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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get it while you can
Here she is in all her glory. Four of Janis's original recordings, remastered, including many bonus tracks for added interest. The bonus CD "Rare Pearls" offers five cuts otherwise unavailable even to the most serious bootlegger. This box set is a must have for Janis fans. If you are torn between getting the 3CD box set and this one, start with this one first...
Published on July 29, 2002 by Karen Anderson

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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This review pertains to the Rare Pearls EP
As the only thing different from BOX OF PEARLS & buying the albums included within it is that only the box has the 5-song EP. So I will review that EP here and review the individual albums under their respective pages. So...the EP is OK. The 5 songs are not very good quality sound, unfortuately. "It's a Deal" and "Easy Once You Know How", the...
Published on September 11, 1999


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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get it while you can, July 29, 2002
Here she is in all her glory. Four of Janis's original recordings, remastered, including many bonus tracks for added interest. The bonus CD "Rare Pearls" offers five cuts otherwise unavailable even to the most serious bootlegger. This box set is a must have for Janis fans. If you are torn between getting the 3CD box set and this one, start with this one first. Then get Winterland '68, Farewell Song, and the 3CD box set. Between all these CDs, you can create your own ultimate collection of top favorite Janis tracks, whether live, original release, or alternate take. It's up to Janis's fans to sort through the best of the best, and this box set is the best place to begin.
(Plus you gotta love the artwork replicating Janis's psychedelic Porsche. Only complaint: I would have liked to have seen a booklet of photos and text included, but the liner notes written by John Cooke and others for the respective CDs give an excellent overview for each recording, none the less.)
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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Way to Go, July 28, 2007
By 
Benjamin (Chicago, IL USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
I rate this Box Set 4 stars and a half.
This Box Set contains 5 CDs with 55 re-mastered tracks feautirung all four Janis Joplin studio albums plus an exclusive bons EP of unreleased tracks.
The first two albums are the ones Joplin recorded with Big Brother and The Holding Company: Big Brother and the Holding Company and Cheap Thrills.
The other two are her solo albums I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!, and her largely acclaimed Pearl.
The last CD is the EP Rare Pearls with 5 tracks that can only be found here. Be aware that this box does not include every single track Joplin recorded. For example, the tracks Misery'n, Farewell Song, and Raise Your Hand can be found in her last Essential compilation, but they are not included here. I would not bother about that, though. If you like Janis Joplin, I would recommend you to get this Box Set. You won't need anything else. It also contains a 36 page booklet with interesting pictures, credits, and liner notes to the five albums included here.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the 3 CD box set!, September 3, 1999
By 
I think that BOX OF PEARLS is exceptional, even better than the other box set of Janis'. It includes some of her songs from Calgary, Canada on 7/4/70, including a very interesting version of "Little Girl Blue" in that it has neither strings (as it is on the album I GOT DEM OL' KOZMIC BLUES AGAIN MAMA!) or horns (as I've heard is the case on the TV show THIS IS TOM JONES) in the background. And also, the remastered "Summertime" and "Piece Of My Heart" from Woodstock are no comparison to the gritty mono version which is a European import. "Magic Of Love" is a good tune to include as an extra track on CHEAP THRILLS. And lastly, the 5th CD, entitled RARE PEARLS has 2 outtakes from CHEAP THRILLS also, "Maybe", live in Amsterdam, Holland on 4/11/69 which also exists as a bootleg, and 2 songs, "Raise Your Hand" and "Bo Diddley" from a concert at the Fillmore East or the Winterland ballroom (there are conflicting reports) on 10/4/69. Anyway, this is a great and quite complete collection of music from a legendary blues/rock/folk singer.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and fascinating but not 100%essential, September 4, 1999
By A Customer
This reissue of the two records Joplin and Big Brother released during her lifetime, her solo debut ("I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama"), the almost-completed and posthumously released "Pearl" and a 5 song CD of previously unreleased tracks provides another opportunity to rethink rock music's greatest female singer. The complaints about Big Brother's sloppy playing are inexplicable (if anything, the debut album is too precise and focused with no track taking over three minutes). And "Cheap Thrills" remains her greatest recording and the definitive example of the San Francisco sound.
That said, this may not be the best way to collect Janis' music. The music and song selection on her two solo albums are way too tasteful--drowning out much of what made Joplin unique. Joplin's wild-woman-of-the-blues and psychedelic rock (and country--though it wasn't recognized at the time)persona meshed much better with Big Brother's aggressive and playful musicianship. The two albums she made solo are occasionally boring (heck, "Kozmic Blues" is frequently boring).
My impression is that back in the 1960's even a female free-spirit as radical as Joplin felt so constrained by societal expectations that she ditched the collective, free-spirits of Big Brother for the more conventional, tasteful work of her solo career, never recognizing that she was losing comradeship and artistic kinship in the bargain. In an era of Courtney, Alanis and Madonna, the career choices that Joplin obviously agonized over, don't even seem necessary.
The 3 CD "Janis" box set released in 1993 had numerous excellent previously unreleased studio outtakes and live recordings. Except for the first CD, the bonus tracks here are even more previously unreleased live recordings and studio outtakes, none of which improve on previously released versions. Given that "Janis" cherry-picks the best tracks off her two solo albums, and has better previously unreleased tracks, someone interested in Janis might be better off with that box set and the recently released "Live in Winterland," a wild recording from 1968 with Big Brother, both of which I would rate at 5 stars.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This review pertains to the Rare Pearls EP, September 11, 1999
By A Customer
As the only thing different from BOX OF PEARLS & buying the albums included within it is that only the box has the 5-song EP. So I will review that EP here and review the individual albums under their respective pages. So...the EP is OK. The 5 songs are not very good quality sound, unfortuately. "It's a Deal" and "Easy Once You Know How", the studio outtakes, are grubby and muddy, but the former song is the best. Janis and the band members are at their top form, the instrumentation of the group is phenomenal! The latter song is all right, starts out good, keeps falling down as the song proceeds. "Maybe" from Amsterdam, April 1, 1969 is available on a MUCH better-sounding bootleg European-only CD. The whole concert is fabulous and should really be released in its complete sound-blasting glory! "Raise Your Hand" and "Bo Diddley" are from the later, dying days of the Kozmic Blues Band. The band was probably the best of the post-Big Brother bands she led; it started out excellent, then died a slow, painful death after Woodstock. This is a month after the festival and the band would soon be gone. But "Bo Diddley" is stupendous as a Janis song. I've only heard one other version of this song and the version here beats that one into the ground. Also as an extra at the end of the song is an interview after an unnamed concert in 1969. So, in short, it's very nice to have in your collection and actually is a nice reward for buying the box.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the Janis box set to own., May 4, 2000
This is the ultimate look at Janis Joplin. Every album she recorded during her brief career is here. That includes the two Big Brother albums. "Down On Me" is a great song from this period. Plus you get bonus tracks and her two solo albums to boot. Janis deserved a set like this. A career like hers just can't be sampled.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent quality box set of Janis Joplin's music!, March 14, 2006
By 
Shawn D. (Austin, Tx USA) - See all my reviews
I have this and the box set "Janis". Both box sets are quite excellent. Box of Pearls ofcourse is a 5 disc set including both albums with Big Brother and The Holding Company and also both her solo albums as well. You get all 4 of her original studio efforts plus each disc has bonus live material that's previously unreleased. Each disc is remastered and sound excellent!

