Janis Joplin – I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again, Mama (1969)


“… One critic raved about her ‘urgent, blazing white blues’ voice. Another said she sounded like ‘she was calling out from the second-story window of a bordello, inviting you up’. In her first blush of superstardom, the 25-year-old singer of Big Brother & The Holding Company should’ve been riding high. But she was miserable. Weeks into her group’s tour, supporting their second record Cheap Thrills, with the hit Piece Of My Heart blasting out of radios everywhere, Janis was bored with the increasingly formulaic approach to their live shows. She felt her bandmates were getting lazy. They were all downing different drink and drug cocktails of choice – speed, Seconal, Southern Comfort – which made them edgy with each other offstage. Midway through a European tour, Janis announced that she would leave Big Brother once their dates were fulfilled. Her restlessness dovetailed with her ambition. The rapturous reception she was getting in the UK and Germany that autumn fed her dreams of international stardom. And whispering encouragement in her ear from the sidelines was manager Albert Grossman, who’d come up through the New York City folk scene, managing Bob Dylan and Peter, Paul & Mary. Once described by a musician as a ‘pudgy barracuda’, Grossman promised Janis he would land her a deal for two million dollars – if she agreed to go solo. At the same time, Columbia Records president Clive Davis was wooing Janis with visions of her as a blend of Aretha and Streisand. He wanted brass, strings, Vegas, TV specials, the works. Flattered with the attention, Janis saw it all as a way out of her stagnant situation, and began assembling a new group of musicians. … While the large cast nodded to the way records were made at Stax and Motown, the flip side was that the band never transcended the feeling of being hired hands. Once again, drugs and egos reared their ugly heads. And 1969 was the year of heroin. … In this chaos, Janis got a bit lost on her own album, personally and musically. Her father Seth later said: ‘The brass in the group didn’t suit her. Her voice was an orchestra in itself.’ And yet, testament to her otherworldly talent, there are sublime moments on Dem Kozmic Blues. The best of them have spare arrangements that bring her vocals to the forefront. …”
Little Girl Lost: How Janis Joplin got dem ol’ kozmic blues again (Video/Audio)
W – I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama!
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YouTube: I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama! 11 videos

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