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Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin on the cover of her posthumously-released live album In Concert

Janis Lyn Joplin (January 19, 1943 - October 4, 1970) was an American blues-influenced rock, R&B, and soul singer and occasional songwriter with a distinctive voice. Joplin released four albums as the frontwoman for several bands from 1967 to a posthumous release in 1971.

Joplin was born in Port Arthur, Texas. She grew up listening to blues musicians such as Bessie Smith and Big Mama Thornton and singing in the local choir. Joplin graduated from Jefferson High School in Port Arthur in 1960 and went to college at the University of Texas in Austin, though she never completed a degree. There, she began singing blues and folk music with friends.

Cultivating a rebellious manner that could be viewed as "liberated", Joplin styled herself after the beat poets, left Texas for San Francisco in 1963, lived in North Beach, and worked occasionally as a folk singer. Around this time her drug use began to increase, and she acquired a reputation as a "speed freak" and occasional heroin user. She also used other intoxicants. She was a heavy drinker throughout her career, and her trademark beverage was Southern Comfort.

After a return to Port Arthur to recuperate, she again moved to San Francisco in 1966, where her bluesy vocal style saw her join Big Brother and The Holding Company, a band that was gaining some renown among the nascent hippie community in Haight-Ashbury. The band signed a deal with independent Mainstream Records and recorded an eponymously titled album in 1967. However, the lack of success of their early singles led to the album being withheld until after their subsequent success.

The band's big break came at the Monterey Pop Festival, which included a version of Big Mama Thornton's Ball and Chain and featured a barnstorming vocal by Joplin. (The D.A. Pennebaker documentary Monterey Pop captured Cass Elliott in the crowd silently mouthing "Wow" during part of Joplin's performance.) Their 1968 album Cheap Thrills featured more raw emotional performances and made Joplin's name.

Splitting from Big Brother, she formed a backup group, named the Kozmic Blues Band, which backed her on I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama! 1969 (year she played at Woodstock). That group broke up, and Joplin then formed the Full Tilt Boogie Band. The result was the posthumously released Pearl (1971), which featured a hit single in the form of Kris Kristofferson's Me and Bobby McGee and the wry social commentary of Mercedes-Benz, written by beat poet Michael McClure.

Her last public appearance was on The Dick Cavett Show in 1970, where she said that she was going to attend her 10-year high school reunion, although she had formerly said when in high school there she was "laughed out of class, out of school, out of town". She made it there, but it would be one if the last decisions of her life.

Shortly thereafter, Joplin died of an overdose of unusually pure heroin on October 4, 1970 in a Los Angeles, California motel room, at the age of 27. She was cremated in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Westwood, California, and her ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean. The album Pearl was released six weeks after her death. The movie The Rose, with Bette Midler in the lead role, was loosely based on Joplin's life.

She is now remembered best for her powerful, distinctive voice, which was significantly divergent from the soft folk-influenced styles more common at the time, as well as for her lyrical themes of pain and loss.

Samples

  • Download sample of "Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)" from I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama!

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She is now remembered best for her powerful, distinctive voice, which was significantly divergent from the soft folk-influenced styles more common at the time, as well as for her lyrical themes of pain and loss. The members of LMC are producers Lee Monteverde, Matt Cattman and Chris Nuttall with Rachel McFarlane singing on the track and in live performances. The movie The Rose, with Bette Midler in the lead role, was loosely based on Joplin's life. It was released in the US on April 6, 2004. The album Pearl was released six weeks after her death. Due to the success it was released in other territories going top five in Ireland and top ten in Australia. She was cremated in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Westwood, California, and her ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean. The track became the most played track on UK radio and debuted at number one in February 2004, selling 200,000 copies.

Shortly thereafter, Joplin died of an overdose of unusually pure heroin on October 4, 1970 in a Los Angeles, California motel room, at the age of 27. The track was released in the UK on January 26 as "Take Me To The Clouds Above" by LMC Vs U2. She made it there, but it would be one if the last decisions of her life. I especially like the bassline.". Her last public appearance was on The Dick Cavett Show in 1970, where she said that she was going to attend her 10-year high school reunion, although she had formerly said when in high school there she was "laughed out of class, out of school, out of town". Bassist Adam Clayton said "It's a good beat and you can dance to it. The result was the posthumously released Pearl (1971), which featured a hit single in the form of Kris Kristofferson's Me and Bobby McGee and the wry social commentary of Mercedes-Benz, written by beat poet Michael McClure. All of the members of U2 had to clear the track.

That group broke up, and Joplin then formed the Full Tilt Boogie Band. This song was bootlegged by Paul van Dyk for his track "For An Angel" which became a chart hit. Splitting from Big Brother, she formed a backup group, named the Kozmic Blues Band, which backed her on I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama! 1969 (year she played at Woodstock). In the late 1990's, McFarlane had a solo record deal and her song "Lover" was a UK hit in 1998. (The D.A. Pennebaker documentary Monterey Pop captured Cass Elliott in the crowd silently mouthing "Wow" during part of Joplin's performance.) Their 1968 album Cheap Thrills featured more raw emotional performances and made Joplin's name. The track is sung by Rachel McFarlane who had previously been a vocalist for UK outfits Loveland and N-Trance. The band's big break came at the Monterey Pop Festival, which included a version of Big Mama Thornton's Ball and Chain and featured a barnstorming vocal by Joplin. The song "Take Me To The Clouds Above" featured lyrics from "How Will I Know" from the Whitney Houston (album) by Whitney Houston set to a sample from "With Or Without You" off U2's The Joshua Tree album.

However, the lack of success of their early singles led to the album being withheld until after their subsequent success. A promo-only track "Everything U Need" reached the top ten of the UK club charts in the UK in 2003. The band signed a deal with independent Mainstream Records and recorded an eponymously titled album in 1967. LMC is best known for the track "Take Me To The Clouds Above" which features a sample from "With Or Without You" by U2 which topped the UK singles charts in early 2004, as well as going top 5 in Ireland and top 10 in Australia. After a return to Port Arthur to recuperate, she again moved to San Francisco in 1966, where her bluesy vocal style saw her join Big Brother and The Holding Company, a band that was gaining some renown among the nascent hippie community in Haight-Ashbury. They have performed remixes for Scooter, Lasgo, Flip & Fill and Robert Palmer. She was a heavy drinker throughout her career, and her trademark beverage was Southern Comfort. LMC is an English dance artist consisting of producers Lee Monteverde, Matt Cattman and Chris Nuttall.

She also used other intoxicants. All Around the World LMC article (http://www.aatw.com/lmc.htm/). Around this time her drug use began to increase, and she acquired a reputation as a "speed freak" and occasional heroin user. "Take Me To The Clouds Above (single as LMC vs U2). Cultivating a rebellious manner that could be viewed as "liberated", Joplin styled herself after the beat poets, left Texas for San Francisco in 1963, lived in North Beach, and worked occasionally as a folk singer. "Everything U Need" (promo 2003). There, she began singing blues and folk music with friends.

Joplin graduated from Jefferson High School in Port Arthur in 1960 and went to college at the University of Texas in Austin, though she never completed a degree. She grew up listening to blues musicians such as Bessie Smith and Big Mama Thornton and singing in the local choir. Joplin was born in Port Arthur, Texas. Joplin released four albums as the frontwoman for several bands from 1967 to a posthumous release in 1971.

Janis Lyn Joplin (January 19, 1943 - October 4, 1970) was an American blues-influenced rock, R&B, and soul singer and occasional songwriter with a distinctive voice. Download sample of "Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)" from I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama!.

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