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Janis JoplinJanis 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.
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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. For details of recordings by the King Crimson sub-groups known as the ProjeKcts, see the following:. The movie The Rose, with Bette Midler in the lead role, was loosely based on Joplin's life. (Mostly studio recordings, some incorporating live recordings). The album Pearl was released six weeks after her death. (Limited release live recordings of concert performances, studio sessions and radio sessions). She was cremated in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Westwood, California, and her ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean. (Including compilations and box sets of live material).
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. (Mostly studio recordings, some incorporating live recordings). She made it there, but it would be one if the last decisions of her life. (Mostly studio recordings, some incorporating live recordings). 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". They vary so much in sound that King Crimson has been able to release several albums consisting entirely of improvised music. 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. Unlike most jazz and rock improvisation or jamming, these sessions are rarely in any sense blues-based.
That group broke up, and Joplin then formed the Full Tilt Boogie Band. These can be imbedded in composed pieces, like "21st Century Schizoid Man" or "Thrak," but most Crimson performances over the years have included at least one stand-alone improvisation, where the band simply started playing and took the music wherever it went, sometimes including passages of improvised silence (as Bill Bruford's contribution to the improvised "Trio"). 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). From the very first, King Crimson performances featured unplanned improvisations, in which the music can, and frequently does, go anywhere. (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 final continuing factor that requires mention, not really a theme, is the "Crimson Improv.". 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. Other themes harder to document clearly include the composition of insanely difficult passages for individual instruments (especially Fripp's guitar); pieces with a loud, aggressive sound not unlike heavy metal music; and the jarring juxtaposition of pretty tunes and ballads with weird, often dissonant, noises.
However, the lack of success of their early singles led to the album being withheld until after their subsequent success. (Occasionally these pieces fail onstage; Fripp refers to these failures as "train wrecks."). The band signed a deal with independent Mainstream Records and recorded an eponymously titled album in 1967. Their series of pieces collectively titled "Larks' Tongues in Aspic" (including the misleadingly titled "Thrak" and "Level Five") go deeper into rhythmic complexity, delving into rhythms that wander into and out of synchronization with each other, to the point where the listener is frequently unable to even count beats, yet somehow all finishing together. 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. King Crimson's single best-known song, "21st Century Schizoid Man," is an early example of this. She was a heavy drinker throughout her career, and her trademark beverage was Southern Comfort. A second theme that has remained constant throughout the career of King Crimson is an instrumental piece, often embedded as a break in a song, in which the band plays a passage of a rhythmic complexity that would challenge a group of classically-trained musicians working with a conductor.
She also used other intoxicants. This piece transformed into "The Devil's Triangle" on the In the Wake of Poseidon album, and was followed by many other forms, from "The Talking Drum" in 1973 all the way to "Dangerous Curves" in 2003. Around this time her drug use began to increase, and she acquired a reputation as a "speed freak" and occasional heroin user. The Holst "Mars" that the first King Crimson played is a clear example of this, a complex pulse in 5/8 time with strings and winds — or, as played by King Crimson, mellotron — playing a skirling melody above. 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. The most obvious of these themes is composition by the use of a gradually building rhythmic motif. There, she began singing blues and folk music with friends. The apparent contradiction can be resolved by understanding that, while King Crimson constantly creates new sounds and new pieces, several themes remain constant from the earliest versions of the band to the present.
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. Fans have two equal and opposite complaints about each new album or incarnation of the band: either they say that it's nothing like the King Crimson they know and love, or they say that it's exactly like what has gone before, and nothing new has been added. She grew up listening to blues musicians such as Bessie Smith and Big Mama Thornton and singing in the local choir. As a result of this influence, their first album is frequently viewed as the nominal starting point of the symphonic rock or progressive rock movements. Joplin was born in Port Arthur, Texas. The influence of Béla Bartók is subtler, but has been referred to many times by Fripp and other band members, and seems more pervasively present in the band's overall musical repertoire. Joplin released four albums as the frontwoman for several bands from 1967 to a posthumous release in 1971. The first incarnation of King Crimson played the "Mars" section of Holst's suite The Planets as a regular part of their live set.
