Release Date: Nov 30, 2018
Record label: Columbia / Legacy
For a band that recorded one of the seminal albums of 1968, a pretty important year in the history of rock, Big Brother & the Holding Company don't get much respect. Their second album, 1968's Cheap Thrills, was a major popular and critical success in its day, but a great deal of the credit is usually given to their lead singer, Janis Joplin, while her bandmates are often regarded as also-rans who rode her coattails in their day in the sun. The 2018 collection Sex, Dope & Cheap Thrills is a fine starting point for a reassessment of Big Brother; it features 29 outtakes from the Cheap Thrills sessions, most of them unreleased, along with one live number from 1968, and as the songs evolve over multiple takes, they give a clearer picture of how important the musicians were to Joplin's creative development, and vice-versa.