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 Big Brother and the Holding Company
Released August 1967[1]
Recorded December 12–14, 1966, Los Angeles
Length 23:09
Label
Producer

Bob Shad

Janis Joplin
Big Brother and the Holding Company chronology
- Big Brother & the Holding Company
(1967)
Cheap Thrills
(1968)

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.[2]

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.[3][4] Initially recordings for the label took place in Chicago in September 1966, but these were not satisfactory, and the band returned to San Francisco.[5] 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.[5] 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.[5]

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.[5] 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.[6]

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 feels the production by Bob Shad is weak, though the material and the performances are respectable.[7]

Track listing[edit]

1967 Mainstream Records release
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Bye, Bye Baby"   Powell St. John 2:29
2. "Easy Rider"   James Gurley 2:24
3. "Intruder"   Janis Joplin 2:27
4. "Light is Faster Than Sound"   Peter Albin 2:27
5. "Call On Me"   Sam Andrew 2:27
6. "Women is Losers"   Joplin 2:00
7. "Blindman"   Albin, Andrew, David Getz, Gurley, Joplin 1:59
8. "Down on Me"   Traditional, arr. Joplin 2:25
9. "Caterpillar"   Albin 2:14
10. "All is Loneliness"   Moondog 2:17

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Janis Joplin". RockHall.com. Janis Joplin Highlights. Retrieved September 10, 2011. 
  2. ^ Ben Graham (26 June 2015). A Gathering of Promises: The Battle for Texas's Psychedelic Music. John Hunt Publishing. p. 107. 
  3. ^ Friedman, Myra (27 Apr 2011). Buried Alive: The Biography of Janis Joplin. Crown/Archetype. p. 79. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ a b c d Chris Salewicz (28 Mar 2013). 27: Janis Joplin. Hachette UK. p. 17. 
  6. ^ "Big Brother & The Holding Company – Big Brother & The Holding Company". discogs.com. 
  7. ^ 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