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Old 07-14-2019, 10:03 PM
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I don't love Janis Joplin


Sacriledge, I know. Janis is one of the greats, right? I've been trying to think of a way to describe why I don't love her, it comes down to, screaming is not singing. Not a good decription . No logic here.

Last edited by Mike Mabes; 07-14-2019 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 07-14-2019, 10:16 PM
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She always scared me. My sister had a poster of her when I was at an impressionable age. I would not go in that room alone. And, yeah the screaming doesn't do it for me, either. You like (or dislike) what you like (or dislike)
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Old 07-14-2019, 10:19 PM
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I also am not a fan. It's ok. We like (or don't) what we like.
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Old 07-14-2019, 10:28 PM
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Oh, she's terrible. I'm not sure that is a super rare opinion.

I could not stand this kind of similar girl last year on America's Got Talent either.
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Old 07-14-2019, 10:39 PM
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I love Janis Joplin. But Prince leaves me cold, so what do I know?
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Old 07-14-2019, 10:41 PM
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She's got passion. At least that's what I think ppl mean when they describe why they like her. And i kinda get it. But generally, meh.
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Old 07-14-2019, 11:09 PM
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I'm not a fan and I ditched out of finishing that book about her, buried alive. That being said she is great in concert movies and I can enjoy her as a great artist I suppose, for that experience. I never play the LPs though.
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Old 07-14-2019, 11:16 PM
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Sacriledge, I know. Janis is one of the greats, right? I've been trying to think of a way to describe why I don't love her, it comes down to, screaming is not singing. Not a good decription . No logic here.
I agree with your sentiments. I don't much care for her singing, either (I have the same objection to metal "singers" as well).

Also not a Bob Dylan fan. His voice is extremely unpleasant to my ears.
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Old 07-14-2019, 11:50 PM
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I was never a fan, either. But it was more meh than yuck for me.
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Old 07-14-2019, 11:57 PM
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I agree with your sentiments. I don't much care for her singing, either (I have the same objection to metal "singers" as well).

Also not a Bob Dylan fan. His voice is extremely unpleasant to my ears.
Don't make the mistake of lumping all metal singers together. There is a vast difference in all the sub genres. I dont much like the cookie monster metal singers too much (with exceptions), but dont lump them in with Bruce Dickinson or Mike Patton (of iron maiden and Faith No More) who are two of the best vocalists working in metal (or any genre) today.
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:55 AM
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I love Janis Joplin. But Prince leaves me cold, so what do I know?
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:06 AM
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There seem to be a lot of standard classics (singers, actors, films, books) that people cite as though we are all familiar with them and all agree they are great, but they seem to conveniently forget that taste is personal for things like this; not everybody was indoctrinated with them in their youth; nor grew to love them once reaching maturity. Some things are just dull and suck and are not worth your time, and I think it's okay to admit that.

And so proudly I say to you all, I don't like Shakespeare, Stairway To Heaven, To Kill A Mockingbird, Gone With The Wind, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, or Pulp Fiction. So there.
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:38 AM
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And I love her. Sister's got pipes.
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:41 AM
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I admire the person WAY more than I do the music.
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Old 07-15-2019, 04:55 AM
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...I have the same objection to metal "singers" as well)...
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Don't make the mistake of lumping all metal singers together...
Seanette may lump all s/he wants to if the statement is accurate (and why would you assume it's not?).


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Old 07-15-2019, 05:08 AM
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Thing is, she could sing. I love her version of Me and Bobby McGee. Too bad she died before she could do more stuff like that.
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Old 07-15-2019, 05:18 AM
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Janice was never a favorite of mine. Meadow and Anthony Jr were ok.
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Old 07-15-2019, 07:26 AM
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Sacriledge, I know. Janis is one of the greats, right? I've been trying to think of a way to describe why I don't love her, it comes down to, screaming is not singing. Not a good decription . No logic here.
It’s actually not all that a controversial an opinion. Janis seems to be one of them love them or hate them musicians. I happen to enjoy her music and style of singing, but I know plenty of folks who just cannot stand her.
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Old 07-15-2019, 07:58 AM
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Whiskey and her fondness for shrieking damaged her pipes.

