While generally considered to be one-third of the tragic troika of late-'60s rock -- along with Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix -- Janis Joplin has never been the subject of the extensive vault raiding that followed the deaths of her contemporaries. This well-paced two-disc set doesn't extend far beyond what most fans already know, although the previously unreleased live (at Woodstock) versions of "To Love Somebody" and "Kozmic Blues" do burn appropriately red-hot and cool. The collection's compilers have, however, done a nice job of remastering the classic recordings, punching up Joplin's remarkable voice without casting an artificial sheen over the top. That's particularly evident on the live material -- highlighted by poignant takes on "Flower in the Sun" and "Farewell Song" -- but also on the studio takes of lesser-known songs like "Women Is Losers" and "A Woman Left Lonely." Essential's 30 songs comprise tracks recorded during Joplin's stint with Big Brother & the Holding Company, as well as solo material; among them are her most widely heard songs, from the easygoing "Mercedes-Benz" to the rough-hewn "Piece of My Heart" to that shiver-inducing cover of "Summertime." It's a perfect way to celebrate what would've been Joplin's 60th birthday, and a nice kickoff to what Legacy promises will be an extensive reissue campaign.
The Essential Janis Joplin 4.5 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
'Tis I -- Your lord, King Friday. I desperately want to make love to Lady Elaine Fairchild. Sweet love would be made, my friends. Sweet love, I say. To feel the crest of her soft buttocks cupped in my hand. That is what I desire. That is all for now.
More than 1 year ago
That's a good one. What can be said about Janis? Nothing that hasn't already been said. This is perhaps not the 'essential' they might want us to think, but newer fans will appreciate this collection more than the older fans that already have all this stuff on vinyl (or cassette). Regardless, it's on two CDs. This is great!!! Over twenty-five classic songs!!!! You can't beat that, can you?