Janis Joplin tunes

Video blocked due to privacy settings

[rcb-consent type=”change” tag=”link” text=”Change privacy settings”]

Janis Joplin’s best album was released three months after she’d joined the 27 Club!

Janis Joplin’s short career span of only four years and as many albums came to an end as she joined the 27 Club on the 4th of October 1970 after a heroin overdose paired with excessive alcohol consumption.

Her final solo album was released posthumously. Named Pearl, it did have her best work on it, but let’s start from the beginning.

In 1967, Janis was the lead singer of Big Brother & The Holding Company. After a well-received performance at the Monterey Pop Festival, Columbia Records took over the rights for their debut album from indie label Mainstream Records.

Columbia relaunched the album with a new front cover, now having Janis Joplin’s name printed on it, clearly recognizing her as the star of the show.

The debut album had one minor hit in Down On Me but even with the backing of Columbia, it was not a success.

The follow-up, Cheap Thrills (1968) was a studio album with added fake crowd noise. Two big tunes came from this album, a cover of jazz standard Summertime and Piece of My Heart.

Piece of My Heart was a tune everyone was recording in the late ’60s, including Aretha Franklin’s sister Erma, and Dusty Springfield, Dusty changed the title slightly.

The next studio album from Janis was her first solo adventure, dubbed I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama! (1969). Unfortunately, the record didn’t contain any hit tunes but to be fair, neither did her old band’s album which without her was released the following year, both on Columbia.

On Janis’s solo debut, there was an attempt to turn Bee Gees hit To Love Somebody into a blues but it didn’t really work and wasn’t even released as a single.

Finally, Janis’s masterpiece, Pearl was released just three months after her death from misadventure.

Here we get her best work in Move Over, Me and Bobby McGee (a Kris Kristofferson cover), and Mercedes Benz. The latter two have both become huge tunes. In my opinion, Move Over is an underrated, but fantastic addition to a female-lead blues rock band’s setlist.

Move Over is also a great exercise for a guitarist to sync with the singer of the band. I really should record it and turn it into guitar lessons!

Janis Joplin Tunes | Related Pages

Me and Bobby McGee

Me and Bobby McGee chords.

You can learn how to play Me and Bobby McGee by Janis Joplin using chords, lyrics, chord analysis, and the original recordings.

G | G |
Busted flat in Baton Rouge, waitin’ for a train…

Piece of My Heart

Piece of My Heart chords

Learn how to play Piece of My Heart by Janis Joplin and Dusty Springfield using chords, lyrics, chord analysis, and the original recordings.

E A | B A |
Didn’t I make you feel like you…


Summertime chords

You can learn how to play Summertime by Billie Holiday using chords, lyrics, chord analysis, and the original recording.

Bbm7 F7b9/C | Db6 F7b9/C | Bbm7 F7b9/C | Db6 F7b9/C |
Summertime and the living is easy…

Janis Joplin on the web

Listen to Janis Joplin on Spotify.

Artists & Bands

Artist and Band biographies

Behind every single tune you learn, there’s an artist or band with an entire catalogue of music, waiting to be discovered.

Find out more about these great Artists & Bands, and let their tunes guide you to success.

About me | Dan Lundholm

Dan Lundholm wrote this article on Janis Joplin tunes.

This was an article about Janis Joplin tunes, by Dan Lundholm. Discover more about him and learn guitar with Spytunes.

Most importantly, find out why you should learn guitar through playing tunes, not practising scales, and studying theory in isolation.


Share this page