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Album Review

The Lost Tapes combines previously unreleased material with performances that have been floating around on bootlegs for years. Listening to these early live recordings from late 1966 and early 1967, it's hard to imagine that this is the same band that would level the audience at the Monterey Pop Festival — alongside Jimi Hendrix and Otis Redding — and propel Janis Joplin into superstardom. The 26 songs are a loose mix of originals from their self-titled Mainstream album, along with cover versions of "Amazing Grace," "Hi Heel Sneakers," "Let the Good Times Roll," "I Know You Rider," and "Moanin' at Midnight." By far, the oddest cover is "Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill!," which musically has absolutely nothing in common with the version performed in the Russ Meyer film by the Bostweeds. The rambling spoken intro is longer than the actual song itself! Very weird! This material is unquestionably sloppy and miles away from the slick soul-rock Joplin would perform with Full Tilt Boogie and the Kozmic Blues Band after leaving Big Brother in late 1968. It's also what makes this relic so charming; hearing a young Janis Joplin not burdened with being the star, but just another member of the band, relaxed and playful. Airline's 2008 version of The Lost Tapes was licensed from Big Brother & the Holding Company, with 24-bit remastering and notes by drummer David Getz and guitarist Sam Andrew.

Biography

Formed: 1965 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Big Brother are primarily remembered as the group that gave Janis Joplin her start. There's no denying both that Joplin was by far the band's most striking asset, and that Big Brother would never have made a significant impression if they hadn't been fortunate enough to add her to their lineup shortly after forming. But Big Brother also occupies a significant place in the history of San Francisco psychedelic rock, as one...
Full Bio
The Lost Tapes, Big Brother & The Holding Company
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