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. Gustav Holst is the more obvoius of the two on the surface. Download sample of "Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)" from I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama!. Though they cast a wide net, two names in particular seem to have had a powerful influence on Crimson's music. To a great extent, they stripped away the blues-based foundation of rock music and replaced it with a foundation based in the modern European symphonic tradition. However, where bands like the Beatles and Rolling Stones played more sophisticated forms of American rock, Crimson attempted to "Europeanize" what had previously been an essentially American form of music.
The first King Crimson frequently played Donovan Leitch's "Get Thy Bearings," and were known to play The Beatles's "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.". The music of King Crimson was obviously grounded to some extent in the rock of the 1960s, and especially the acid rock and psychedelic music movements. Fripp, as noted, has described King Crimson as "a way of doing things," and also as "an experiment in organizing anarchy." Over a period of thirty-five years, and many changes in membership, configuration, and instrumentation, King Crimson has maintained a kind of constancy in its musical vision rare among long-lived bands. The current line-up thus is Adrian Belew, Robert Fripp, Tony Levin and Pat Mastelotto.
Both Robert Fripp and Tony Levin reported that Levin will become active bassist of King Crimson again, starting studio work in April 2004. In late November 2003, Trey Gunn announced his departure from the band. A lengthy The ConstruKction of Light tour was followed by another tour opening for the band Tool and the Level Five tour that served to write, rehearse, and evolve new pieces for the next album. In 2003, the album The Power to Believe was released and toured. After the economic reversals of 2000 and 2001, DGM ceased acting as a general label and artist's blog site and refocused its energy on King Crimson.
Heaven and Earth was edited together by Mastelotto from material recorded during the rehearsal and recording period of the studio album. Their first studio effort was The ConstruKction of Light (2000), accompanied by another album, Heaven and Earth, which was released under the name ProjeKct X. After the ProjeKcts' task was completed, Bruford quit the band, and Levin let his active involvement in King Crimson rest until further notice; this left Belew, Fripp, Gunn, and Mastelotto as the next line-up. In 1998, DGM created the King Crimson Collector's Club (KCCC), a subscription-based service that released a live recording (originating from soundboard or bootleg recordings) every two months.
These artists were encouraged to engage in online diaries, now commonly known as blogs. DGM also released music by the Rosenbergs and other artists artistically related to King Crimson members. ProjeKcts One, Two, Three, and Four, each a splinter group (a fraKctalisation, according to Fripp) of King Crimson, released various recordings, demonstrating the improvisational musical high wire act that the constituent musicians are able to produce. In the late 1990s, Discipline Global Mobile operated as a distinctly artist-friendly label, and featured not only the works of King Crimson, but also of many Crimson side projects.
Staging and rehearsing the sextet was an expensive proposition, however; this, combined with the level of experimentation within the band soon contributed to its collapse. The new King Crimson sound was something of a mixture of Discipline-era complementary guitars with the heavy rock feel of 1974's Red. This "double trio" formation released a few CDs in the mid 1990s: VROOOM (1994), THRAK (1995), and THRaKaTTaK (1996). In 1994, King Crimson re-formed as a sextet, adding two new members to its 1981 lineup. Fripp and Belew continued on guitar, and Levin played bass and Chapman stick; Trey Gunn joined, and played an instrument known as the Warr guitar (similar to the Chapman stick), and drummer Bruford was joined by another percussionist, Pat Mastelotto.
Fripp entered into a series of legal wranglings with his management, and this occupied much of his time, but resulted in the development of "Discipline Global Mobile", through which King Crimson and various side projects and archives have emerged. After Three of a Perfect Pair, King Crimson disbanded for several years. Fripp intended to create the sound of a "rock gamelan," with an interlocking rhythmic quality to the paired guitars that he found similar to Indonesian gamelan ensembles. (http://www.progressiveears.com/frippbook/). This version of King Crimson bore some resemblance to new wave music, possibly as a result of Belew's tenure with Talking Heads, often considered progenitors of the genre.