Both box sets compliment each other. But this is the set to get first if you're wanting to get into Janis's primary catalog. The box set Janis is more for die-hard fans who already have everything in Box of Pearls. Box of Pearls does a great job of giving you extras. And if you're needing to make that big jump from vinyl to cd, now is the time to do it! This box has plenty of previously unreleased live material on each disc to make it worth your while. And then you get a bonus disc called Rare Pearls with 5 more previously unreleased tracks to boot! You can't go wrong with this set.

This is definitely one of my favorite box sets of all time.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All the studio albums plus some rare concert highlights, March 9, 2006
By 
Riley (Charlotte, NC United States) - See all my reviews
I had mixed feelings about Janis Joplin for a long time but wanted to give her music a fair chance. After listening to songs from different albums I decided this box set was the best way to go. Great decision. There are a few songs that are not that hot but for the most part the quality of the performances is high throughout the entire set. What you get here is every studio album plus an additional EP with a handfull of songs. The EP is not the highlight of the set but it is interesting. Like I said the performances are all of high quality and the sound mastering is top rate.

Given a lot of the information available it is easy to dismiss Joplin as just another junkie rocker who killed herself with drugs and booze for no good reason. Actually, Janis brought a unique voice and tons of energy to the psychedelic electric blues scene. If her music is any indication of her frame of mind then she was full of life. Listening to her entire career (through these discs) one can get a new perspective on her genius.

I have newfound respect for her and her music and I can't help but appreciate what she gave us during her short time here. This set will make a nice addition to your collection.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it, June 25, 2002
By 
Gloom & Beauty (New York City, USA) - See all my reviews
I wanted to get the whole entire Janis collection of her studio albums, and this boxset did the job! I had only "pearl", so I sold "pearl" and got this whole boxset instead.
I loved it because in each CD, there are like 4 extra tracks of studio outtakes or live performances that I have never heard. I especially love Janis singing like at woodstock 1969 "summertime" and "piece of my heart". On the 5th CD, called "Rare pearls" there are 5 songs that I never heard before too!
So if you just want to get her whole collection in one box, get this boxset! It rocks!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Set, December 5, 2003
Great set! The other reviewer, Bud, has no idea what he's talking about. Since when does a singer have to actually write songs in order to express emotion or to tap into a raw power that someone else has written? You don't have to invent the wheel to know how to drive the car.
This is a great re-mastered set for those wanting a clear and pristine sound along with some previously unreleased material. The only reason I'm giving it 4 stars instead of 5 is because it has no great booklet with pictures and more history to go with it. Janis Rocks On!
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Box Of Pearls
Box Of Pearls by Janis Joplin
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