This is one of the songs that if you have your alarm set to the radio, and you hear it first thing in the morning, it will definitely start your heart, no pun intended. Happened to me one Saturday morning back in the late 1980’s when I had my radio set to WYNF, then a hard rock station on 94.9 FM in Tampa.
The first time I heard “Piece Of My Heart” though, it was not Janis’s version, but Bonnie Tyler’s back off of her first album, “The World Starts Tonight” in 1977. I happened to find that album at a Record Bar in Charlotte, North Carolina in the ritzy Southpark Mall back in 1984 when I vacationed up there during the summer. That version of the song was a bit odd, with a violin track behind Bonnie’s soon to be raspy vocals she’d make famous with “It’s A Heartache” a year later in 1978.
Janis’s version of the song made me a fan of hers, and “The Essential Janis Joplin” CD has been in my possession now for over a decade.