We gave it an A+
Besides a full disc of early cuts, this set Janis includes every song from Joplin’s three albums, some live, some alternate takes. What is immediately clear: Joplin stands up as one of our most powerful singers, whether crooning gently or rocking passionately, and always with the insistent rhythm of the greatest jazz artists. And that’s despite rarely finding songs as good as she was-”Ball and Chain,” a couple of numbers from Cheap Thrills, and her unexpected folk-country hit ”Me and Bobby McGee” (recorded nine days before she died) are the few equal to her talent. Even so, as this box proves, Joplin is one legend who surpasses her reputation.