Wednesday, March 07, 2007

232. Janis Joplin - Pearl (1971)

Track Listing

1. Move Over
2. Cry Baby
3. Woman Left Lonely
4. Half Moon
5. Buried Alive In The Blues
6. My Baby
7. Me And Bobby McGee
8. Mercedes Benz
9. Trust Me
10. Get It While You Can


Janis Joplin was simply amazing. We've had another one of her albums here, with the Cheap Thrills album, as a part of Big Brother And The Holding Company. No other white person could ever match her as a blues singer, Janis' voice, with it's mix of raw power and damage due to alcohol and drug abuse makes her the perfect vehicle for Blues music.

Pearl is her unfortunately posthumous album, and the one which would make her the star she is now, unfortunately she didn't live long enough to see the recognition she was due and this album is a sad reminder of that. No where is this more poingnant than in Buried Alive In The Blues, which was left as an instrumental track because she never got to record it. Theo whole album is a statement on how emotive she could be, and what a range of emotions, it goes from the bitter Me And Bobby McGee to the funny Mercedes Benz.

In the end she was a tragic character, but few have shone so bright. She deserves to be up there with Hendrix and Nick Drake as an example of sadly wasted talent. These artists become such reverential icons because they never had the chance to do wrong. And Joplin did no less than perfect in this album, all tracks are beautiful here, her voice is actually better than in Cheap Thrills even though the tracks are following a more pop format. Still an indespensable addition ot anyone's library. Buy it at Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. Mercedes Benz
2. Me And Bobby McGee
3. Cry Baby
4. Buried Alive In The Blues

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

The album has a more polished feel than the albums she recorded with Big Brother and the Holding Company and the Kozmic Blues Band due to the expertise of producer Paul A. Rothchild and her new backing musicians. Rothchild was best known as the producer of The Doors, and worked well with Joplin. Together they were able to craft an album that showcased her extraordinary vocal talents. The Full Tilt Boogie Band were the musicians who accompanied her on the famous Festival Express in the summer of 1970, and many of the songs on this album were introduced on the concert stage in Canada.

Pearl features the hits "Me and Bobby McGee," written by Kris Kristofferson, her lover at the time, and "Move Over," which she penned herself. Joplin sings on all of the tracks except for "Buried Alive in the Blues," which remained an instrumental because Janis never got a chance to add her vocals. The recording sessions extended from early September to early October 1970.

A remastered edition of Pearl with extra tracks was released August 31, 1999.

In 2003, the album was ranked number 122 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Cry baby:

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