Piece of My Heart

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"Piece of My Heart"
Erma Franklin cover.jpg
Single by Erma Franklin
B-side"Baby, What You Want Me to Do"
ReleasedOctober 1967
RecordedAugust 1967
GenreSoul
Length2:35
LabelShout
Songwriter(s)Jerry Ragovoy, Bert Berns
Erma Franklin singles chronology
"Big Boss Man"
(1967)
"Piece of My Heart"
(1967)
"Open up Your Soul"
(1967)

"Piece of My Heart" is a romantic funk/soul love song written by Jerry Ragovoy and Bert Berns, originally recorded by Erma Franklin in 1967.

The song came to greater mainstream attention when Big Brother and the Holding Company (featuring Janis Joplin on lead vocals) covered the song in 1968 and had a much bigger hit with it. The song has since been remade by several singers, including Dusty Springfield also in 1968, Faith Hill in 1994 and duet version by Melissa Etheridge and Joss Stone in 2005.

In 2004, the Big Brother and the Holding Company version was ranked No. 353 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The song is also included among The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.

Erma Franklin's original recording[edit]

The original version of "Piece of My Heart" was recorded by Aretha Franklin's older sister Erma in 1967 for producer Bert Berns' Shout label with the same song on both sides of the 7-inch vinyl single.[1] Bert Berns wanted Van Morrison, whom he was producing at the time, to record the song, but Morrison declined, wanting to do his own material instead.

The song reached number 10 on the Billboard Hot Rhythm & Blues Singles chart in the United States and also peaked at number sixty-two on the Billboard Pop Singles chart. In Canada, it reached number three on the CKFH Soul Survey. In the United Kingdom and several other European countries, the single was re-released in 1992 due to being featured in a successful Levi's jeans commercial ("Cinderella" AKA "Night and Day" directed by Tarsem Singh). The reissue peaked at number five in Denmark, number nine in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, and number 10 in Ireland.

Cash Box said that it "starts with less volume than might be expected, which only emphasizes the build that follows."[2]

Charts[edit]

Big Brother and the Holding Company version[edit]

"Piece of My Heart"
Janis Joplin cover.jpg
Cover of the 1968 Dutch single
Single by Big Brother and the Holding Company
from the album Cheap Thrills
B-side"Turtle Blues"
ReleasedAugust 1968 (1968-08)
RecordedMarch 2 – May 20, 1968
Genre
Length4:15
LabelColumbia
Songwriter(s)
  • Jerry Ragovoy
  • Bert Berns
Producer(s)John Simon

The song became a bigger pop hit when recorded by Big Brother and the Holding Company in 1968 with lead singer Janis Joplin.[18][19] The song was taken from the group's album Cheap Thrills, recorded in 1968 and released on Columbia Records. This four-minute, 15-second rendition made it to number 12 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. Billboard called it "dynamite," stating that "this raucous dance treatment will rock up the Hot 100."[20] Cash Box said that it is an "explosive performance" with a "power-packed Janis Joplin vocal" and also praised the backing band.[21] The album release was the culmination of a hugely successful year for Joplin with acclaimed performances at the Monterey Pop Festival, Anderson Theater in New York, Wake For Martin Luther King Jr. (with Jimi Hendrix) in New York and on TV's prime-time The Dick Cavett Show.

The song's instrumentation was arranged by Sam Andrew, who also performed three distorted, loud guitar solos giving the song a psychedelic touch. The B-side was "Summertime". Another version had the B-side "Turtle Blues".

Franklin said in an interview that when she first heard Joplin's version on the radio, she did not recognize it because of the vocal arrangement.[22] Noted cultural writer Ellen Willis wrote of the difference: "When Franklin sings it, it is a challenge: no matter what you do to me, I will not let you destroy my ability to be human, to love. Joplin seems rather to be saying, surely if I keep taking this, if I keep setting an example of love and forgiveness, surely he has to understand, change, give me back what I have given". In such a way, Joplin used blues conventions not to transcend pain, but "to scream it out of existence".[23]

Until her death in 1970, "Piece of My Heart" was Joplin's biggest chart success and best-known song. ("Me and Bobby McGee”, which Kris Kristofferson wrote, eclipsed "Piece of My Heart" when it appeared after her death in 1970. It went to number one in 1971). "Piece of My Heart" remains most associated with Joplin and continued to get airplay long after her death. Berns never got to hear Joplin's version, dying of a heart attack on December 30, 1967.[24]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Italy (FIMI)[25] Gold 25,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[26] Platinum 1,000,000double-dagger

double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Faith Hill version[edit]

"Piece of My Heart"
Faith Hill cover.jpg
Single by Faith Hill
from the album Take Me as I Am
B-side"I Would Be Stronger Than That"
ReleasedJanuary 13, 1994[27]
Recorded1993
GenreCountry
Length4:01
LabelWarner Bros. Nashville
Songwriter(s)Jerry Ragovoy, Bert Berns
Producer(s)Scott Hendricks
Faith Hill singles chronology
"Wild One"
(1993)
"Piece of My Heart"
(1994)
"But I Will"
(1994)

