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18 Essential Songs

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Album Review

18 Essential Songs is a one-disc distillation of the triple-disc Janis box set. Running 70 minutes, it is a more extensive best-of than the ten-track 1973 Janis Joplin's Greatest Hits album. But it is denied "first pick" status because, unlike that album, it does not contain the hit version of Joplin's only number one single, "Me and Bobby McGee." (It does, however, contain an alternate demo version of that song.)

Customer Reviews

Best Janis collection!

If you have to have only one CD this would be it. As far as I'm concerned this has the best version of Ball and Chain. It is fantastic. The rest are, of course, great as well. I have lost my copy 3 times and instead of getting any other box set or collection I get this one because of the Ball and Chain! I hope you enjoy it! I know that you will.

18 Essential Songs

If you want some Janis and don't know what to buy . . .this "IS" the one to own! Enjoy


On this album is the demo version of 'Summertime' and not the actual one that was released. I've heard both, and why this one wasn't chosen I will never know.


Born: January 19, 1943 in Port Arthur, TX

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s

The greatest white female rock singer of the 1960s, Janis Joplin was also a great blues singer, making her material her own with her wailing, raspy, supercharged emotional delivery. First rising to stardom as the frontwoman for San Francisco psychedelic band Big Brother & the Holding Company, she left the group in the late '60s for a brief and uneven (though commercially successful) career as a solo artist. Although she wasn't always supplied with the best material or most sympathetic musicians,...
Full Bio