Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Big Brother and Holding Company - Cheap Thrills

One of the sixties' greatest psychedelic/acid rock documents, Cheap Thrills by Janis Joplin and Big Brother and The Holding Company is the total package, literally. Never mind the sonic power of songs like "Combination of the Two," "Piece of My Heart" or "I Need a Man to Love," this wonderful cover done by comic and animation legend Art Crumb is a visual fiesta that can give you minutes of fun by sampling each panel. As a child, I was utterly fascinated by this cover and handed it to my mom to play all the time so I could listen to it and study this art closely. Part of the sixties' atmosphere of frustration is captured vividly on Cheap Thrils, but it's done in such a way that there's a San Franciscan artsiness about the thing that allows you to take it lightly. When you open the gatefold, the stage that Janis and Big Brother is on appears larger-than-life, particuarly that boulder-looking thing on the screen behind the band. Utterly wonderful stuff.


Blogger bob_vinyl said...

This is definitely a classic, both the cover and the music. I love how each panel of the cartoon represents a different song. I think you're totally right about how it has a serious angle, but actually works best by taking that lightly.

July 17, 2007 at 6:45 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

Isn't the artist Robert Crumb? Cool cover though, but I like comics so it easily appeals to me.

July 17, 2007 at 6:52 AM  
Blogger David Amulet said...

A very fun cover, I have to admit.

-- david

July 17, 2007 at 11:02 AM  
Blogger dschalek said...

Well...I now know where D.R.I.'s "Dealing With It" cover sort of came from.

July 18, 2007 at 8:00 PM  
Blogger Barbara (aka Layla) said...

Just looking at this cover sends me right back to sitting on under my black light "Peace" poster with the lava lamp on toking a good one and listening to Janis. Seriously.

I loved her. Still do.

July 21, 2007 at 12:09 AM  
Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

Bob and David - I think that was my fascination back then, trying to match the panel to the song; indeed, it was a lot of fun

Mark - you actually may be right on that, and since I'm wearing a Fantastic Four shirt right now, that makes two of us for comic book fans, but you knew that already

Dschalek - not sure if DRI took inspiration from this, but you never know

Barbara - great way to put us there in the moment, which I think is indicative of the music...Janis was so ahead of her time, though Carmine Appice told me some fun stories about her

July 21, 2007 at 3:06 PM  
Blogger The Lone Beader said...

I love this one... in fact, I posted one of her songs on my blog recently... :)

July 21, 2007 at 5:19 PM  

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