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Piece Of My Heart


Big Brother & the Holding Company

Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

Janis Joplin sang lead. Big Brother & the Holding Company was one of the groups she sang with before going solo later in 1968. Until her death in 1970, this was her biggest chart success, and it continues to get a lot of airplay.
Bert Berns wrote this song, and Aretha Franklin's younger sister Erma sang the original version and put it on the R&B charts in 1967. Big Brother & the Holding Company quickly covered it and took it to #12 on the Hot 100. For Erma Franklin, it was her biggest hit. She went on to sing backup on some of Aretha's songs, and ran a childcare agency called Boysville. Erma died of cancer in 2002 at age 63.
Franklin's original version made its UK chart debut in 1992 - 25 years after initial release - thanks to its being used in a Levi's jeans commercial. (thanks, Brad Wind - Miami, FL, for above 2)
Joplin sang this at Woodstock in 1969.
Danielle Stearman sang this at the Popstars concert in North Sydney. Popstars is a TV show looking for new talent. She didn't win, but was able to launch a singing career. She regularly performs it on television appearances as well. She sings it with a country flavor. (thanks, Mel - somewhere, Australia)
Sammy Hagar recorded this in 1982, and Faith Hill covered it in 1994. Her version went to #1 on the Country charts. (thanks, Farrah - Elon, NC)
When Erma Franklin heard Joplin's cover on the radio, she barely recognized the song. She graciously said in a 1973 interview: "Her version is so different from mine that I really don't resent it too much."
British soul singer Beverly Knight recorded this for her 2006 best-of compilation, Voice. Released as a single, it peaked at #16 in the UK.
Big Brother & the Holding Company
More Big Brother & the Holding Company songs
More songs written by Bert Berns
More songs used in commercials
More songs performed at Woodstock

Comments (21):

Janis Joplin is from Port Arthur,TX. She went to Thomas Jefferson High School and briefly Lamar University. Her family lived across the street from my grandparents.(Her brother accidently broke my dad's finger playing football as kids.) My grandma told us that when Janis would come home, her dad would make her wear her hair up and dress conservatively. He didn't approve of her hippie friends and once turned the hose on them when they camped out on his lawn. My grandma said Janis was very shy as a girl.
- Linc, Beaumont, TX
Their Album "Cheap Thrills" was No 4 Oct 1968, source Billboard 20 years ago list Oct 8, 1988
- Donna, College Station, TX
Definitely Janis' signature single, Melissa Etheridge's cover would have made Joplin proud.
- Tom, Dozier, AL
the first time i heard this song i knew then that only one singer could do this song justice and that's janis joplin and her alone
- louis rodriguez, lancaster, CA
This song has been running through my head for the past few weeks. I've been mulling over one of my fantasy screenplays, and the song played an important part in it.

This particular movie would be about my friendships as a teen in Atlanta in the 1960s, and I've imagined Piece o' My Heart as the perfect song to end the movie, as the main character walks the streets as an aging baby boomer remembering the late 60's.

It's an incredibly powerful song.
- Larry, Atlanta, GA
Dont know all songs from Janis Joplin, but Piece Of My Heart is a damn good song. Discovered recently i love this song!!!
- Mark, Montreal, Canada
I give the nod to Janice's version, however I love Sammy Hagar's version, off Standing Hampton, the best.
- Cliff, Fort Wayne, IN
Janis Joplin, the female Jim Morrison.
thats all i have to say
- shannon, sydney
I don't understand why anyone would want to cover any song that Janis did,the lady was a great singer,she did put a piece of her heart in her music,and you can't top the original.
- kevin, cincinnati, OH
There have been a lot or remakes of this song but no one can make you feel the song like Janis...she was one chic who sang with all her heart and soul...the best female rocker!!!
- April, Shelby, OH
The Scottish band Marmalade have also covered this song, as far as I remember.
- Geir T., Umeå, Sweden
Carrie Underwood sang a piece of "Piece Of My Heart" during Season 4 of American Idol, 2005.
- Rick, San Juan, United States
this song could make the hardest person cry. its so very beautiful.
- Ali, Islamabad, Pakistan
This is #344 on Rolling Stone's list of 500 greatest songs.
- Ross, Independence, MO
Faith Hill took this song to Hell. Janis did the better version, no contest.
- AJ, Cleveland, GA
Janis Joplin produces one of the most amazing sounds in this song the world has ever heard.
- Cody, San Antonio, TX
Faith Hill also did a remake of this song in 1993.
- April, Toledo, OH
Leann Rhimes also did a remake of this song.
- Irene, Beatrice, NE
God help us all, Faith Hill also covered this.
- Deana, Indianapolis, IN
Dusty Springfield also recorded this song.
- janet, perth, Australia
Erma Franklin was the oldest sister in the Franklin clan
- Brian, Denver, CO
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