Big Brother and Holding Company - Cheap Thrills
One of the sixties' greatest psychedelic/acid rock documents, Cheap Thrills by Janis Joplin and Big Brother and The Holding Company is the total package, literally. Never mind the sonic power of songs like "Combination of the Two," "Piece of My Heart" or "I Need a Man to Love," this wonderful cover done by comic and animation legend Art Crumb is a visual fiesta that can give you minutes of fun by sampling each panel. As a child, I was utterly fascinated by this cover and handed it to my mom to play all the time so I could listen to it and study this art closely. Part of the sixties' atmosphere of frustration is captured vividly on Cheap Thrils, but it's done in such a way that there's a San Franciscan artsiness about the thing that allows you to take it lightly. When you open the gatefold, the stage that Janis and Big Brother is on appears larger-than-life, particuarly that boulder-looking thing on the screen behind the band. Utterly wonderful stuff.