18 Essential Songs

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18 Essential Songs
18 Essential Songs.jpg
Compilation album by Janis Joplin
Released January 24, 1995
Recorded Various Recording Dates
Genre Rock, blues
Length 69:39
Label Columbia
Producer Jorma Kaukonen, Bob Shad, John Phillip, Lou Adler, Elliot Mazur, Gabriel Mekler, Paul A. Rothchild
Janis Joplin chronology
This is Janis Joplin
18 Essential Songs
Live at Winterland '68

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 gold RIAA certification on April 12, 1999.[citation needed]


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.)".[1]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]

Track listing[edit]

  1. Trouble In Mind (Richard M. Jones) – 2:54
  2. Down On Me (trad., arr. Joplin) – 2:05 (from "Big Brother and the Holding Company")
  3. Bye Bye Baby (Powell Saint John) – 2:38 (from "Big Brother & The Holding Company")
  4. Ball And Chain (Big Mama Thornton) – 8:13 (recorded live 6/17/67 at Monterey Pop Festival)
  5. Piece Of My Heart (Bert Berns, Jerry Ragovoy, Bert Russell) – 4:26
  6. I Need A Man To Love (Joplin, Sam Andrew) – 4:51 (from Cheap Thrills)
  7. Summertime (George & Ira Gershwin, DuBose Heyward) – 4:06 (from "Cheap Thrills")
  8. Try (Just A Little Bit Harder) (Ragovoy, Chip Taylor) – 3:56 (from I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!)
  9. One Good Man (Joplin) – 4:09 (from "I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!")
  10. Kozmic Blues (Joplin, Gabriel Mekler) – 4:22 (from "I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!")
  11. Raise Your Hand (Steve Cropper, Eddie Floyd, Alvertis Isbell) – 2:18
  12. Tell Mama (Clarence Carter, Marcus Daniel, Wilbur Terrell) – 5:47
  13. Move Over (Joplin) – 3:40 (from Pearl)
  14. Mercedes Benz (Joplin, Mike McClure, Bob Neuwirth) – 1:46
  15. Get It While You Can (Ragovoy, Mort Shuman) – 3:23
  16. Half Moon (Johanna Hall, John Hall) – 3:52 (from "Pearl")
  17. Trust Me (Bobby Womack) – 3:15 (from "Pearl")
  18. Me And Bobby McGee-alternate demo; recorded in mono (Kris Kristofferson, Fred Foster) – 3:58 (from "Pearl")


  • Janis Joplin – lead vocal
  • James Gurley, John Till, Jorma Kaukonen, Michael Bloomfield – guitars
  • Sam Andrew – guitars, backing vocals
  • Gabriel Mekler, Richard Kermode – keyboards
  • Ken Pearson – organ
  • Richard Bell – piano
  • Cornelius "Snooky" Flowers – baritone sax
  • Terry Clements – tenor sax
  • Luis Gasca – trumpet
  • Brad Campbell, Peter Albin – bass
  • Clark Pierson, Dave Getz, Lonnie Castille, Maury Baker, Roy Markowitz – drums, percussion
  • Produced By Jorma Kaukonen, Bob Shad, John Phillip, Lou Adler, Elliot Mazur, Gabriel Mekler, Paul A. Rothchild
  • "Tell Mama" remixed by Elliott Mazur


  1. ^ a b Ruhlmann, W. Allmusic Review accessed 2October 27, 2011

External links[edit]

Sales certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[1] Gold 500,000^

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

  1. ^ "American album certifications – Janis Joplin – 18 Essential Songs". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH