Janis Joplin – Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)

The song was written by Jerry Ragovoy and  Chip Taylor. Chip Taylor is famous for writing Wild Thing.

Try (Just A Little Bit Harder)” is the opening track on I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama!

That was Janis’s debut solo studio album and it was released on September 11, 1969. It was the first album which Joplin recorded after leaving her former band, Big Brother and the Holding Company. This would be the only solo album released in her lifetime. Pearl came out in January 1971 three months after her death on October 4, 1970.

This song charted in Canada at #89 in 1969. The album peaked at #5 in the Billboard Album Charts and #4 in Canada in 1969.

She got good reviews for the album partly because she wasn’t trying to out shout the loud Big Brother and The Holding Company…although I did like Big Brother…without them she might not have made it.

Try (Just A Little Bit Harder)

Try, try, try just a little bit harder
So I can love, love, love him, I tell myself
‘Cause I’m gonna try, oh yeah, just a little bit harder
So I won’t lose, lose, lose him to nobody else, yeah
Hey, I don’t care how long it’s gonna take ya
But if it’s a dream I don’t want No I don’t really want it
Yeah if it’s a dream I don’t want nobody to wake me

Yeah I’m gonna try, oh yeah, just a little bit harder
So I can give, give, give, give him every bit of my soul
I’m gonna try, oh yeah, just a little bit harder
So I can show, show, show him love with no control, yeah
Hey! I don’t care how long it’s gonna take ya
But if it’s a dream I don’t want
No I don’t really want it
Yeah if it’s a dream I don’t want nobody to wake me
Hey, dig it! Yeah! Yeah yeah yeah!
Yeah, yeah, yeah, all right

Try oh yeah, hey, try oh yeah, Lord, Lord, Lord
Try oh yeah, try oh yeah, Lord, Lord, Lord
Try oh yeah yeah, try, whoa, try oh yeah, Lord, Lord, Lord,
Push, work, push, work, oh yeah, try, oh yeah hey!
Try oh yeah, hey try oh yeah
Try Lord, try, try, you ain’t trying man
You’re not trying out man, come up with it
Come on, that’s a wanker that listens to words, man
Hey you gotta work all night
Hey little girl, gotta push on
You gotta need
Work a little more, hey, try a little more
Need a little more
Yeah, work on, push on, move on, move on
You gotta work for it, you gotta work on it
Push on, need on, move on
Move on, hey hey hey

Work it daddy
Work it daddy
Come on, work it daddy, oh
Yeah, yeah, you better try, try, try, try a little more
You ain’t never gonna get any man if that’s the sort of thing you can do
Shit, there’s lot more talent around than that man
Try, try, try, try try try
You’ve gotta try, try, try, try
Try, try, try, try, try, try…
You gotta try, try, try, try…
Lord, try, try, try, try
Lord, try, try, try, try
Hey, try, try, try, try

Hey, try oh yeah, try oh yeah, Lord, Lord, Lord
Try oh yeah, hey, try whoa, try oh yeah
Try oh yeah, Lord, Lord, Lord, try oh yeah
Try oh yeah, hey, hey, hey
Try oh yeah, try oh yeah
Lord, Lord, Lord, oh Lord


Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

18 thoughts on “Janis Joplin – Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)”

    1. I did like Big Brother…without them she wouldn’t have made it…they should have done more of a volume check at the time…she had to belt them out to get over them.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Big Brother was a garage band level group with two pretty decent rough guitar players. Loud, always out of tune, and sloppy. Janis shined in spite of them. I saw her at Texas International Pop Festival in August of 1969. She was great. I am not sure of her band then, but I believe it was the Full Tilt group, horns, and such. Her voice was clear and the band was sharp. I was standing in a food line near the side of the stage. It was evening and still 100 degrees, just miserable. Sweating and waiting my turn for a hot dog. This gal walks up and asks if she could cut in front of me, I said sure, it was the sixties ya know. I was about three back by that time so I didn’t mind. Standing behind her, I thought, I know this chick? She got her dog, then turned around to thank me; ask my name and she said thanks, I’m Janis. Could have knocked me over with a breath. Very polite gal. Of course, she was home in Texas, so she was a bit more relaxed.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Great story Phil…that is awesome. I heard she was tiny. I’ve heard some first hand stories of when she came to Nashville. All good things about her. Very polite and not this wild person they heard about…very grounded.
      I always joked the reason she was so loud was because she had to sing that loud to be heard over Big Brother.


