Offered for sale is a stereo copy of the self-titled 1967 debut LP by Big Brother & the Holding Company, including a rare hype sticker on the shrinkwrap noting that the album features Janis Joplin.
About this copy: This copy of Big Brother & the Holding Company is an original 1960s stereo pressing on the Mainstream label. The cover retains its original shrink wrap, which has a large orange hype sticker that says “Featuring Janis Joplin” and lists five song titles.
The cover is VG++, with slight foxing on the back. There are several large tears on the shrinkwrap, though it is all there. The record is VG++, with a couple of small marks that should not adversely affect play.
An interesting 1960s artifact and the only copy of this album that we’ve ever seen with this sticker.
Background: Big Brother & the Holding Company’s first LP was issued on the small Mainstream Records label, and while Janis Joplin is credited as the band’s vocalist, she had yet to be come Janis Joplin, superstar. That didn’t happen until after the band left Mainstream to release Cheap Thrills for Columbia.
As the band became successful at Columbia, Mainstream kept the first LP in print and added a huge, bright orange hype sticker to the cover to note that the album, which did not mention Joplin on the front cover at all, did prominently feature the singer.
This probably helped sales a bit, but most buyers of the album discarded both the shrinkwrap and the sticker as soon as they got home from the store, making copies with the sticker rather rare.
The debut, self-titled album from Big Brother & the Holding Company is an evolving paradigm, ten tracks initially issued on Mainstream Records, a label that would have success in 1968 with “Journey to the Center of the Mind” by Ted Nugent’s Amboy Dukes. Big Brother’s strength sans Janis was their ability to experiment and rely heavily on ideas to make up for their lack of musical prowess. The album does contain interesting studies of future classics, like Moondog’s “All Is Loneliness” (the street poet eventually signing with Columbia himself), and Joplin’s creative arrangement of “Down on Me,” making it more of an entertaining textbook than a deep musical experience.
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