Also, with Belew, King Crimson for the first time had a lyricist who was also a performing member of the band. The group released a trilogy of albums: Discipline, Beat, and Three of a Perfect Pair. Belew was responsible for the vocals, as well as almost all of the lyrics on the three albums, which broke the overall trend for King Crimson in that the songs with lyrics outnumbered instrumental pieces by two to one. The other members concurred, and so King Crimson was re-born. During rehearsals and initial recorded sessions in 1981, Fripp began suspecting that this new band really was King Crimson, despite his decision to call it Discipline.
He would join immediately following his tour with the Talking Heads. Belew, for his part, was flattered. Fripp had never worked with another guitarist in the same band, so the decision to seek a second guitarist was highly indicative of Fripp's desire to create a sound completely unlike King Crimson. During this time, Fripp called up guitarist Adrian Belew, who was on tour with Talking Heads.
Levin was well-known for his session work with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Peter Gabriel and others, and would have been one of Fripp's first choices had he known Levin was available. King Crimson had its bassist. The two spent some time searching for a bassist, but had little success in recruiting one until Tony Levin stopped by. Early in 1981, Robert Fripp and Bill Bruford began considering the formation of a new group, to be called Discipline. Instead, it was the end of an era.
Red seemed to be the end of King Crimson. "King Crimson is completely over for ever and ever," he said. The Red line-up never toured, however; two months prior to the album's release, Robert Fripp announced that King Crimson had ceased to exist. Fripp, increasingly distracted from Crimson by the writings of the mystic George Gurdjieff, even spoke of being replaced by McDonald.
Ian McDonald also returned as a session musician on alto saxophone, with plans to rejoin as a full-time member. Cross appeared on "Providence," recorded in its namesake in Rhode Island. Red included former member Mel Collins on soprano saxophone, Robin Miller on oboe and Marc Charig on cornet. His role as a violin-player had been more important in the earlier days of this version of Crimson, but as the music progressed — and got louder — he increasingly felt his contribution was unheard and sidelined: reduced, as he once said, to being just the electric piano player. He went, leaving the remaining trio to record Red.
David Cross’s place in the group, meanwhile, was coming under pressure. Another recording of live gigs, USA, was recorded soon afterwards but not released for another year. Fripp never felt that recordings of any sort were adequate to capture the atmosphere and energy of a live performance. Most of the album was actually recorded from gigs the band played in 1973, with only two full tracks ("The Great Deceiver" and "Lament") and part of another track ("The Night Watch") being studio productions, a fact that emphasises King Crimson's essentially live nature.
Muir departed the group early in 1973, and during the lengthy tour that followed, the remaining members began assembling material for their next album, Starless and Bible Black. By early 1974, the album was finished. Fripp's guitar playing was loud and aggressive, and Bruford's propulsive drumming meshed with Wetton's often powerful bass guitar. This era of King Crimson demonstrated a kinship with the nascent heavy metal music then developing mainly in the United States and the United Kingdom. Rehearsals began in late 1972, and Larks' Tongues in Aspic was released early the next year, and the group spent the remainder of 1973 touring Britain, Europe, and America.
Finally, violin, viola and keyboard player David Cross was selected to flesh out the sound of the new band. Bruford himself was more interested in artistic pursuits, and the framework of King Crimson appealed to that sensibility in him. Bruford was choosing to leave Yes, a band with immense commercial potential, for King Crimson, a band with a history of instability and unpredictability. Yes drummer Bill Bruford was next to sign up, a move that was deemed a poor career move by some.
Now that King Crimson was starting over from scratch again, the opportunity was ripe. Wetton had been under consideration for the previous lineup of the band, but that proposition had fallen through. Next came vocalist and bassist John Wetton, one of Fripp's college acquaintances. The first to join was improvising percussionist Jamie Muir, whom Fripp had been considering as a possible member for some time.