It's a shame there's no recordings of her singing in Texas before moving to San Francisco.

I liked several Joplin songs. Ball & Chain is my favorite, Bobby McGee is a close 2nd, Get It While You Can 3rd.

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Old 07-15-2019, 08:06 AM
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@pulykamell : personally, I put people who dislike Piece of my Heart in the same box as them who don't like Eminem's Kim on a "for fuck's sake, can't you grok just how hard these people deeply feel their lyrics ?!" level. Even if I know it's all pretend. As George Burns once said: when you can fake sincerity, you've got it made.
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Old 07-15-2019, 08:15 AM
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Thing is, she could sing. I love her version of Me and Bobby McGee. Too bad she died before she could do more stuff like that.
I've heard her singing praised. One critic said that she sounded as though she were singing in harmony with herself.

And let us not forget the Mercedes Benz song.
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Old 07-15-2019, 08:24 AM
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Oh, she's terrible. I'm not sure that is a super rare opinion.

I could not stand this kind of similar girl last year on America's Got Talent either.
That reminds me of nothing so much as the time Danielle Brisebois sang "I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate" at Kelsey's bar (in All In The Family). Wish I could find a clip of it.
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Old 07-15-2019, 08:58 AM
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Whiskey and her fondness for shrieking damaged her pipes.

It's a shame there's no recordings of her singing in Texas before moving to San Francisco.

I liked several Joplin songs. Ball & Chain is my favorite, Bobby McGee is a close 2nd, Get It While You Can 3rd.
Ball And Chain was Janis at her howling blues best. The live performance at Monterey left even Cass Elliot stunned.

Last edited by Chefguy; 07-15-2019 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 07-15-2019, 09:31 AM
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Joplin was a great singer and few were better at belting out emotions.

Unfortunately, her style of singing is out of fashion nowadays. People expect a smooth voice, and her roughness is hard to understand if you're used to the modern women singers. But she's strongly in the tradition of growly blues singers.
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Old 07-15-2019, 09:52 AM
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Janis was one of the greatest rock singers in the blues-derived tradition. She had both the passion and the voice to tear into a song.

In her day, she was rightfully compared to the great blues singers such as Bessie Smith: "Nobody Knows You When You Are Down And Out" - Bessie, Janis

Two Many Cats, If you like Me & Bobbi McGee, you should look for her quieter, blues songs, or something like her rendition of Summertime
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Old 07-15-2019, 09:55 AM
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That reminds me of nothing so much as the time Danielle Brisebois sang "I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate" at Kelsey's bar (in All In The Family). Wish I could find a clip of it.
Fun fact- she grew up to be a middling recording artist but highly succesful songwriter, cowriting two top 5 hits for Natasha Bedingfield, songs for dozens of other top artists and getting a Academy award nom for the song "Lost Stars".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danielle_Brisebois

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Old 07-15-2019, 09:59 AM
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I enjoyed Janis and liked several of her songs. I didn't care much for Prince either, but of course I can still recognize his talent and skill.

However, the best singer ever in the world is Alecia Beth Moore. I will accept no arguments against this opinion.
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Old 07-15-2019, 10:19 AM
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I enjoyed Janis in my youth, and owned all her major releases on LP. When I started switching over to CDs in the mid-80s (I was in my mid-20s), I never bothered to replace the Janis albums. She’s not on my Spotify list, either.

Jimi Hendrix also too. I can spin all those discs in my head; never need to hear them again.
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Old 07-15-2019, 10:36 AM
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I wonder what she would be like now if she hadn't died.
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Old 07-15-2019, 10:38 AM
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Old.

Actually, underground cartoonist Justin Green used to do one-pagers called “Musical Legends” for a record-shop magazine, and portrayed her as a wooly-haired hipster grandmother driving the kids to a soccer game and entertaining them by singing “Mercedes Benz.”
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Old 07-15-2019, 10:43 AM
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Actually, underground cartoonist Justin Green used to do one-pagers called “Musical Legends” for a record-shop magazine, and portrayed her as a wooly-haired hipster grandmother driving the kids to a soccer game and entertaining them by singing “Mercedes Benz.”
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Old 07-15-2019, 10:46 AM
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We tend to romanticize celebrities who lived wild and died young, going all the way back to James Dean. I think it magnifies and maintains their fame over time.
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:13 AM
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Old.


