Columbia/Legacy Recordings is releasing Janis: Little Girl Blue (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), the official album companion to the highly acclaimed documentary written, directed and coproduced by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Amy J. Berg (“Deliver Us From Evil,” “West of Memphis”). Janis: Little Girl Blue (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) is being released digitally today (Friday, February 12th) and will be available on CD beginning Friday, March 4th.
A remarkable career-spanning anthology, Janis: Little Girl Blue (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), brings together 17 essential Janis Joplin live and studio performances, including classic solo and Big Brother & the Holding Company tracks. The album debuts a previously unreleased version of “Piece of My Heart” (featured in the documentary and recorded live at the Generation Club in New York City in April 1968 during the Wake for Martin Luther King concert, this performance was included in the 1991 D.A. Pennebaker/Chris Hagedus short film, Comin’ Home, and has been never been available on a commercial audio release).
Janis: Little Girl Blue (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) includes an early recording of Janis Joplin singing Lead Belly’s “Careless Love”; live performances with Big Brother & The Holding Company (from San Francisco’s Avalon Ballroom, the Monterey Pop Festival, the Generation Club in New York City and Detroit’s mythic Grande Ballroom); the Kozmic Blues Band (Frankfurt, West Germany, April 12, 1969); Janis live at the Woodstock Music & Art Fair (August 17, 1969) and the legendary Festival Express Tour (July 4, 1970). Rounding out Janis: Little Girl Blue (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) are definitive studio performances from the classic four original albums–Big Brother & The Holding Company, Cheap Thrills, I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama! and Pearl–recorded during Joplin’s lifetime. All of the recordings on the Janis: Little Girl Blue (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) can be heard in the film.
The Janis: Little Girl Blue (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) package includes new liner notes penned by Amy J. Berg, seldom-seen vintage photographs and reproductions of letters written by Janis, as detailed throughout the documentary.
In Janis: Little Girl Blue, Academy Award-nominated documentarian Amy Berg examines the meteoric rise and untimely fall of one of the most revered and iconic rock ‘n’ roll singers of all time: Janis Joplin. Joplin’s life story is revealed for the first time on film through electrifying archival footage, revealing interviews with friends and family and rare personal letters, presenting an intimate and insightful portrait of a bright, complicated artist who changed music forever.
Joplin’s own words tell much of the film’s story through a series of letters she wrote to her parents over the years, many of them made public for the first time (and read by Southern-born indie rock star/actor Chan Marshall, also known as Cat Power). This correspondence is only one element of the stunning, previously unseen material Berg discovered during the seven years she spent working on Janis: Little Girl Blue. New audio and video of Joplin in concert and in the studio (some shot by legendary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker), and even footage from her emotional return to Texas for her tenth high school reunion, add depth and texture to this remarkable documentary.
Janis: Little Girl Blue is a Content Media Corporation presentation of a Disarming Films and THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC’s American Masters production in association with Jigsaw Productions, Sony Music Entertainment and Union Entertainment Group. Narrated by Chan Marshall, edited by Billy McMillin, Garrett Price, and Joe Beshenkovsky with music by Joel Shearer. Francesco Carrozzini served as cinematographer. The film is produced by Alex Gibney, Amy Berg, Jeff Jampol, and Katherine LeBlond with Michael Kantor, Susan Lacy, Noah C Haeussner, Stacey Offman and Michael Raimondi as executive producers. The film is directed by Amy Berg.
“Amy Berg brings an intimate voice to her absorbing documentary portrait of late blues-rock goddess Janis Joplin,” wrote Guy Lodge in Variety.
David Rooney, writing in the Hollywood Reporter called Janis: Little Girl Blue: “Essential viewing…Berg’s film presents a well-rounded, deeply admiring picture of a maverick talent who paved the way for countless female rockers…tells the legendary singer’s story with vitality and heart.”
