http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/d3e4df8756d4e93a2cd6804783f567be50386700.jpg The Essential Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin

The Essential Janis Joplin

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 4 0
December 30, 2002

Janis Joplin didn't have time to leave a sizable legacy. And aside from her posthumous Pearl, her albums didn't always support the shifting weight of her physically rigorous talent. So The Essential Janis Joplin is accurately named and better than other, similarly titled compilations: Unlike her box sets or her skimpy Greatest Hits, this two-disc, thirty-track anthology gets the balance right for everyone but collectors and completists. Essential combines all necessary album tracks (including almost all of Pearl) with satisfying live renditions. Capable of both a respectful rendering of George and Ira Gershwin's "Summertime" and a sweaty reworking of the Bee Gees' "To Love Somebody," Joplin remains the ultimate rock interpreter — the iconoclast who could rewrite songs with a single scream.

Album Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Santa Monica”

    Everclear | 1996

    After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

    More Song Stories entries »