Big Brother & the Holding Company / Janis Joplin

Cheap Thrills/Pearl

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The question is just how, exactly, are you going to go wrong in purchasing these two discs in a single package? Sure, if you already possess these bona fide classics in remastered form with bonus cuts, it would be understandable to pass on them. But if you haven't got them, consider that Big Brother & the Holding Company's Cheap Thrills and Janis Joplin's final recording session, Pearl with her Kozmic Blues Band, are the real bookmarks in her career. The former album yields "Piece of My Heart," "Turtle Blues," "Ball and Chain," and her inimitable rendition of "Summertime," along with some studio outtakes and the rest , while the latter puts "Move Over," "Cry Baby," "Me and Bobby McGee," and "Get It While You Can" in the mix as well. Not that there is any dead weight on either of these sets, especially since the sound is fully remastered. The only downside to this package is the dodgy -- make that downright crappy -- slipcase they are forced into to sell them for one price, but that can easily be recycled since each disc comes in its own jewel case. This is a FINE addition to any serious rock shelf.

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