      1. You are right, she was rather tiny, and polite. I was impressed, because like many, I had read the stories about her wild behavior. We say none of that. A friend of mine saw her and BB in CA and said they were very loud, and drowned her out, thus the loud voice, she developed. That was my first music festival, and before we had any stories or news from Woodstock. The performers at Texas didn’t seem to worry about mingling with the attendees. Many of them wandered through the crowds actually engaging with the young people and listening to the other bands from an out front position. Led Zepplin clearly didn’t want to be there, as you say in the article. They weren’t rude, but didn’t engage with the audience like the others. Do your set and split. I believe the Texas heat did a number on those blokes. Janis did engage with the crowd, she was a Texan, back home, and clearly happy to be there. Chicago, was then going by CTA, and they were awsome live. I do remember the announcer, but didn’t know it was Wavy Gravy. There was even a Yogi there and led a mass meditation. He was as good as a Baptist preacher, and should have passed the plate after his speil. I missed some of the acts because our campground was in one of the parks at the lake, and the trek to and fro was a bitch. Yep, folks bathing in the lake, no clothes, smoking stuff, and the Lewisville police left everyone alone. I ran into my future wife a few times during the festival. We hadn’t started dating then, but did a few weeks later. Her and a a few girlfriends were there. I took my younger sister, but she wasn’t made for rock n roll. I had to take her home after a few hours. Lucky for me, I lived 25 miles from the site, so it wasn’t a long trip. 1969 wasn’t the peaceful year Life magazine made it out to be. The 60s were gone, and this was the last gasp. The Vietnam war was still raging, protest in every city, a few riots, the Black Panters, SDS, Weathermen, Charles Manson and the lot. But, it was and still is a wonderous thing that so many young people could assemble at these festivals and get along with one another peacefully. It wasn’t all Unicorns and Glitter, but peace signs and respect. Weed tends to have that chill effect. Woodstock and Texas International could never happen today. The original promoters, Shannon Wynn and his pals, did have a 50 year reunion concert near the original site and it went off without a hitch. Instead of tents and sleeping bags, it was RV’s, motels and breakfast at Waffle House.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. What a change Phil. From a Yogi mass meditation to 10 dollar bottled water now. I guess my joking about Janis’s voice holds some merit.
        She is one person I would have wanted to meet. I think she would have been successful for quite a while because on her last album Pearl she was starting to really sing and toning it down so she would have a voice.

        That is so cool Phil that you got to see Zeppelin that early. Yea I bet the heat did get to those guys after being used to England.

        I’ve seen clips here and there of the festival…I wish they would have caught more. It had to be an interesting time…we just walked on the moon and all of that music happpening. That was when music was important to so many people.

        Thanks Phil…love these first hand accounts.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. One of her greatest hits. I really like The Kozmic Blues Band here. It’s a case in point where the R&B horn section compliments her. The Full Tilt Boogie Band was her best band, with them she had excellent musicians that followed her lead. Unlike a lot of her fans, though, I liked The Kozmic Blues Band. It was a grand experiment that never really came together. I’m not a fan of Big Brother and the Holding Co. but Pete Albin was a decent guitarist. Their version of Summertime is a masterpiece.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They were a good band and didn’t drown her out like Big Brother. I think Big Brother helped her but yea…the other two bands were professional unlike Big Brother.
      Yes I love the guitar part in Summertime.

      Liked by 1 person

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