Episode 27 is here! The wheel has picked Big Brother and the Holding Company‘s 1968 album Cheap Thrills. Featuring none other than Janis Jopin. In a rare instance we get to do a whole album in one sitting!
Cheap Thrills is the second studio album by American rock band Big Brother and the Holding Company. It was their last album with Janis Joplin as lead singer before she started a solo career. It topped the chart at number one and sold two million copies!
Big Brother obtained a considerable amount of attention after their 1967 performance at the Monterey Pop Festival and had released their debut album soon after. The follow up, Cheap Thrills, was a great success, reaching number one on the charts for eight nonconsecutive weeks in 1968. Columbia Records offered the band a new recording contract, but it took months to get through since they were still signed to Mainstream Records. The album features three cover songs (“Summertime“, “Piece of My Heart” and “Ball and Chain“). The album also features Bill Graham, who introduces the band at the beginning of “Combination of the Two“. The album’s overall raw sound effectively captures the band’s energetic and lively concerts. The LP was released in both stereo and mono formats with the original monophonic pressing, now a rare collector’s item.
The cover was drawn by underground cartoonist Robert Crumb after the band’s original cover idea, a photo of the group naked in bed together, was vetoed by Columbia Records. Crumb had originally intended his art for the LP back cover, with a portrait of Janis Joplin to grace the front. But Joplin—an avid fan of underground comics, especially the work of Crumb—so loved the Cheap Thrills illustration that she demanded Columbia place it on the front cover.
Big Brother and the Holding Company
Janis Joplin – vocals
Sam Andrew – guitar, bass on ‘Oh, Sweet Mary’, vocals
James Gurley – guitar
Peter Albin – bass, lead guitar on ‘Oh, Sweet Mary’, lead acoustic guitar on ‘Turtle Blues’.
Dave Getz – drums
John Simon – piano, producer
Vic Anesini – mastering, mixing
Nicholas Bennett – packaging manager
Steven Berkowitz – A&R
Fred Catero – engineer
John Byrne Cooke – liner notes
Robert Crumb – cover artwork
David Diller – engineer
Mark Feldman – project director
David Gahr – photography
Diana Reid Haig – digital editing, mixing
Jerry Hochman – engineer
Bob Irwin – producer, reissue producer
Elliott Landy – photography, tray photo (gatefold photograph)
Jim Marshall – photography
Patti Matheny – A&R
Elliot Mazer – producer, mixing, assistant producer
Nathan Rosenberg – digital editing
Roy Segal – engineer
Smay Vision – art direction
Thomas Weir – photography, back cover
Jen Wyler – editing, mastering, assembly, authoring
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