Yes, but old asshole like David Crosby, old zombie-on-life-support like Keith Richards, old timer turned trump Republican like Nugent or Charlie Daniels, old relic touring casinos, or old legend but still dead like Tom Petty?
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:21 PM
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Yes, but old asshole like David Crosby, old zombie-on-life-support like Keith Richards, old timer turned trump Republican like Nugent or Charlie Daniels, old relic touring casinos, or old legend but still dead like Tom Petty?
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:50 PM
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Janis was one of the greatest rock singers in the blues-derived tradition. She had both the passion and the voice to tear into a song.

In her day, she was rightfully compared to the great blues singers such as Bessie Smith: "Nobody Knows You When You Are Down And Out" - Bessie, Janis

Two Many Cats, If you like Me & Bobbi McGee, you should look for her quieter, blues songs, or something like her rendition of Summertime
As I recall, Janis grew up hearing Bessie Smith records at home and would try to imitate her sound.
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:05 PM
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I find that there are many occasions when she over-cooks the soul side of her vocals, as if making more noise and more distortion makes more souls, and it does not.

When she was more restrained then she was great, its when she is trying hard that it does not work.

Soul is a style, not a decibel level.

Another one that was guilty of this was Wilson Pickett and same applies when he sticks to singing instead of forcing it, then it works so much better.
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:26 PM
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There seem to be a lot of standard classics (singers, actors, films, books) that people cite as though we are all familiar with them and all agree they are great, but they seem to conveniently forget that taste is personal for things like this; not everybody was indoctrinated with them in their youth; nor grew to love them once reaching maturity. Some things are just dull and suck and are not worth your time, and I think it's okay to admit that.

And so proudly I say to you all, I don't like Shakespeare, Stairway To Heaven, To Kill A Mockingbird, Gone With The Wind, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, or Pulp Fiction. So there.
You forgot "Firefly".
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:29 PM
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I find that there are many occasions when she over-cooks the soul side of her vocals, as if making more noise and more distortion makes more souls, and it does not.

When she was more restrained then she was great, its when she is trying hard that it does not work.

Soul is a style, not a decibel level.

Another one that was guilty of this was Wilson Pickett and same applies when he sticks to singing instead of forcing it, then it works so much better.
I can't think of any Wilson Pickett songs where he sings with "noise and distortion." Could you elaborate?
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Old 07-15-2019, 02:08 PM
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Joplin was one of those artists who was absolutely fabulous when experienced live... but not so much in recordings. I saw her live two or three times, and was totally blown away. But her recordings are basically screeching.
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Old 07-15-2019, 02:48 PM
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Sacriledge, I know. Janis is one of the greats, right? I've been trying to think of a way to describe why I don't love her, it comes down to, screaming is not singing. Not a good decription . No logic here.
She, like The Dead, was a concert phenomena. More or less they only play 2 or 3 Joplin songs on the media: "Me and Bobby McGee" which isnt screaming, except maybe at the end, "Piece of My Heart", and Mercedes Benz.

I never watched her live, but I did get to two Dead concerts and the experience is nothing like listening to canned music. And i dont mean the drugs, I mean the sound.
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Old 07-15-2019, 03:12 PM
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I love Janis. As an artist and a person. She could belt the blues raw enough to strip paint but was also intelligent, perceptive and wholly unpretentious. (Her appearances on the Dick Cavett show are among the most compelling artifacts of the time, two people who come from different worlds yet sharing an obvious mutual affection and respect.) That sensitivity comes through in her work loud and clear, at least to these ears. "Me and Bobby McGee" is Exhibit A. I guess you either hear it or you don't.

I would concur that as a recording artist, she never lived to make her masterpiece. Pearl comes close and Cheap Thrills is really good. I remember hearing an anecdote from Paul Rothchild (her final record producer) that always made me sad: he said Joplin told him her ambition was to bank enough money as a singer to open a saloon by the time she blew her voice out for good. Rothchild replied that he wanted to help her care for her voice so that "in twenty years, you'll make your best album, and I want to be there to produce it." What might have been ...

