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Janis JoplinAudio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)

Price: $4.49 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Born and raised in Port Arthur, Texas, a small Southern petroleum industry town, she gravitated to artistic interests cultivated by parents Seth and Dorothy Joplin. Janis broke with local social traditions during the tense days of racial integration, standing up for the rights of African Americans whose segregated status in her hometown seared her youthful ideals. Along with fellow band ... Read more in Amazon's Janis Joplin Store

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Pearl + Cheap Thrills + Janis Joplin's Greatest Hits
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 7, 1987)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony/Columbia
  • ASIN: B0000024WN
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #312,166 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Janis Joplin ~ Pearl

Janis Joplin made the blues her own. Though she didn't live to finish this album before her 1971 death from a heroin overdose, her intense passion and frantic cries of pain and ecstasy were enough to make "Pearl" one of the most memorable recordings of her era. Her band does fill up some vinyl with the instrumental "Buried Alive in the Blues," but it's the vocals that make this album worth hearing these many decades later. Listen to the tortured heartbreak of "Cry Baby" or the hopeful declarations of Kris Kristofferson's "Me & Bobby McGee" and understand why Joplin remains an essential, if tragic, figure in pop. --Steve Appleford

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
85 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Polished Pearl September 3, 2003
Format:Audio CD
I've never understood the intensity of the PEARL vs. CHEAP THRILLS debate among Joplin fans. Yes, the Big Brother record captured Janis at her raw vital best. Her final album, with the more polished Full Tilt Boogie, was a somewhat different breed of animal, tighter, more "professional," and ultimately, more commercial, providing Joplin her posthumous (and sole) number one hit in Kristofferon's "Me and Bobby McGee." I loved all of Janis' records--including the much maligned Mainstream debut and only somewhat less maligned Kozmic Blues--and never felt compelled to take a stance. The body of work isn't that extensive: it's better to treasure each one for what it has to offer.
And they all offer at least a few real pearls. The variety of styles that Janis' embraced during her brief recording career was impressive. Her former road manager, John Cooke, notes in the liner notes to this newest version of PEARL that Janis' musical restlessness was reflective of her "questing nature." That's certainly true--three different bands in as many years suggests as much--and it's also reflective of the times as well. No one expected the Beatles to do SGT. PEPPER REDUX or the Stones to linger at the (BEGGAR'S) BANQUET for very long.
Moreover, by 1970, when PEARL was recorded, there was more of an emphasis on tighter musicianship and less experimentalism. You could argue that had Janis, in fact, remained with Big Brother, they would have both mellowed out and tightened up themselves (as evidenced on their post-Janis records in the 70s).
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unfinished July 19, 2002
Format:Audio CD
I remember the awe and the sorrow I felt when I bought my first copy of Pearl in the early days of 1971. So much unleashed potential evaporated by the flame, that it seem to haunt the room as I placed the needle to the vinyl to hear the first words "You say that it's over." The good time girl from Port Arthur, Texas whose voice tore at your heart like a ball and chain would sing no longer.
Janis Joplin was just 27 years old when she died in October of 1970. She had put together a band , Full Tilt Boogie, which would dispense with the endless jams and showcase her voice and her talent in a way that wasn�t done by Big Brother. Janis was in the midst of recording Pearl with her vocals tracks for Buried Alive in the Blues scheduled to be recorded the day after her death. Instead Buried Alive in the Blues rests on the album as instrumental filler, a lonely commentary of her life.
Pearl is a truly extraordinary album which displays is the range and emotions which Janis' voice was capable of. It was to be a bridge to better things instead of the lasting musical landmark that it is. Janis Joplin's voice stretches from gentle and tender in a Woman that's Lonely to pained and sorrowful in Cry Baby to amused in Mercedes Benz.
In the days of freedom and loss, Janis Joplin sang Kristofferson's song of freedom and loss with an intense sincerity and pain projected from her depths. Countless numbers sang along with her "Freedom's just another name , for nothing left to lose," knowing full well that there was indeed something more to lose.
I still sing her wonderful original song "Mercedes Benz" to my roses while I garden. There is such a simplicity attached with the great American wish of striking it rich. It remains a reminder of her great humor and sense of irony as well as her incredible talent.
Pearl continues to be a cd which showcases a wonderful voice and talent.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
They don't make `em like Janis Joplin anymore. In today's age of gratuitous vocal overdubbing and endless studio-sparkle, very rarely do vocalists feel the need to muster the immense oomph that was evident in almost every note Miss Joplin ever recorded. Sure, her voice was rugged, raspy and not at all pretty in the traditional sense, but she bellowed every word from straight from the bottom of her gut, putting fiery emotion into every syllable. The album that displays her vocals at their most confident is 1971's Pearl. On her debut, 1968's Cheap Thrills, sludgy, psychedelic guitar shared an equal footing with her mighty cries. On 1969's Kozmic Blues, dense, funky baselines were her partner. On Pearl, though, the instrumentation is placed distinctly behind her vocals. Her commanding, three-dimensional, highly textured voice bounces across delightful melodies ("Move Over" "Cry Baby"), induces dulcet psychedelic trances ("Half Moon," "Trust Me") and soars straight to the heavens ("Get It While You Can," "Me and Bobby McGee"). On a few tracks, her new confidence results in unstructured yelping ("A Woman Left Lonely," "My Baby"), but that is forgivable for so many moments that are utterly intoxicating. No vocalist in years has released an album as raw and powerful as Pearl and it is becoming increasingly unlikely that one ever will.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you own one Joplin cd, this is the one. January 25, 2001
Format:Audio CD
I had the vinyl of this recording when it first came out. The mystique and tragic death of J.J. was all part of the listening experience. I was not sure it would stand up to the test of time. Recently, I could not get her version of Me and Bobby Mcgee out of my head and so purchased the cd, with 4 bonus live cuts. They are not really necessary, but Try is nice to have. Janis Joplin could sing, but some times her histrionics left unchecked got on your nerves. That is why Cry Baby has limited appeal for me. But listen to A woman left Lonely, Me and Bobby Mcgee, My Baby, Trust in me, Get it While and you can see what an emotive and sensitive singer she could be. This really is a case where her last recording was her best and not just a hastily packaged deal to cash in on her celebrity. The band is tight, and the soulful, bluesy songs suit her style.
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