When Janis Joplin died in October 1970 at the early age of 27, thus involuntarily confirming the beatnik adage "live fast, love hard, die young," it was only a matter of time before she was crowned the "Queen of Rock." Of greater importance than this posthumous entry into rock 'n' roll's hall of fame is the recognition during her lifetime of her explosive vocal style, which – so Vogue – "turned the whole history of singing upside down."
Joplin's discography is just as short and changeable as her life. After two LP releases with the standard "cast" of rock musicians in the band Big Brother And The Holding Company, with whose excellent musical support she obtained her first recording contract with Columbia Records in 1968, the company provided her with a group augmented with organ and winds. For those Woodstock fans whose ears are still ringing with the band's full, meaty wind sound and Janis' bluesy soul singing, this album is an absolute must.