I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!

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I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 11, 1969
RecordedJune 16–26, 1969
StudioColumbia Records Studios, New York City, New York
ProducerGabriel Mekler
Janis Joplin chronology
Cheap Thrills
I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!

I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama! is the debut solo and third studio album overall by American singer-songwriter Janis Joplin, released on September 11, 1969. It was the first album which Joplin recorded after leaving her former band, Big Brother and the Holding Company,[2] and the only solo album released during her lifetime.

Record history[edit]

Recording began on June 16, 1969, in New York City and ceased on June 26.[citation needed] For the album, Joplin recruited guitarist Sam Andrew of the Holding Company to take part in development, 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 was not as successful as Cheap Thrills.[4]


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 Robert 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 1999 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
Robert ChristgauA−[8]
Rolling Stone(favorable)[9]

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]

According to 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".

Track listing[edit]

1."Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)"Jerry Ragovoy, Chip Taylor3:57
2."Maybe" (The Chantels cover)Richard Barrett3:41
3."One Good Man"Janis Joplin4:12
4."As Good as You've Been to This World"Nick Gravenites5:27
5."To Love Somebody"Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb5:14
6."Kozmic Blues"Joplin, Gabriel Mekler4:24
7."Little Girl Blue"Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers3:51
8."Work Me, Lord"Nick Gravenites6:45
1999 CD reissue bonus tracks
9."Dear Landlord" (Session Outtake June 17, 1969)Bob Dylan, Joplin2:32
10."Summertime" (Live at Woodstock, August 1969)George Gershwin5:04
11."Piece of My Heart" (Live at Woodstock, August 1969)Ragovoy, Bert Berns6:31


  • Alex Kazanegras, Jerry Hochman, Sy Mitchell - engineer
  • Robert Crumb - artwork, cover lettering
  • Bruce Steinberg - cover photograph

Sales and certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[11] Platinum 1,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ Selvin, Joel; Orski, Allan (1998). "Janis Joplin/Big Brother & the Holding Company". In Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds.). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Detroit: Visible Ink Press. pp. 615–616.
  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.
  6. ^ "Kozmic Blues". janisjoplin.net. Archived from the original on 1 September 2018. 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. ^ Leimbacher, Ed; Burks, John (1 November 1969). "Janis Joplin: I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!". Rolling Stone (45). San Francisco: Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc.: 40. Archived from the original on 16 June 2012. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  10. ^ Burks, John (November 1, 1969). "I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on June 16, 2012. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  11. ^ "American album certifications – Janis Joplin – I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!". Recording Industry Association of America.