American country artist Faith Hill included the song on her debut album, Take Me as I Am (1993); her version reached No. 1 on the country charts in 1994. Hill's version took on a more passive tone coupled with traditional country instrumentation. Prior to recording the track, Hill had no knowledge of the song, especially Joplin's rendition. As a direct result, Hill's producers refused to allow her to listen to the Joplin version until she had completed her own recording.[citation needed]

Hill re-recorded the track for the soundtrack to the television series King of the Hill, released in 1999. This edgier version can also be found on the 1998 international pressing of her third album, Faith (re-titled "Love Will Always Win" outside the U.S.) and 2001 international greatest hits album There You'll Be. Her original version was included in her 2007 compilation album The Hits.

Critical reception[edit]

Cyndi Hoelzle and Lisa Smith from the Gavin Report wrote, "How long did it take you to recognize this song? Faith takes Janis Joplin's classic (actually a 1968 hit for her band Big Brother and The Holding Company) and transforms it into a driving Country lament."[28]

Charts[edit]

Shaggy version[edit]

"Piece of My Heart"
Pieceofmyheartshaggy.jpg
Single by Shaggy featuring Marsha Morrison
from the album Midnite Lover
Released1997
Recorded1996
GenreReggae
Length4:17
LabelVirgin
Songwriter(s)Jerry Ragovoy, Bert Berns, O. Burrell
Producer(s)O. Burrell
Shaggy featuring Marsha Morrison singles chronology
"Why You Treat Me So Bad"
(1995)
"Piece of My Heart"
(1997)
"Luv Me, Luv Me"
(1998)

Jamaican-American reggae artist Shaggy covered the song on his self-produced and fourth album, Midnite Lover (1997). The single featuring Marsha was a top 10 hit in New Zealand and the United Kingdom, peaking at number six and seven, respectively.[34]

Critical reception[edit]

British magazine Music Week rated this version three out of five, adding, "Shaggy's fast-paced vocals get somewhat overshadowed by the smooth, silky presence of Marsha on this unadventurous remake of the Erma Franklin hit."[35]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1997) Peak
position
Italy (Musica e dischi)[36] 19
New Zealand (RIANZ) 6
UK Singles (OCC) 7
US Billboard Hot 100 72

Melissa Etheridge and Joss Stone version[edit]

A live medley of this song with Janis Joplin and the Full Tilt Boogie Band's 1971 song "Cry Baby" became a hit duet for American rock singer Melissa Etheridge and English soul singer Joss Stone when it was released to iTunes Store after they performed it at the 47th Grammy Awards on February 13, 2005, in tribute to Joplin. She had previously sung it at Woodstock '94 as part of a four-song medley of Joplin tunes.[24]

Etheridge's medley with Joss Stone made number 32 in the Billboard Hot 100 and number two on the Hot Digital Tracks in April 2005. The performance also signaled Etheridge's first public return from her battle with breast cancer; appearing with her head bald from the effects of chemotherapy.[37] Etheridge also recorded a solo version of "Piece of My Heart" on her 2005 greatest hits album Greatest Hits: The Road Less Traveled.

Beverley Knight version[edit]

"Piece of My Heart"
Beverley Knight - Piece Of My Heart (CD).jpg
CD single cover
Single by Beverley Knight
from the album Voice - The Best of Beverley Knight
ReleasedMarch 13, 2006 (2006-03-13)
Length
  • 4:17 (album version)
  • 3:36 (radio edit)
LabelParlophone
Songwriter(s)Jerry Ragovoy, Bert Berns
Producer(s)Jimmy Hogarth
Beverley Knight singles chronology
"Keep This Fire Burning"
(2005)
"Piece of My Heart"
(2006)
"No Man's Land"
(2007)

On her 2005 Affirmation Tour, English soul singer Beverley Knight performed the song with Ronnie Wood, which encouraged her to make a studio recording of the song. "Piece of My Heart" was the lead single from her 2006 best-of compilation Voice - The Best of Beverley Knight.[38][better source needed] It peaked inside the top 10 of the UK radio airplay chart. The physical single was released on March 13, 2006.[39]

Due to a change in the UK chart rules which allowed singles to chart purely on downloads a week before their physical release, "Piece of My Heart" entered the UK chart at number 93, becoming one of the first singles to do so. It peaked at number 16 after its physical commercial release. It was Knight's first single to be released as a DVD. It is her longest-running single to date on the UK Singles Chart, spending 11 weeks inside the top 75. It was her thirteenth top 40 entry and her seventh top-20 hit on the UK Singles Chart.

