Big Brother & The Holding Company is an American rock band that formed in San Francisco in 1965 as part of the same psychedelic music scene that produced the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and Jefferson Airplane. They are best known as the band that featured Janis Joplin as their lead singer. Their 1968 album Cheap Thrills is considered one of the masterpieces of the psychedelic sound of San Francisco; it reached number one on the Billboard charts, and was ranked number 338 in Rolling Stone's the 500 greatest albums of all time. The album is also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
Links to Peel
Big Brother & The Holding Company was one of the West Coast groups whose colourful names appeared in 1967 UK music press reports on the San Francisco hippy scene and the Monterey Pop Festival, before anyone had heard their records. Peel obtained a copy of their first LP in the final weeks of the Perfumed Garden and played tracks from it on the show. In the New Blind Date, in the Melody Maker of 23 September 1968, Peel described their recent album, Cheap Thrills, as "nice" and said he was saddened to hear that Janis Joplin was leaving them, predicting that she and the band would suffer because of this - perhaps a prophetic remark, in the light of her early death and the band's gradual fade from view. In the same article, he mentioned that six weeks earlier he had played what became their best-known song, "Piece Of My Heart", a cover of Erma Franklin's original recording, on his show. 
After Janis Joplin left and became a solo star, the band continued, although they attracted less attention. Peel played a few tracks by this version of Big Brother & The Holding Company, but it was the original band he returned to in later years, although he played tracks by them relatively rarely, compared to their San Francisco contemporaries mentioned above.
- 07 August 1967: All Is Loneliness (LP: Big Brother and the Holding Company) Mainstream 6099 (US release)
- 13 August 1967: Down On Me (album - Big Brother And The Holding Company) Mainstream 6099
- 14 August 1967: All Is Loneliness (LP - Big Brother & the Holding Company) Mainstream
- 14 August 1967: Call On Me (LP - Big Brother & the Holding Company) Mainstream
- 22 September 1968: Piece of My Heart (LP - Cheap Thrills) CBS
- 29 September 1968: Piece Of My Heart (7" - Piece Of My Heart / Turtle Blues) CBS
- 08 February 1972: Piece Of My Heart (2xLP – Janis Joplin In Concert) CBS
- 15 June 2000: Combination Of The Two (LP - Cheap Thrills) CBS