Big Brother and the Holding Company

Big Brother and the Holding Company

“Call On Me” by Big Brother  The Holding Company
First album released on August 12, 1967

Monterey International Pop Music Festival

Big Brother and the Holding Company

      The audiences' applause to their performance at the Monterey International Pop Festival was still echoing when Mainstream Records released Big Brother's eponymous Big Brother and the Holding Company album.

      DA Pennebaker and the festival's organizers had to force the band to perform twice, it having refused to let the team film their first performance.

      In the end, it was Janis Joplin that Leacock-Pennebaker, the film company, put on their movie's poster. 

Big Brother and the Holding Company

      The personnel on their first album was not to be the same group that played at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair two years later. By then, Joplin's musical journey had brought her to other places with other musicians.
      This album's band was:
  • Janis Joplin – vocals
  • Peter Albin – bass guitar
  • Sam Andrew – guitar, vocals
  • David Getz – drums
  • James Gurley – guitar, vocals
Track listing
      And the songs were:
Side One

  • Bye, Bye Baby
  • Easy Rider
  • Intruder
  • Light is Faster Than Sound
  • Call On Me
Side Two:

  • Women is Losers
  • Blindman
  • Down on Me
  • Catepillar
  • All is Lonliness
      Band members wrote all but three of the songs which they recorded before Monterey Pop in December 1966. The songs are AM-radio length, that is, all are under three minutes, one, Blindman, less than two minutes. A far cry from what Big Brother and most other so-called underground bands evolved into.

Future Joplin

      It was the Cheap Thrills album with its iconic R Crumb cover that put Big Brother on the musical map in terms of recordings. If people didn't already know of the band's power through the Monterey film, the cover alone enticed them to purchase the album. An album with each song over four minutes, one over five, and and famous "Ball and Chain" coming in at 9:02.