On Jan. 11, 1971, Janis Joplin’s second solo studio album “Pearl” was released p…

Written by on January 11, 2018


On Jan. 11, 1971, Janis Joplin’s second solo studio album “Pearl” was released posthumously on Columbia Records. It was the final album with her direct participation, and the only Joplin album recorded with the Full Tilt Boogie Band, her final touring unit. It peaked at #1 on the Billboard 200, holding that spot for nine weeks. It has been certified quadruple platinum by the RIAA.

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 recording studio producer of The Doors, and worked well with Joplin, calling her a producer’s dream. Together they were able to craft an album that showcased her extraordinary vocal talents. They used Sunset Sound Recorders in Los Angeles.

The Full Tilt Boogie Band were the musicians who accompanied her on the Festival Express, a concert tour by train of Canada, in the summer of 1970. Many of the songs on this album were recorded on the concert stage in Canada two months before Joplin and the band started their Los Angeles recording sessions. The band also appeared twice on The Dick Cavett Show. They also played many American cities, both before and after Festival Express, although no recordings of those concerts have been officially released.

All nine tracks that she sings on were personally approved and arranged by Joplin. Pearl features the number one hit “Me and Bobby McGee”, on which she played acoustic guitar, written by Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster; “Trust Me”, by Bobby Womack, written for Joplin; Howard Tate’s “Get It While You Can”, showcasing her vocal range; and the original songs “Move Over” and “Mercedes Benz”, the latter co-written by Joplin, Bobby Neuwirth and Michael McClure.

Joplin sang on all tracks except “Buried Alive in the Blues”, which remained a Full Tilt Boogie instrumental because she died before adding vocals, but she approved the instrumental track. The recording sessions, starting in early September, ended with Joplin’s untimely death on October 4, 1970. Her final session, which took place on Thursday, October 1 after a break of several days, yielded her a cappella “Mercedes Benz.”

This is one of our favorite LP’s ever. Do you ever listen to this record?

Happy 47th Birthday to Janis Joplin’s “Pearl” LP!!!!!




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