Classic Rock n Roll Web Site
Released - December 1970, Columbia Records. Produced by
(Note: The 1999 CD rerelease has four more songs [all live], that have been added on to this album.)
Janis Joplin's last studio album, recorded shortly before her death and perhaps her best ever. Janis' voice was at her peak here and there is not one weak song on this album. Some beautifully powerful vocals from Janis are found all over this LP, especially on the incredible "Cry Baby", "Get It While You Can", "Move Over" and "Me And Bobby McGee", the latter is perhaps the best country song ever sung by a rocker. A more mellow album that one might have guessed, with "Half Moon" and "Move Over" the only real hard hitters. "Mercedes Benz" could almost be called a rap song, even though the music industry was years away from that kind of sound when this song was recorded and released.
This album was actually never finished. Janis was found dead the day she was supposed to record the vocals for "Buried Alive In The Blues", so that tune appears on Pearl as an instrumental. Plus Jerry Ragavoy (AKA Norman Meade), who had several songs covered by Janis in the past like "Piece of My Heart" and "Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)", along with the three noted above on this album, had written a special song for Janis for this LP, title "I'm Gonna Rock My Way to Heaven"; this was the other song that Janis didn't get to record for the album. In addition to that, "Mercedes Benz" was also not finished, as Janis had recorded the first take, really just a demo of the song, two days before her death. After she died, producer Paul Rothchild decided the one take was good enough to use, and he included it on the LP along with ""Buried Alive In The Blues", so they would have enough material for the album.
We can be glad that the last group of songs Janis left us with are all classic gems, and this album is a true treasure!
- Keno 2000
To listen to some soundclips from Pearl or to purchase it click on: Pearl
Return to Rock Album's Reviews