“I’m gonna show you baby, that a woman can be tough,” sings – no, shouts – this young woman whose voice sounds so rough. So experienced. So big. It’s the voice of a woman who had to grow, because the world tried to make her look small: A misfit at school, an outlaw in college. A woman voted the ugliest man on campus. And who showed them all “that a woman can be tough.” Janis Joplin didn’t just sing the blues. She screamed it out to the world, as if she could destroy the pain inside, if she could only shout loud enough.
This one-of-a-kind blend of a tortured soul and unlimited self-confidence can be heard from the first to the last note of “Piece of my Heart”: this anti-heartache anthem, shaped by howling guitars and Janis’ voice – a voice so rough after a childhood of humiliation, yet so loud and proud, knowing that all this would never break her. Her heart, yes, it might break, but she herself? Never. And her heart is huge, so huge that there’s always enough to give, so, “take another little piece of my heart now, baby,” there’s more than enough of it. And never, never, has a broken heart sounded bolder.