Saturday, January 05, 2008

Janis Joplin Rarities

The weather in Austin today was fantastic, sunny, warm, and blue skies at 77 degrees. It was the perfect time to cruise around town with the windows down and feed some good tunes into the stereo. I burned a disc a few weeks ago with a whole bunch of stuff that I intended to listen to at some point, and one part of it was this Janis Joplin bootleg that someone put together and labeled "The Rarest Pearls. " What I enjoy most about it is the fact that everything is stripped down and basic, void of any studio trickery that would only serve to make it less genuine.

If you listen to the version of "Call On Me" that is included in this collection, and then match it up with the version that was featured on the debut Big Brother & the Holding Company album, you'll want to slap someone for ever having changed it. This version of "Me & Bobby McGee" is also quite different, with nothing but Janis and a guitar. With the inclusion of tracks recorded between the years of 1966-1970, it's also a quick glance at the progression of her recording career and the changes in her voice and style.
Listen: (fully)

Here's one for the completist out there. In 1964 Janis Joplin played a few blues numbers with future Jefferson Airplane guitarist Jorma Kaukonen at his house in San Fransisco, and it was captured with a cassette recorder. The sound quality isn't the greatest and someone is using a typewriter in the background, but it's interesting still if only for its intimacy and time in history. You've got two highly influential music figures from that era sitting around the house, having a little jam, not long before they would both have a big impact in the world of music.
Listen: (fully)


Z said...

love the acoustic bobby. sounds dumb to say but you just don't hear many acoustic tracks this old with this quality.