October 01, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT

Joplin was the archetypal self-annihilating rock chick. These spit-shined reissues bring her legacy into sharp focus. The oft-overlooked self-titled debut from Joplin’s first band, Big Brother and the Holding Company, is a charming psych-pop artifact, but Cheap Thrills is a blues-rock apotheosis, with Joplin’s primal scream scraping up against Big Brother’s willfully deranged, acid-stoked boogie. Joplin’s two solo albums find her working with slicker players and a more traditionalist song template. Her voice is reined in but she’s more in control.

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