“Four gentlemen and one great, great broad. Big Brother and The Holding Company” – Bill Graham intro
I recall bringing this album with me everywhere I went that summer. I never tire of listening to these vibrant tracks.
Cheap Thrills is a studio album by American rock band Big Brother and the Holding Company. It was their last album with Janis Joplin as lead singer. For Cheap Thrills, the band and producer John Simon incorporated recordings of crowd noise to give the impression of a live album, for which it was subsequently mistaken by listeners. Only the final song, a cover of “Ball and Chain“, had been recorded live (at The Fillmore in San Francisco).
The cover was drawn by underground cartoonist Robert Crumb after the band’s original cover idea, a photo of the group naked in bed together was vetoed by Columbia Records. Crumb had originally intended his art for the LP back cover, with a portrait of Janis Joplin to grace the front. But Joplin, an avid fan of underground comics, especially the work of Crumb, so loved the Cheap Thrills illustration that she demanded Columbia place it on the front cover. It is number nine on Rolling Stone’s list of one hundred greatest album covers.
On March 22, 2013, the album was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress and thus it was preserved into the National Recording Registry for the 2012 register. The album was named the 163rd best album of the 1960s by Pitchfork.