Janis: Little Girl Blue premiered at the 2015 Venice Film Festival on September 6, 2015 and played successfully at a number of international festivals including the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, the 2015 Deauville American Film Festival, the 2015 BFI London Film Festival, the Loft Film Festival in Tucson, Arizona, the Houston Cinema Arts Festival, The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, the Key West Film Festival and others.
The film opened in New York City on November 27, 2015 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the IFC Center, where it played to sold-out audiences for an incredible eight-week run. Beginning December 4, “Janis: Little Girl Blue” opened in more than 100 theaters nationwide including movie houses in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Hollywood, San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle, Neptune (NJ), Binghamton (NY), Pelham (NY), Phoenix, Tucson, Denver, Orlando, Miami, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, McKees Rock (PA), Washington DC, Cleveland Heights (OH), Minneapolis, Salt Lake City and others.
In 2016, Janis: Little Girl Blue is already enjoying an amazing international reception, selling out multiple locations in France, Germany, Chile, Colombia, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom (where the film is scheduled to open on additional screens throughout February and March).
Janis: Little Girl Blue will have its exclusive U.S. broadcast premiere Tuesday, May 3rd at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings) on the “American Masters” series. The broadcast will feature a never-before-seen extended film cut with additional archival performance footage and new interviews. The film will also be released on Blu-ray and DVD on May 4th.
Janis Joplin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 by Melissa Etheridge, who performed a tribute set to Janis at the ceremony. “She took a flag and made a place in rock and roll for women,” Etheridge says. “She was the first.” Janis was posthumously given a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005 and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on November 4, 2013. In December 2015, Janis Joplin’s 1964 Porsche 356 was sold at RM Sotheby’s for $1.76 million, the highest price ever paid for a Porsche 356 at auction. Janis bought the car in 1968 and had it painted, bumper to bumper and door to door, in an exotic psychedelic landscape. Fans would often tuck notes to the singer under the Porsche’s windshield wipers. January 11, 2016 marked the 45th anniversary of the posthumous release of Pearl, Janis Joplin’s final studio album. A Night With Janis Joplin, the critically-acclaimed Broadway musical, is currently on tour in the United States and Canada.
- Careless Love – Janis Joplin (from: Janis – Early Performances)
- Down On Me – Big Brother & The Holding Company (from: Big Brother & The Holding Company)
- Women Is Losers – Big Brother & The Holding Company (from: Janis Boxset)
- Ball And Chain – Big Brother & The Holding Company (recorded live at the Monterey Pop Festival – June 17, 1967)
- Piece of My Heart – Big Brother & The Holding Company (Live at the Generation Club – April 1968, previously unreleased as audio only)
- Catch Me Daddy – Big Brother & The Holding Company (recorded live at the Grande Ballroom, Detroit – March 2, 1968; from: Cheap Thrills Expanded Edition)
- Magic Of Love – Big Brother & The Holding Company (recorded live at the Grande Ballroom, Detroit – March 2, 1968; from: Cheap Thrills Expanded Edition)
- Summertime – Big Brother & The Holding Company (from: Cheap Thrills)
- Raise Your Hand – Janis Joplin with the Kozmic Blues Band (recorded live in Frankfort, West Germany – April 12, 1969; from: Farewell Song)
- Maybe – Janis Joplin (from: I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama!)
- Work Me, Lord – Janis Joplin (recorded live at the Woodstock Music & Art Fair – August 17, 1969)
- Trust Me – Janis Joplin & The Full Tilt Boogie Band (from: Pearl)
- Cry Baby – Janis Joplin (recorded live in Calgary during the Festival Express Tour – July 4, 1970; from: Pearl Expanded Edition)
- Tell Mama – Janis Joplin (recorded live in Calgary during the Festival Express Tour – July 4, 1970; from: Pearl Expanded Edition)
- Get It While You Can – Janis Joplin & The Full Tilt Boogie Band (from: Pearl)
- Me And Bobby McGee – Janis Joplin & The Full Tilt Boogie Band (from: Pearl)
- Little Girl Blue – Janis Joplin (from: I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama!)
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.