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Janis Joplin Fans Can Look Forward to a New Live Album in March

Janis Joplin
Evening Standard, Hulton Archive / Getty Images

The New Year has just begun, but the folks at Legacy Records are already busy in their vaults — and they’ve dug up a treat for fans of Janis Joplin‘s stint with Big Brother and the Holding Company. Titled ‘Live at the Carousel Ballroom 1968,’ this long-awaited live snapshot of the band collects 14 tracks from the personal collection of the legendary Owsley ‘Bear’ Stanley, who supervised the mastering process before his death in a car accident last March.

Recorded by Owsley on June 23, 1968, ‘Live at the Carousel Ballroom’ captures Joplin with Big Brother and the Holding Company shortly before she departed to pursue her solo career. According to rock critic Jaan Uhelszki, who penned an essay for the set’s liner notes:

“What is key about these moments captured by Owsley is that they’re a true representation of what this mythic band really sounded like live, the rough magic, the explosive synergy, the dangerous frisson of boundaries being demolished between artist and audience … these 14 songs are a testament to what a force of nature Janis Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding Company [were] during these two nights at the Carousel Ballroom. Showing them at the zenith of their considerable power, it is so fortunate that this recording was ever made — only two months before their break up. This is one of the few living documents of that propitious and monumental pairing.”

As any collector worth his salt is well aware, live recordings from the era can sometimes be rough on the ears, but Owsley’s well-known audio expertise means fans can look forward to a listening experience that’s a cut above the rest.

“Care was taken to preserve and ensure the integrity of the music as well as to present an accurate snapshot of the masterful talent of one of the greatest singers of her generation and one of the hottest live bands in the San Francisco scene,” wrote his widow, Sheilah Stanley. “This is Bear’s vision – how he heard the band live, and how he wanted to transmit that to you… this truly is Bear’s presentation of this phenomenal band and inspirational music.”

“He viewed these recordings as windows into the past,” added Owsley’s son Starfinder. “So this is not just a live recording of Janis Joplin singing with Big Brother and the Holding Company. This is an auditory portal that…can transport you back to the short-lived but incredible world of the Carousel Ballroom in 1968.”

Live at the Carousel Ballroom 1968 Track Listing
1. Combination Of The Two
2. I Need A Man To Love
3. Flower In The Sun
4. Light Is Faster Than Sound
5. Summertime
6. Catch Me Daddy
7. It’s A Deal
8. Call On Me
9. Jam – I’m Mad
10. Piece Of My Heart
11. Coo Coo
12. Ball & Chain
13. Down On Me

Bonus Track:

14. Call On Me (Saturday Show—June 22, 1968)

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