Personnel[edit]

  • Beverley Knight – lead vocals
  • Bryan Chambers, Billie Godfrey, Louise Marshall – backing vocals
  • Martin Slatterty – Wurlitzer organ, Hammond organ
  • Sam Dixon – bass
  • Jeremy Stacey – drums
  • Jimmy Hogarth – guitars, percussion
  • Jimmy Hogarth – producer
  • Pom (Pierre-Olivier Magerand) – engineer
  • Phillip Bodger – mixer

Charts[edit]

Chart (2006) Peak
position
Scotland (OCC)[40] 8
UK Singles (OCC)[41] 16
UK Hip Hop/R&B (OCC)[42] 8

Other recordings[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cad, Saint (July 31, 2012). "Top 10 Famous Songs With Unknown Originals". listverse.com. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
  2. ^ "CashBox Record Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. October 7, 1967. p. 18. Retrieved January 12, 2022.
  3. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 100166." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  4. ^ "BRITAIN'S TOP R&B SINGLES" (PDF). Record Mirror. March 9, 1968. p. 11. Retrieved October 31, 2021 – via worldradiohistory.com.
  5. ^ "Erma Franklin Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  6. ^ "Erma Franklin Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  7. ^ "Erma Franklin – (Take a Little) Piece of My Heart" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  8. ^ "Top 10 Sales in Europe" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 9, no. 41. October 10, 1992. p. 40. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  9. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 9, no. 43. October 24, 1992. p. 23. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  10. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – (Take a Little) Piece of My Heart". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  11. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 43, 1992" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  12. ^ "Erma Franklin – (Take a Little) Piece of My Heart" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  13. ^ "Erma Franklin – (Take a Little) Piece of My Heart". Singles Top 100. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  14. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  15. ^ "Year End Charts: Top Singles". Music Week. January 16, 1993. p. 8.
  16. ^ "The Janis and Tupac Show". Hits. February 27, 2015. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
  17. ^ Nick Talevski (April 7, 2010). Rock Obituaries - Knocking on Heaven's Door. Omnibus Press. p. 183. ISBN 978-0-85712-117-2.
  18. ^ Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 52 - The Soul Reformation: Phase three, soul music at the summit. [Part 8] : UNT Digital Library" (audio). Pop Chronicles. University of North Texas Libraries.
  19. ^ Dalton, David (1991). Piece of my heart : a portrait of Janis Joplin. New York, N.Y.: Da Capo Press. ISBN 0306804468. OCLC 23868679.
  20. ^ "Spotlight Singles" (PDF). Billboard. August 24, 1968. p. 62. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
  21. ^ "CashBox Record Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. August 24, 1968. p. 24. Retrieved January 12, 2022.
  22. ^ "Erma Franklin". Bluesmusicnow.com. June 28, 1990. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  23. ^ The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll, "Janis Joplin". Random House, 1980
  24. ^ a b "Piece Of My Heart by Big Brother & the Holding Company Songfacts". Songfacts.com. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  25. ^ "Italian single certifications – Janis Joplin – Piece of My Heart" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved January 12, 2021. Select "2018" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "Piece of My Heart" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli" under "Sezione".
  26. ^ "American album certifications – Janis Joplin – Piece of My Heart". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  27. ^ Faith Hill. "Piece of My Heart - Amazon.com Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  28. ^ Hoelzle, Cyndi; Smith, Lisa (February 4, 1994). "Gavin Country — New Releases" (PDF). Gavin Report. Retrieved March 12, 2022.
  29. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 2461." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. May 2, 1994. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  30. ^ "Faith Hill Chart History (Bubbling Under Hot 100)". Billboard.
  31. ^ "Faith Hill Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  32. ^ "RPM Top 100 Country Tracks of 1994". RPM. December 12, 1994. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  33. ^ "Best of 1994: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 1994. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  34. ^ "Discography Shaggy". charts.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved April 10, 2012.
  35. ^ "Reviews: Singles" (PDF). Music Week. June 28, 1997. p. 20. Retrieved May 28, 2022.
  36. ^ "Classifiche". Musica e Dischi (in Italian). Retrieved May 29, 2022. Set "Tipo" on "Singoli". Then, in the "Artista" field, search "Shaggy".
  37. ^ "Melissa Etheridge Talks About Breast Cancer - ABC News". Abcnews.go.com. October 19, 2005. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  38. ^ "Beverley Knight - Piece Of My Heart". Discogs. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
  39. ^ "New Releases: Singles". Music Week. March 11, 2006. p. 29.
  40. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 26, 2022.
  41. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 26, 2022.
  42. ^ "Official Hip Hop and R&B Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 26, 2022.
  43. ^ Hammond, Pete (May 5, 2021). "'Here Today' Review: Billy Crystal & Tiffany Haddish In Funny, Touching Dramedy About A Showbiz Icon Slipping Into Dementia". Deadline. Retrieved December 18, 2021.