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Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Rewind: Pearl - Janis Joplin (1971)

Pearl - Janis Joplin
Columbia (USA) / CBS (UK)
Produced by Paul A. Rothchild
Released 11th January 1971
US Chart #1 (9 weeks)

Side 1

Side 2

 Click on the Link to listen to the album
Bonus Tracks
11 Tell Mama (Live)    
12 Little Girl Blue (Live)    
13 Try -Just A Little Bit Harder- (Live)    
14 Cry Baby (Live)

All tracks were recorded on 4th July 1970 on the Festival Express Tour

2005 Legacy Edition

The Legacy Edition included a demo of Me and Bobby McGee alongside a selection of Alternate versions of three other songs plus the Full Tilt Boogie Band instrumental tribute to Janis Joplin entitled 'Pearl'. Also included was a second disc featuring live performances from between 28th June - 4th July 1970 on the Festival Express Tour in Canada. Six of the songs featured had not previously been released.

 In 2012 Pearl was Reissued again and renamed as The Pearl Sessions and featured Mono Single Mixes and Alternate versions and various takes of different songs from the album.

Click on the Link to listen to the album

In 2016 it was released on Vinyl in Europe (on Limited Edition Numbered Red Vinyl) and retained the original 1971 Tracklist.

In the USA in 2016 it was issued as a Double Album (2 x 12" Vinyl Discs played at 45RPM)

 A1 Move Over   
A2 Cry Baby   
B1 A Woman Left Lonely   
B2 Half Moon   
B3 Buried Alive In The Blues   
C1 My Baby   
C2 Me & Bobby McGee   
D1 Mercedes Benz   
D2 Trust Me   
D3 Get It While You Can

Janis Joplin – vocals, guitar on "Me and Bobby McGee"
    Richard Bell – piano
    Ken Pearson – organ
    John Till – electric guitar
    Brad Campbell – bass guitar
    Clark Pierson – drums

Additional personnel
Bobby Womack – acoustic guitar on "Trust Me"
Bobbye Hall – conga, percussion
Phil Badella, John Cooke, Vince Mitchell – backing vocals
Sandra Crouch – tambourine

Singles Released From Pearl
Released 11th January 1971
US Chart #1*

*It was to be her only #1 Single.

(Dutch Picture Sleeve)

23rd April 1971
US Chart #42

(Dutch Picture Sleeve)

21st August 1971
US Chart #78

(UK Maxi Single Picture Sleeve)

A1 Move Over    
A2 Cry Baby    
B1 Try (Just A Little Bit Harder)    
B2 Piece Of My Heart

5th November 1971 (UK)


Recording for what was to become the final studio album from Janis Joplin began in early September 1970 through to 3rd October (Janis had laid her last vocal down on the 1st October - an a capella version of Mercedes Benz).

Three days later she was found dead at the Landmark Motor Hotel where she had been staying. The official cause of death was a heroin overdose, possibly compounded by alcohol. John Cooke, the manager of the Full Tilt Boogie (who had been the back up band for Joplin from around April 1970 and had toured with her on the Festival Express Tour through Canada along with the Grateful Dead and other artists), had found her body and believed that the heroin she had taken was much more potent than what she would normally have taken as several of her dealer's other customers had also overdosed in the same week. She was only 27 years old.

The album was produced by Paul A. Rothchild, who had previously worked with The Doors and he along with this new band of musicians brought a more polished sound to the songs that were recorded for the album.

Janis Joplin sings on nine of the ten tracks, only Buried Alive Blues remained as an instrumental as no lyrics had been written for it prior to her death.

Alongside The Greatest Hits album released in 1973, Pearl is one of Janis Joplin's biggest selling albums, having attained Platinum status a number of times in the USA.

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