Big Brother & The Holding Company feat. Janis Joplin – Big Brother & The Holding Company (1967/2016) [HDTracks FLAC 24bit/192kHz]

Big Brother & The Holding Company feat. Janis Joplin – Big Brother & The Holding Company (1967/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 01:36:29 minutes | 0,99 GB | Genre: Rock
Studio Master, Official Digital Download  | Source: HDTracks | Front Cover | © Columbia/Legacy
Recorded: December 12-14, 1966 in Chicago, Illinois

Six months before becoming an overnight sensation following a blistering set at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, Big Brother was an unknown group from San Francisco playing a month-long Chicago club engagement. The band, made up of bassist Peter Albin, drummer David Getz, and guitarists James Gurley and Sam Andrew, was completed when the quartet was introduced to singer Janis Joplin by mutual friend Chet Helms.
When their gig was cut short, Big Brother avoided returning to California when Bob Shad signed the group to Mainstream Records, his small, struggling jazz label. The three-day recording session in December 1966 resulted in a set of mostly original songs, with the exception of New York City street musician Moondog’s ‘All Is Loneliness’ and a more secular arrangement of the gospel standard ‘Down on Me.’ Despite Joplin’s fiery singing style, Big Brother was still the kind of democracy in which Joplin shared vocals with Sam Andrew on the trippy ‘Light Is Faster Than Sound’ and the more soulful duet ‘Call on Me.’ But most of this record featured Joplin reaching back and channeling her hero Big Maybelle on songs like the brassy ‘Women Is Losers’ and the no-nonsense ‘Intruder.’

The debut, self-titled album from Big Brother & the Holding Company is an evolving paradigm, ten tracks initially issued on Mainstream Records, a label that would have success in 1968 with ‘Journey to the Center of the Mind’ by Ted Nugent’s Amboy Dukes. Unfortunately for Janis Joplin and Big Brother & the Holding Company, the respectable performances and all of the material on this disc are undercut by a weak production that sounds rushed. Recorded on December 12, 13, and 14 of 1966, it’s quite telling that perhaps the best two songs from the sessions, Peter Albin’s tribal-sounding ‘Coo Coo,’ and Janis Joplin’s fiery ‘The Last Time,’ were only available on a 45 rpm and played as treats on FM radio ‘rare tape’ nights. Those two songs have an intensity and drama missing from laid-back album cuts like ‘Easy Rider’ and ‘Intruder.’ Big Brother’s strength sans Janis was their ability to experiment and rely heavily on ideas to make up for their lack of musical prowess. Sad to say, there is little of that experimentation here. Even a potential science fiction Peter Albin composition, ‘Light Is Faster Than Sound,’ comes off like an audition tape instead of the hit it could have been had it the cosmic explosion of a ‘Journey to the Center of the Mind.’ The album does contain interesting studies of future classics, like Moondog’s ‘All Is Loneliness’ (the street poet eventually signing with Columbia himself), and Joplin’s creative arrangement of ‘Down on Me,’ making it more of an entertaining textbook than a deep musical experience. It was the lack of product from superstar Janis Joplin which kept putting an emphasis on this release with little else available to satisfy rabid fans who couldn’t get enough Janis. Columbia picked up the album and re-issued it in its original form, then reissued it again with ‘The Last Time’ and ‘Coo Coo’ added. -AllMusic Review by Joe Viglione

1. Bye, Bye Baby 02:37
2. Easy Rider 02:23
3. Intruder 02:27
4. Light Is Faster Than Sound 02:30
5. Call on Me 02:33
6. Coo Coo 01:56
7. Women Is Losers 02:03
8. Blindman 02:02
9. Down on Me 02:04
10. Caterpillar 02:18
11. All Is Loneliness 02:17
12. The Last Time 02:15

Janis Joplin – vocals
Peter Albin – bass guitar
Sam Andrew – guitar, vocals
David Getz – drums
James Gurley – guitar, vocals