Shortly after the Earthbound tour, Fripp once again began looking for new members. Recordings from this tour were later edited by Fripp to become the Earthbound album. The remaining members undertook a tour the following year, with the intention of disbanding afterwards. At the end of that year, King Crimson parted ways with long-time member and lyricist Peter Sinfield.
In the midst of the lengthy tour that followed, the band released Islands in 1971. Drummer Ian Wallace and vocalist Boz Burrell were selected, but after more than two dozen potential bassists had come and gone, Fripp decided simply to teach Boz to play bass. Fripp began auditioning. Haskell and McCulloch left just before the release of Lizard, leaving King Crimson as a rock band without a singer, bassist, or drummer.
Andy McCulloch played drums for the album, with Jon Anderson of Yes appearing on one song. Greg Lake departed in April to form Emerson, Lake & Palmer, leaving King Crimson without a vocalist until Gordon Haskell took over singing, in addition to playing bass, for the band's third album, Lizard. During this time, material was being developed for King Crimson's second album, In the Wake of Poseidon. Woodwind player Mel Collins came on board, and bassist Peter Giles appeared on several tracks. The remaining trio of Fripp, Sinfield, and Lake persevered for a short while, releasing the single Cat Food/Groon in March of 1970.
King Crimson's lineup fluctuated tremendously during the next few years. McDonald went on to be a founding member of Foreigner in 1976. Tensions and musical differences within the band eventually reached a limit, however; Ian McDonald and Michael Giles left the band in December 1969 to pursue solo work. King Crimson went on tour through England, and later the United States, performing alongside many contemporary popular musicians and musical groups, including Iron Butterfly, Janis Joplin, The Rolling Stones, and Fleetwood Mac.
Over the course of the year, the first King Crimson album, In the Court of the Crimson King, emerged from the chaos. Early in January 1969, the group rehearsed for the first time. Lyricist Peter Sinfield and composer Ian McDonald were soon recruited, and thus the first incarnation of King Crimson was born. Robert Fripp and Michael Giles began discussing the formation of King Crimson in November of 1968, soon before the breakup of the short-lived and unsuccessful band Giles, Giles, and Fripp. The first musician to be added to the lineup was singer-guitarist Greg Lake, who was to play bass and sing.
To him King Crimson "is a way of doing things"  (http://www.progressiveears.com/frippbook/contents.htm), and the musical consistency that has persisted throughout the band's history, despite continuous rotation of its members, reflects this point of view. A considerable amount of King Crimson's history consists of the various personnel changes that have occurred within the group. Throughout its history, Robert Fripp has been the only consistent member, though he has stated that he does not consider himself the band's leader, necessarily. The name King Crimson was coined by Peter Sinfield as a synonym for Beelzebub, prince of demons; according to Fripp, Beelzebub is an anglicized form of the Arabic phrase "B'il Sabab," meaning "the man with an aim". (http://www.songsouponsea.com/Promenade/Metaphysical.html). Their musical style has typically been categorized as rock and roll or progressive rock.
Though its membership has fluctuated considerably during its lifetime, the band continues to perform and record music today. King Crimson is a musical group founded by guitarist Robert Fripp and drummer Michael Giles in 1968. In the Court of King Crimson, Sid Smith, Helter Skelter Publishing, 2001 (official website (http://www.inthecourtofkingcrimson.com)). Robert Fripp: From King Crimson to Guitar Craft, Eric Tamm, Faber and Faber, 1990 (online version of book (http://www.progressiveears.com/frippbook/contents.htm)).
ProjeKct X. ProjeKct Four. ProjeKct Three. ProjeKct Two.
ProjeKct One. Neal and Jack and Me (DVD) (2004, recorded 1982 & 1984). Eyes Wide Open (DVD) (2003, recorded 2000 & 2003). déjà VROOOM (DVD) (1999, recorded 1995).
