.

CL: I don’t think I could name a single song by Janis Joplin – isn’t that terrible? Yes. Sorry.

Standout track

NK: Well. ‘Combination Of The Two’ is GREAT. ‘Piece Of My Heart’ is also EXCELLENT. I like ‘Ball And Chain’ a lot as well. The guitar at the start is really abrasive and at odds with Janis’ singing. Get around this mob.

CL: I really like ‘Piece of My Heart’ as well, but that’s probably about it I’m afraid. Her voice is too much for me. Too croaky. It sounds like Marge Simpson grabbed a microphone and got real sad.

NK: I will say not all the songs are amazing. ‘Turtle Blues’ doesn’t do anything for me, and I really didn’t like ‘Oh, Sweet Mary’. Sadly inconsistent. The good tracks are amazing though.

When would be the best time to listen to this?

NK: When you want some psychedelic blues with an unbelievable singer right up in your grill. I really enjoyed this. Recommended.

CL: When you say unbelievable singer is it because it’s unbelievable that a sound like that could come out of a person? Yes, yes I agree with you.

Why has this album been included on the list?

NK: It’s super fun and rowdy. Janis’ voice is amazing and she is in great form here. The band is out of control as well, loads of lightning guitar riffs and blues jamming. I wish the bloke didn’t do any singing, but you can’t have everything.

CL: Although this album sounds like it’s live, it’s not. It’s a trick. I suppose if you’re into people with seriously croaky voices this’ll do you.

Will you be listening again?  

NK: Yes please sign me up for some more of that this thank you very much. There were only  a couple of songs dragging this down and stopping it from being a 5. I’m excited for the next Janis too. Not until number 232 sadly.

CL: Nah. I’m sorry Janis – I just want to offer you a throat lozenge and a hug.

Rating

NK: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

CL: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

Listen to Cheap Thrills on Spotify or buy it in iTunes.

One thought on “Cheap Thrills – Big Brother and the Holding Company (1968)

  1. I’ve got to go with Ned on this…this album was a real surprise packet for me. Janis Joplin I knew but this album really highlights her unique vocals. She absolutely nails every track – Piece of My Heart, Ball and Chain and Turtle Blues – brilliant – she matched with some first rate bluesy guitar work. The album kicks off with the killer opening track Combination of the Two and ends just as well with slow and melancholy Ball and Chain with Joplin at her best.

    Liked by 1 person

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