Big Brother & the Holding Company (album)

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Big Brother & the Holding Company
Big Brother & the Holding Company debut.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 23 1967[1]
RecordedDecember 12–14, 1966, Los Angeles
Length23:09
Label
ProducerBob Shad
Janis Joplin
Big Brother and the Holding Company chronology
Big Brother & the Holding Company
(1967)
Cheap Thrills
(1968)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3/5 stars[2]

Big Brother & the Holding Company is the debut album of Big Brother and the Holding Company, with Janis Joplin, their main singer. Recorded during three days in December 1966 for Mainstream Records, it was released in the summer of 1967, shortly after the band's major success at the Monterey Pop Festival. Columbia took over the band's contract and re-released the album, adding two extra tracks, and putting Joplin's name on the cover. Several tracks on the album were released as singles, the most successful being "Down on Me" on its second release, in 1968.[3]

Recording[edit]

The band signed to Bob Shad's local record label Mainstream Records while stranded in Chicago after a promoter ran out of money when their concerts did not attract the expected attendance.[4][5] Initial recordings took place in Chicago in September 1966, but these were not satisfactory, and the band returned to San Francisco.[6] The band recorded the tracks "Blindman" and "All Is Loneliness" in Los Angeles, and these were released by Mainstream as a single, which did not sell well.[6] After playing at a "happening" in Stanford in early December 1966, the band travelled to Los Angeles to record 10 tracks between 12 and 14 December 1966, produced by Bob Shad.[6]

Release[edit]

The album was released by Mainstream Records in August 1967, shortly after the band's major success at the Monterey Pop Festival. Two tracks, "Coo Coo" and "The Last Time", were released separately as a single, while the tracks from the previous single, "Blindman" and "All Is Loneliness", were added to the remaining eight tracks.[6] When Columbia took over the band's contract and re-released the album, they included "Coo Coo" and "The Last Time", and put "featuring Janis Joplin" on the cover. The album has been reissued in various formats a number of times since 1967.[7]

Reception[edit]

The album was a minor success, peaking at number 60 and almost producing a Top 40 hit with the song "Down on Me". In a retrospective review for Allmusic, Joe Viglione -- whose previous reviews have periodically been called into question[citation needed] -- feels the production by Bob Shad is weak, though the material and the performances are respectable.[8]

Track listing[edit]

1967 Mainstream Records release
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Bye, Bye Baby"Powell St. John2:29
2."Easy Rider"James Gurley2:24
3."Intruder"Janis Joplin2:27
4."Light is Faster Than Sound"Peter Albin2:27
5."Call On Me"Sam Andrew2:27
6."Women is Losers"Joplin2:00
7."Blindman"Albin, Andrew, David Getz, Gurley, Joplin2:26
8."Down on Me"Traditional, arr. Joplin2:25
9."Caterpillar"Albin2:14
10."All is Loneliness"Moondog2:17

Personnel[edit]

Big Brother and the Holding Company

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Janis Joplin". RockHall.com. Janis Joplin Highlights. Retrieved September 10, 2011.
  2. ^ Viglione, Joe. "Big Brother & the Holding Company Featuring Janis Joplin - Big Brother & the Holding Company Featuring Janis Joplin". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  3. ^ Ben Graham (26 June 2015). A Gathering of Promises: The Battle for Texas's Psychedelic Music. John Hunt Publishing. p. 107.
  4. ^ Friedman, Myra (27 Apr 2011). Buried Alive: The Biography of Janis Joplin. Crown/Archetype. p. 79.
  5. ^ Moskowitz, David V. (10 Nov 2015). The 100 Greatest Bands of All Time: A Guide to the Legends Who Rocked the World. ABC-CLIO. p. 66.
  6. ^ a b c d Chris Salewicz (28 Mar 2013). 27: Janis Joplin. Hachette UK. p. 17.
  7. ^ "Big Brother & The Holding Company – Big Brother & The Holding Company". discogs.com.
  8. ^ Joe Viglione. "Big Brother & the Holding Company Featuring Janis Joplin". allmusic.com.

Sources

  • Friedman, Myra (27 Apr 2011), Buried Alive: The Biography of Janis Joplin, Crown/Archetype
  • Graham, Ben (26 June 2015), A Gathering of Promises: The Battle for Texas's Psychedelic Music, John Hunt Publishing
  • Moskowitz, David V. (10 Nov 2015), The 100 Greatest Bands of All Time: A Guide to the Legends Who Rocked the World, ABC-CLIO
  • Salewicz, Chris (28 Mar 2013), 27: Janis Joplin, Hachette UK