Generally favorable reviews - based on 7 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
Buy On
  1. Nov 27, 2018
    Given the fact that every other entry on the album was worked up in the studio, the various early takes offer added intrigue. The order of the set list remains the same (a snippet of the discarded song “Harry” being the only additive added to the running order) but given these early unheard versions and the additional takes that take up much of disc two, the genesis of these performances clearly is clearly illuminated.
  2. Jan 9, 2019
    The music on this collection still rocks after 50 years. Joplin and the rest of Big Brother passionately and spiritedly sing and play.
  3. Dec 11, 2018
    Cheap Thrills was the album that made Janis Joplin one of the biggest stars of her era (and rightly so), but Sex, Dope & Cheap Thrills reminds us she didn't go it alone, and it's the work of a strong and memorable band as well as a world-class singer.
  4. Dec 3, 2018
    The second disc’s first take of “Summertime” captures a brilliant performance that would have been a thing of legend if the band hadn’t fallen apart at the end. Other standouts include the foot-stomping “How Many Times Blues Jam,” an extended, wailing take on “I Need a Man to Love” and a charging, soulful take of “Combination of the Two.”
  5. Classic Rock Magazine
    Nov 27, 2018
    Notwithstanding the fact that this is a collection of outtakes, this is acid/blues rock at its pinnacle, Joplin at the very height if her primordial, unfettered powers , with Big Brother contributing a psychedelic backdrop that still stands firm five decades on. [Dec 2018, p.92]
  6. 80
    Sex, Dope & Cheap Thrills fills in crucial missing pieces of the iconic record and makes a worthy addition to it for those looking to explore more of where the mojo that created it came from.
  7. Mojo
    Nov 27, 2018
    Joplin's long, devastating plea for salvation once mirrored the big story--that the surprise star of '68 had outgrown her rough diamonds. The 30 tracks here, several in multiple versions, don't necessarily change that. But wart'n'all, Big Brother were the best foil Janus had. [Jan 2018, p.101]

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