I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!

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I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!
Studio album by Janis Joplin
Released September 11, 1969
Recorded June 16-26, 1969, Columbia Records Studios, New York City, New York[1]
Genre Blues rock, psychedelic rock
Length 37:31
Label Columbia
Producer Gabriel Mekler
Janis Joplin chronology
Cheap Thrills
(1968)
I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!
(1969)
Pearl
(1971)

I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama! is a 1969 studio album by Janis Joplin. It was the first solo studio album Joplin recorded after leaving her former band, Big Brother and the Holding Company.[2]

Record history[edit]

Recording began on June 16, 1969 in New York City and ceased on June 26. For the album, Joplin recruited guitarist Sam Andrew of the Holding Company to take part in developement, along with the Kozmic Blues band. Joplin installed a brass and horn section into the tracks, a feature her previous band would not allow. It was a total contrast to Joplin's previous psychedelic rock as the compositions chosen were more soul and blues driven.[3] All but two tracks were cover versions that producer Gabriel Mekler and Joplin chose. The other two tracks, "One Good Man" and "Kozmic Blues", were written by Joplin herself. Overall, the album was a more polished work, but with the lack prominent accompanists like the Holding Company, the album was not as successful as Cheap Thrills.[4]

Release[edit]

The LP was released on September 11, 1969 and reached gold record status within two months of its release.[5] It was issued by Columbia under #KCS 9913. The first pressing was titled only on the spine and disc labels. Later, the title of the album was added as a sticker designed by R. Crumb and stuck to the shrink wrap. The album was re-released by Columbia as WKPC 9913 and again as PC 9913 both on vinyl. The re-issued album did not have the same title sticker, instead the re-issues had the title printed on the cover and the Sony's "Nice Price" sticker on the shrink wrap. Some of the newer PC 9913 have a bar code. A 180 Gram Limited Edition classic LP high-definition Virgin Heavy Vinyl pressing was also released in 2010. Technically, this album was reissued on vinyl a total of six times. Many collectors are mistaken in thinking the issue that included the R. Crumb sticker was the original issue; it was not. The hard-to-find original sealed issue is KCS 9913, which had no R. Crumb sticker, and the title was only on the spine of the cover. Columbia Records released as a single Kozmic Blues b/w Little Girl Blue 4-45023. The single peaked at #41 on the US Billboard charts.[4]

I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama! also contains the hits "Try (Just A Little Bit Harder)", "Kozmic Blues" and "To Love Somebody". The CD reissue of the album includes the outtake cover of Bob Dylan's "Dear Landlord", with new lyrics and arrangements provided by Joplin, and versions of "Summertime" and "Piece of My Heart" recorded live at Woodstock as bonus tracks.[6]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars [7]
Robert Christgau A− [8]
Rolling Stone (favorable) [9]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)"   Jerry Ragovoy, Chip Taylor 3:57
2. "Maybe"   Richard Barrett 3:41
3. "One Good Man"   Janis Joplin 4:12
4. "As Good As You've Been to This World"   Nick Gravenites 5:27
5. "To Love Somebody"   Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb 5:14
6. "Kozmic Blues"   Joplin, Gabriel Mekler 4:24
7. "Little Girl Blue"   Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers 3:51
8. "Work Me, Lord"   Nick Gravenites 6:45
CD reissue bonus
No. Title Writer(s) Length
9. "Dear Landlord" (Session outtake) Bob Dylan, Joplin 2:32
10. "Summertime" (Live at Woodstock) George Gershwin 5:04
11. "Piece of My Heart" (Live at Woodstock) Ragovoy, Bert Berns 6:31

Reception[edit]

John Burks of Rolling Stone wrote in a November 1, 1969 interview praising Joplin's vocal performance. However, he notes that her vocals are hindered by her backup band's instrumental role in the album. Overall, Burks was satisfied with Joplin's change in musical direction, but recommends "reaching the point where you are able to shut out the band".[10]

Richie Unterberger,[2] the album was poorly reviewed on its initial release, due in part to its shift towards soul/R&B and away from the hard rock/psychedelic sound that brought her to fame with Big Brother and the Holding Company. Over the decades, Unterberger notes that opinions of the album have warmed somewhat and that taken on its own merits the album has its strengths, but he nonetheless describes it as a "flawed" effort due in part to the backing musicians sounding "a little stiff".

Personnel[edit]

Sales certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
United States (RIAA)[11] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Janis Joplin - I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama". Last.fm. Retrieved March 1, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Unterberger, Richie. "Janis Joplin > Biography" at AllMusic. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
  3. ^ Michael Gallucci. "45 Years Ago: Janis Joplin Releases Her Debut Solo Album". ultimateclassicrock.com. Retrieved March 1, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Billboard Charts - Janis Joplin". billboard.com. Retrieved March 1, 2015. 
  5. ^ "American album certifications – Janis Joplin – I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  6. ^ "Kozmic Blues". janisjoplin.net. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  7. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "Janis Joplin: I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama! > Review" at AllMusic. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
  8. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Janis Joplin". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  9. ^ Burks, John (1 November 1969). "Janis Joplin: I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!". Rolling Stone (Wenner Media). ISSN 0035-791X. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  10. ^ John Burks. "I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!". rollingstone.com. Retrieved March 1, 2015. 
  11. ^ "American album certifications – Janis Joplin – I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH