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Music Monday: Best Cover Version - Piece of My Heart

Piece of My Heart
Original Artist: Erma Franklin
Cover Version by Big Brother and the Holding Company

“What?! No Janis Joplin?!”

I guess there’s a possibility that some of you will ask that very question. I have to admit, it hasn’t been very long (only couple of years ago) since I found out about the original singer of this song. Up to that time, the only Franklin diva I knew was Aretha and Piece of My Heart is Joplin’s.

Erma Vernice Franklin was the eldest of the Franklin girl trio: Erma, Aretha, and Carolyn. Her first music career was doing backing vocals, along with Carolynn, for sister Aretha and one of her most notable performances as a buck-up is in Aretha’s signature number, Respect. She started her own solo career around mid sixties, recorded and released Piece of My Heart single in 1967. Too bad, her record label shackled her path by not finding materials suitable for her vocal character and she left music business in 1970s. Even so, she made this influential and outstanding record. A song will last infinitely, no matter how short her career was.

Erma Franklin

Big Brother and the Holding Company is a band from San Francisco who in 1968 released Cheap Thrills, and on of the songs in the album is Piece of My Heart. The band had changed its member couple of times. During the recording of that album, the members are Sam Andrews (guitar), James Gurley, (guitar) Peter Albin (bass), Dave Getz (drums), and Janis Joplin (vocals). Hey. She didn’t go solo on this song, so it is the band that counted.

Big Brother and the Holding Company did a very remarkable work with Piece of My Heart and their version is probably the most well-known. And the best? Err…

Big Brother and the Holding Company

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