On Oct. 12, 1968, two months after its release, Big Brother and the Holding Company had the #1 album in the US with Cheap Thrills.
The psychedelic band from San Francisco was fronted by the passionate and powerful vocalist Janis Joplin. The group had garnered attention after their performance at the Monterey International Pop Music Festival in the summer of 1967, and Clive Davis, head of Columbia Records, worked hard to get them out of their recording contract so their next album would be on his label.
Cheap Thrills had the most elaborate graphic design Columbia Records had ever given to a rock album. It featured an illustration by underground comix cartoonist Robert Crumb which was intended to be the back of the album, but Joplin, a Crumb fan, insisted that the illustration be the cover.
The song “Piece of My Heart” was released as a single and quickly entered the Top 20 in the autumn of 1968. The band had found the song from a 1967 single (on London Records) that had been recorded by Aretha Franklin’s sister, Erma Franklin. Joplin’s version of the blues had a more fiery and daring interpretation for the song. http://youtu.be/wCsMGQ2Pgzg