Joplin Kills Summertime Every Time

Atrios just put up this video of Janis Joplin with the Kozmic Blues Band performing live in Stockholm. What’s important is that she killed with this song whenever she did it:

The video, like every fifth video on YouTube, has been taken down. Whatever.

The first time I ever heard this song was her singing with Big Brother and the Holding Company on their Cheap Thrills album. When I later heard a standard rendition of the song, I could hardly believe that it was the same song. Very few singers are indisputably great, but Joplin was one of them.

The other thing is: I assume that’s Sam Andrew on guitar and he really sucks. I know it is live and all, but still. What’s more, it really does call into question this idea that Joplin needed a better band than Big Brother. I’m the first to point out their deficiencies (Like Sam Andrew’s guitar playing!), but they played well together and they were unique (just listen to the arrangement, which is theirs). I wish she had stayed with them. If you doubt me, here is the original:

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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