From sweet and smooth classics, to new names, to old names with new music...the focus here, is to shine a little light on some damn fine music.

I'll find it. You can listen, review, or tell me I wouldn't know good music if it kicked me in the ass. I personally don't give a shit.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Song Remains the Same, or Does It: Ball and Chain

When I think of the song "Ball and Chain" the version I immediately hear in my head is that of Janis Joplin. Hers was a cover of the Big Mama Thornton song "Ball 'n' Chain. Janis covered the song on her Cheap Thrills album, alongside Big Brother and the Holding Company.

Featuring a full out raw vocal, no one wailed the blues or made you feel them like Janis. This link is from 1967 Monterey Pop Festival and it a joy watching a legend in the making.

Janis Joplin "Ball and Chain"

There are a few different songs with this name, so I've tried to get a wide range of sounds. Next  up is a polar opposite from the Joplin version. It is from a 1982 album by English band XTC and is a pop anthem if ever I heard one.

XTC "Ball and Chain"

Ok, coming back to real music, Elton John put a little country flavor to his take on the song. It was featured on his 1982 album Jump Up and features Pete Townshend on acoustic guitar.

Elton John "Ball and Chain"

And the last version is from a 80's-90's California based reggae/punk/ska band called Sublime. A medley of 5546/Ball and Chain. I'm just loving this song.

Sublime "Ball and Chain"

Pick a favorite, I still love Janis but the reggae flavor is keeping my feet moving.



  1. Of these choices, Janis. Her vocal makes it.

    But the greatest Ball and Chain song is another composition by Mike Ness and Social Distortion.

  2. ha, I had that one ready to go, but it didn't make the cut. I am not surprised that is tops on your list.

  3. I knew Lance was going to jump in with the Social D deletion! Fortunately my favorite (yes... XTC) did make the cut =)

    1. and how funny is that. I kinda thought Lance would jump in on the omission too. At least one of my fave guys was happy. thanks t