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Category:    Home > Reviews > Rock > Soul > Blues > Multi-Channel Music > Cheap Thrills – Big Brother & The Holding Company (1968/Janis Joplin/Sony Super Audio Compact Disc/5.1 SA-CD/SACD)

Cheap Thrills – Big Brother & The Holding Company (1968/Janis Joplin/Sony Super Audio Compact Disc/5.1 SA-CD/SACD)


PCM CD Sound: N/A     DSD 2.0: B     DSD Multi-channel: B+     Music: B+



A massive hit album in 1968, Cheap Thrills by Big Brother & The Holding Company with singer Janis Joplin in her all-too-short career becoming one of the most important singers in Rock, Soul and Blues since Tina Turner and not just because she sang rough.  Though Piece Of My Heart became the only single, the rise of Rock radio (eventually leading to the rise of FM radio) and other sources played tracks from the entire album which continued well after her untimely death.


The passion and energy in each song, even slow, brilliant reinterpretations of standards like Summertime showed that Joplin had a gift that few singer so either genre and in any genre possessed.  Two months at the top of the charts, the album has never been out of print and this terrific Super Audio CD edition offers the following titles, including four bonus tracks:


1)     Combination Of The Two

2)     I Need A Man To Love

3)     Summertime

4)     Piece Of My Heart

5)     Turtle Blues

6)     Oh, Sweet Mary

7)     Ball & Chain

8)     Roadblock (studio outtake)

9)     Flower In The Sun (studio outtake)

10)  Catch Me Daddy (live)

11)  Magic Of Love (live)



As noted before on older releases in higher fidelity resolution, sometimes, a higher format will reveal flaws, but even the recording is rough and Producer John Simon’s work continues to be a Rock classic.  Except for some limits because of the equipment used at the time, this brings the music alive in ways you would not expect after hearing it played all over the place over the years.  There are no PCM CD tracks, but the DSD Super Audio CD 2.0 Stereo tracks areas good as I have ever heard these recordings and the DSD 5.1 high definition sound mixes have detail and presence that allow us to hear Joplin at her peak in a way few ever have.  For fans, it would make going out of their way to get an SA-CD player (or PS3) worth the trouble.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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