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The Pearl Sessions (2 CD)

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Audio CD, April 17, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

A collection of never-before-heard studio outtakes, live recordings, and other rarities, The Pearl Sessions documents the legacy of Janis Joplin's masterpiece album. In 1971, the posthumous release of Pearl topped the charts, yielding the hit single "Me and Bobby McGee" and going on to sell nearly 8 million copies.

For the first time in one package, the original mono versions of the album's 45s can be heard alongside the original LP tracks, as well as intriguing newlydiscovered alternate versions, outtakes and vocal takes of Pearl classics. With this exciting discovery of previously uncatalogued tapes, listeners can hear Janis in the studio, joking with producer Paul Rothchild (the Doors) and Full Tilt Boogie band mates, and working through what would become some of her best known songs.

Joplin's way-too-short life is memorialized perfectly with this upbeat expression of joy she found in the studio: her singular, impassioned vocals,boundless energy, and the greatest music of her career.

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 17, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • ASIN: B006ZMN40A
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,008 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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60 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Mark Barry TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 17, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Most Janis Joplin fans will already own the 2CD 'Legacy Edition' of "Pearl" issued in June 2005 - so what's different on this 'new' April 2012 double?

That first issue had 8 previously unreleased recordings spread across its 29 tracks - three alternate takes from the album sessions on Disc 1 - "Move Over", "My Baby" and "Pearl" - with 5 new live tracks on Disc 2 recorded in Canada in July 1970 on the Festival Express Tour - "Summertime", "That's Rock'n'Roll", "Try (Just A Little Bit Harder)", "Piece Of My Heart" and "Cry Baby". I mention all of the above because although the three studio outakes reappear on Disc 2 of this new 2012 edition - none of the live stuff does - so you may not want to throw that 2005 2CD baby out of your bathwater just yet. Here are the finite details for the new issue...

Released 16 April 2012 in the UK (17 April in the USA) on Sony/Columbia/Legacy 8867842242 - "The Pearl Sessions" breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 (58:32 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 10 are the album "Pearl" - released January 1971 in the USA on Columbia PC 30322 and in the UK on CBS S 64188. "Pearl" was the nickname given Janis by her backing group the FULT TILT BOOGIE BAND. Produced by PAUL A. ROTHCHILD (famous for his work with The Doors) - it was also her last studio album and released posthumously after her tragic death from a heroin overdose on 4 October 1970 aged only 27. The vast majority of the LP had been recorded (prior to her passing) throughout September 1970 with "Mercedes Benz" done on the 1st of October. It reached number 1 on the USA album charts and number 20 in the UK.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Stuart Jefferson TOP 100 REVIEWER on April 17, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
"If I miss, I'll never have a second chance on nothing. But I gotta risk it. I never hold back, man. I'm always on the outer edge of probability." Janis Joplin.

"Pearl" (released in 1971) is certainly one of Joplin's best albums (if not the best) she recorded in her relatively short life. Even unfinished, the album (#1 for over 8 weeks) showed Joplin was capable of reining in her tough vocal style, and sing convincing versions of the blues, soul, and even something like folk-rock. Leaving behind much of the cluttered, claustrophobic arrangements of her previous "Kozmic Blues Band", her raspy, seemingly desperate, resigned vocals had a naked power. And paired with a new band and stripped down sound (listen to the band live on the 2005 Legacy Edition), Joplin seemed to be moving ahead to a more focused sound. The original "Pearl" album was an amazing showcase for Joplin, and seemed to point her in a new direction. But of course, we'll never know-she died leaving the album unfinished.

The discs in this latest edition slip inside a tri-fold cardboard holder-which can easily tear and/or damage the discs, along with a 24 page booklet. The booklet contains an essay on the music and the era, plus a number of photographs. Also included is recording dates, personnel, and issued/unissued information for each song.

There's no reason to rehash the original album-you either like it or you don't. Pretty much everyone's heard "Get It While You Can", "Me and Bobby McGee", "Mercedes Benz" (sung on a whim), and "Move Over", among other songs. The addition of several mono singles (in one package) are interesting-especially for those (like me) who like mono sound. And that brings us to Disc Two, which is reminiscent of the recently released 2 disc set of THE DOORS' "L.A.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Rick Holly on April 20, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Too many times I have written reviews in which I am bitching' about 5 star reviews given to "so-so" releases that don't deserve 5 stars (3-4 at best). Not this time. This what a remaster should be about. Great sound with lots of unreleased material that really brings you into the sessions as if you were someone just sitting and watching. You hear Janis and the band working out changes in tempo and feel and Paul Rothchild doing what a great Producer does; offer helpful, insightful opinions and ideas. The sound quality is really spectacular considering given 42 year old two inch, 16 track master tapes. (Early to mid 70's 2 inch recording tape is notorious for aging badly and flaking. The sound is especially good on the 2nd disc session outtakes and alternate takes. Yes, there is a little tape hiss but the trade off to get that upper mid crispy sound is well worth it and the hiss is only noticeable on very quiet sections like the studio banter between songs.

If you like Janis, this the CD to get. She sounds like she is having a great time in the studio and the Full Tilt band is completely in sync with her and her ideas. Get this CD.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By William J. Thibault on May 2, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album, Janis's Finest with a new group, the Full Tilt Boogie Band was probably one of the most accessible and exciting albums when it came out. It wasn't Janis's untimely death that made it special: the music was tight, loud and her vocal prowess was showing a great progression. Personally, i find the FTBB to be a great fit for Joplin. She had moved passed Big Brother-Cheap Thrills was also a great album, but sounds somewhat dated in spots. This the finest of the remastered versions of the album. All the instruments come to fruition. This is better than the Box of Pearls edition, the previous double disc set and the expanded 'Pearl'. with bonus tracks. Trust me, I own all of them and this, by far, outranks them all. The playing really stands out! So, if you're a semi Janis fan, or a die hard, this is something you must have in your collection. Especially the 2nd disc. I thought interspersing dialogue between takes would distract, but it actually puts the sessions into perspective. You can't go wrong with these disc(s)!
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The Pearl Sessions (2 CD)
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