18 Essential Songs is a collection of songs recorded throughout Janis Joplin's career (in both career and with Big Brother & The Holding Company), released in 1995 on Columbia. It reached goldRIAA certification on April 12, 1999.
The Allmusic review by William Ruhlmann awarded the album 4.5 stars stating "18 Essential Songs is a one-disc distillation of the triple-disc Janis box set. Running 70 minutes, it is a more extensive best-of than the ten-track 1973 Janis Joplin's Greatest Hits album. But it is denied "first pick" status because, unlike that album, it does not contain the hit version of Joplin's only number one single, "Me and Bobby McGee." (It does, however, contain an alternate demo version of that song.)".