Last edited by Nonsuch; 07-15-2019 at 03:13 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 07-15-2019, 03:16 PM
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Jaycat Here ya go

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYT_51J-m2g


Perfect example, for the first part of the song he sings pretty much straightforward soul, but the long lead out he goes way over the top, and for me it just does not work.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXjwmCOJ4KM

He just keeps going just over the edge, the scream takes precedence over the note, either make the scream or make the note, not struggle and produce a poor result which is neither one nor the other.

In this one he does not give it everything and the song is so much better for it

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-A8N63ARck

There is nothing wrong with a raw sound - he just takes it beyond the needs of the song and I say this as someone who listens quite a bit to Chester Burnett
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Old 07-15-2019, 03:57 PM
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damn I hate heroin. Opiates are just trouble.
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Old 07-15-2019, 04:16 PM
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Old.

Actually, underground cartoonist Justin Green used to do one-pagers called “Musical Legends” for a record-shop magazine, and portrayed her as a wooly-haired hipster grandmother driving the kids to a soccer game and entertaining them by singing “Mercedes Benz.”
Jeez, I'm old Janis Joplin...except it was a baseball game.
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Old 07-15-2019, 04:33 PM
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Jaycat Here ya go
Thanks for the links. I guess we hear things a little differently (and I was only thinking of studio recordings). In any event, The Wicked One had a depth to his voice that Janis didn't, and was thus able to pull it off without his voice cracking (which you can often hear hers do).

Last edited by jaycat; 07-15-2019 at 04:34 PM.
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Old 07-15-2019, 04:35 PM
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@pulykamell : personally, I put people who dislike Piece of my Heart in the same box as them who don't like Eminem's Kim on a "for fuck's sake, can't you grok just how hard these people deeply feel their lyrics ?!" level. Even if I know it's all pretend. As George Burns once said: when you can fake sincerity, you've got it made.
I like it, but I can certainly also see the opinion that the interpretation is too over-the-top, and doesn't feel sincere for those reasons. It really is just the ear of the beholder. I happen to like it, but I can't make a judgment about people who hate it, because I can totally understand where they're coming from. I happen to like that kind of theatre in my music.
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Old 07-15-2019, 04:55 PM
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Mike Mabes: Don't feel bad. I don't like her music either. What she does to "Summertime" should be a felony in all 50 states.

I also like Shakespeare, Prince, To Kill a Mockingbird, "Stairway to Heaven," Dylan, and Firefly.

Take that!

Last edited by The_Peyote_Coyote; 07-15-2019 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 07-15-2019, 07:37 PM
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Grace Slick Old.
Gracie looks fine for her age (she’ll be 80 this fall). She’s still got those fashion model cheekbones.

She let her figure go sometime during her fifties, but then so did I.
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Old 07-15-2019, 09:43 PM
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I like it, but I can certainly also see the opinion that the interpretation is too over-the-top, and doesn't feel sincere for those reasons. It really is just the ear of the beholder. I happen to like it, but I can't make a judgment about people who hate it, because I can totally understand where they're coming from. I happen to like that kind of theatre in my music.
Yeah--the vocal and theatrical and emotional qualities that aren't working for other people just work for me. I'm fine with it being idiosyncratic.

(Speaking of idiosyncratic, as cold as Prince leaves me, Janelle Monae's Make Me Feel comes across as a total Prince homage to me, and I freakin LOVE it. I have no explanation.)

(edit: I mean beyond the obvious)

Last edited by Left Hand of Dorkness; 07-15-2019 at 09:46 PM.
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Old 07-15-2019, 09:49 PM
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Old.

Actually, underground cartoonist Justin Green used to do one-pagers called “Musical Legends” for a record-shop magazine, and portrayed her as a wooly-haired hipster grandmother driving the kids to a soccer game and entertaining them by singing “Mercedes Benz.”
"Is it really true that your grandma is Janis Joplin?"

I have a FOAF who saw Ms. Joplin. When asked about the show, she said, "Neither she nor I remembered much about it."
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