Live in Japan (VHS) (1996, recorded 1995). Three of a Perfect Pair: Live in Japan (VHS) (1984, recorded 1984). The Noise: Frejus (VHS) (1984, recorded 1982). The 21st Century Guide To King Crimson - Volume One - 1969-1974 (2004).
Sleepless: The Concise King Crimson (1993). Frame by Frame: The Essential King Crimson (4CD set) (1991). Heartbeat: The Abbreviated King Crimson (1991). The Compact King Crimson (1986).
A Young Person's Guide to King Crimson (2LP set) (1976). Live in Philadelphia, PA (2004, recorded 1982). Live at Fillmore East (2004, recorded 1969). Live in Guildford (2003, recorded 1972).
Live in Orlando, FL (2CD set) (2003, recorded 1972). The Champaign-Urbana Sessions (2003, recorded 1983). Live in Hyde Park, London (2002, recorded 1969 & 1997). Live at the Zoom Club (2CD set) (2002, recorded 1972).
Live in Nashville, TN (2002, recorded 2001). Live in Detroit, MI (2CD set) (2001, recorded 1971). Live in Berkeley, CA (2001, recorded 1982). Live in Mainz, Germany (2001, recorded 1974).
Live at Plymouth Guildhall (2CD set) (2001, recorded 1971). Nashville Rehearsals (2000, recorded 1997). Live at Moles Club, Bath (2000, recorded 1981). Live in Central Park, NYC (2000, recorded 1974).
Live at Summit Studios (2000, recorded 1972). The VROOOM Sessions (1999, recorded 1994). On Broadway (2CD set) (1999, recorded 1995). Live at Cap D'Agde (1999, recorded 1982).
The Beat Club, Bremen (1999, recorded 1972). Live at Jacksonville (1998, recorded 1972). Live at The Marquee (1998, recorded 1969). EleKtrik: Live in Japan (2003).
Ladies of the Road (2CD set) (2002, recorded 1971-1972). Level Five (2001). VROOOM VROOOM (2CD set) (2001, recorded 1995-1996). Heavy ConstruKction (3CD set) (2000).
The Beginners' Guide To The King Crimson Collectors' Club (2000, recorded 1969-1998). The Deception of the Thrush: A Beginners' Guide to ProjeKcts (1999, recorded 1997-1999). The ProjeKcts (4CD set) (1999, recorded 1997-1999). Live in Mexico City (released only as a Windows Media Audio download) (1999, recorded 1996).
Cirkus: The Young Persons' Guide to King Crimson Live (2CD set) (1999, recorded 1969-1998). Absent Lovers: Live in Montreal (2CD set) (1998, recorded 1984). The Night Watch (2CD set) (1998, recorded 1973). Epitaph (4CD set) (1997, recorded 1969).
THRaKaTTaK (1996, recorded 1995). B'Boom: Live In Argentina (1995, recorded 1994). The Great Deceiver (4CD set) (1992, recorded 1973-1974). USA (1975, recorded 1974).
Earthbound (1972). Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream (1995). People (1995). Dinosaur (1995).
Sleepless (1984). Three of a Perfect Pair/Man With an Open Heart (1984). Heartbeat (1982). Thela Hun Ginjeet (1981).
Elephant Talk (1981). Matte Kudasai (1981). Epitaph/21st Century Schizoid Man (1976). The Night Watch/The Great Deceiver (1974).
Atlantic Sampler (1973). Cat Food/Groon (1970). The Power to Believe (2003). Happy With What You Have to Be Happy With (2002).
The ConstruKction of Light (2000). THRAK (1995). VROOOM (1994). Three of a Perfect Pair (1984).
Beat (1982). Discipline (1981). Red (1974). Starless and Bible Black (1974).
Larks' Tongues in Aspic (1973). Islands (1971). Lizard (1970). In the Wake of Poseidon (1970).
In the Court of the Crimson King (1969).