Cheap Thrills

August 12, 1968 ~ The followup to their debut album a year earlier, Cheap Thrills, reached number one on the charts for eight nonconsecutive weeks in 1968. The album features three cover songs (“Summertime”, “Piece of My Heart” and “Ball and Chain”). The album also features Bill Graham, who introduces the band at the beginning of “Combination of the Two”.

The cover was drawn by underground cartoonist Robert Crumb after the band’s original cover idea, a photo of the group naked in bed together, was vetoed by Columbia Records. Crumb had originally intended his art for the LP back cover, with a portrait of Janis Joplin to grace the front. But Joplin — an avid fan of underground comics, especially the work of Crumb — so loved the Cheap Thrills illustration that she demanded Columbia place it on the front cover. It is number nine on Rolling Stone’s list of one hundred greatest album covers.