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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 24. 28th September 1972

Janis Joplin: Joplin in Concert

Janis Joplin: Joplin in Concert

So what is this? A double album of old tracks released by a recording company long after its star has died? The same old posthumous rip-off scene? Perhaps, except for one thing: this is Janis Joplin and she didn't make bum tracks. The lady who once said she'd "rather not sing than sing quiet' sure enough did that. She shouted with her throat, her hair, her stamping feet, her whole shaking body. On stage as well as on record she provided an entire spectacle, a sensuous explosion of excitement. Those few years that she crammed established her as the archetypal rock performer. When she started she was everything a chick singer shouldn't be - raucous, riotous, rebellious, revelling. Yet before she died any female rock singer of any repute had to acknowledge her influence. She captured in her performance the whole freak consciousness, uncompromising and uninhibited, and yet as well as being loved she was worshipped What Mick Jagger was for pubescent girls Janis Joplin was for adult males. She survived longer than anyone could have dared hope after hearing that creaking voice which seemed so near the brink of collapse, and it was this persistence that evoked immortality.

Album art for Janis Joplin

Two sides of this album are recorded with Big Brother and the Holding Company, and two are with her last band. Full Tilt Boogie. The recording is however, inadequate Side 4 appears to have been recorded straight through at a concert in Calgary in April 1970, and it conveys some idea of the way she sustained her presence for the whole show. Sure, the performance of Ball and Chain isn't as shattering as that on Cheap Thrills but this time you get an extended monologue that exposes the lady's sensitivity that was there all along.

I can appreciate that you won't want to buy this album because you've already got Cheap Thrills. I'd be happy if you'd just play either of them very loud to anyone who still thinks America hasn't produced any culture.

— Philip Alley.