Janis Joplin

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Biography Documentary hosted by Harry Smith, published by A&E in 2000 - English narration

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Image: Janis-Joplin-Cover.jpg

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The undisputed queen sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, Janis Joplin broke into the boys club and out of the stifling good-girl feminity of post-war America. With her incredible wall-of-sound vocals, Janis Joplin was the voice of a generation. There is Janis the lesbian, the misfit, the rebel, the conformer, the junky, the drinker, the genius and the lonely woman. This moving documentary shows that she constructed many of these images herself as coats of armour to help her cope and protect a vulnerable self. The wild clothes and living, even her 'cackling' laugh were but tools to divert the truth. The real Janis remained unseen by most, glimpsed by only a few. Video footage recorded by John Cooke, road manager of the band Big Brother And The Holding Company, gives a rare glimpse of Janis away from the stage and the media.

Janis Joplin was one of the most influential musical artists of the 20th century, and an important figure of the 1960s rock 'n' roll era. Emerging from the conservative and racially divided world of the 1950s, Joplin arrived on the counter-culture scene of the 1960s as a rebellious soul with an unconventional attitude towards sex, drugs, and music.

Joplin achieved her initial fame as the lead singer of Big Brother and the Holding Company. Borrowing from African-American blues music, Joplin performed with an unbridled passion that had never been seen from a white, female artist. She defied society's stringent expectations of women's dress and behavior, and her wild-child style redefined the image of the female artist.

Within a year of her initial success, Joplin moved on to form the Kozmic Blues Band, taking on a more bluesy, funky sound. Joplin and her new band made history for their performance at the 1969 Woodstock Music & Art Fair in upstate New York—a festival that is now considered to be one of the most pivotal moments in contemporary music history.

Two years later, Joplin moved on again, this time forming the Full-Tilt Boogie band. It was during this time that Joplin produced her last record, Pearl. The album included the track "Mercedes Benz," a social commentary on materialism that would become a popular single. It would also be the last song that Joplin ever recorded. Shortly before the album was released, on October 4, 1970, Joplin died of a heroin overdose at the Landmark Motor Hotel in Los Angeles, California. She was only 27 years old at the time of her death.

Pearl hit record stores in February of 1971. The posthumous work became the best-selling album of Joplin's career, and featured her biggest hit single, "Me and Bobby McGee." But the album would hardly be the end of Joplin's musical legacy. Her innovative style continues to influence thousands of musicians as well as inspire films, plays and songs about her life.

A BBC / A&E Network Co-Production ( 2000 )

- Note - This documentary has aired in the UK BBC "Reputations" - series under title "Southern Discomfort - Janis Joplin".

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Video Codec: AVC Advanced Video Codec
  • Video Bitrate: 1 427 KB/s
  • Display Aspect Ratio: 4:3
  • Video Resolution: 704 x 544
  • Audio Codec: (Dolby AC3)
  • Audio Bitrate: 192 Kb/s 48000Hz
  • Audio Channels: 2
  • Run-Time: 43mn 59s
  • Framerate: 29.970 FPS
  • Number of Parts: 1
  • Part Size: 520 Mb
  • Ripped by DocFreak08
  • Subtitles: no

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