Throwback Thursday: Janis Joplin

For this week’s Throwback Thursday we’re marking the 42nd anniversary of Janis Joplin’s death with a set of classic Joplin songs.

Few artists have left as indelible a mark on music as Janis Joplin.  She cleared the way for female musicians to have more opportunities in music than ever before and is considered an idol by many, such as Florence Welch and especially Stevie Nicks.  On seeing Joplin live (Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham’s band Fritz actually opened for her), Nicks said “I knew that a little bit of my destiny had changed. I would search to find that connection that I had seen between Janis and her audience. In a blink of an eye she changed my life.”  Although she is considered a pioneer for women in her style and commanding presence, perhaps her most enduring feature is her voice.

And what a voice.  There are very few artists that you can immediately identify, no matter what the context – Joplin would definitely qualify.  More than just being distinctive, her voice conveys such a vulnerable, aching quality to it that it’s amazing how forceful it can also be.  If such a thing can be quantified, than you’d have to argue that Janis Joplin puts more soul into her performances than most artists possibly ever could.  Some things are truly timeless, and the fact that Joplin’s songs can still be simultaneously heart-wrenching and exhilarating 42 years after her death shows that they most certainly are.  Join us at 5pm today to reflect on one of music’s great icons.

By Bentley J. Holt

If you liked this, check out:
Throwback Thursday: Bryan Ferry
This Week in Music History

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