"Pearl," (1971), is one of the most legendary of recordings. It was, sadly, posthumously released, as Janis Joplin, its greatly-talented maker, died of a heroin overdose on October 4, 1970, at the age of 27, as she was finishing it up. She left her vocal to "Buried Alive in the Blues" unsung; so that it was released on the record as an instrumental by Full-Tilt Boogie, the backing band she'd put together for herself, which most people preferred to Big Brother and the Holding Company, the San Francisco -based psychedelic blues rock band with which she first became popular.
"Pearl" is bluesy, funky, driving, much like its troubled maker, and will have to stand as her memorial. It has powerful tracks of "Cry Baby," and a live "Try (Just a Little Bit Harder," and a witty acapella "Mercedes Benz." "A Woman Left Lonely," and Bobby Womack's "Trust Me," are gritty blues. "A Woman Left Lonely," was, I believe, described by Time magazine as music to which a girl might cut her wrists. Kris Kristofferson's "Me and Bobby McGee," of course, became her signature song: it was her only number one hit, achieved posthumously.
I actually was once able to see Janis live, with "Big Brother," performing the Cheap Thrills repertory, at a famous venue of the time, Bill Graham's Fillmore East, on New York's Lower East Side. All these years later, I still remember the expectant hush when the house lights went down, the sweet aroma of various illegal substances, and Joplin's electrifying performance. It was quite a night, I can tell you. Nobody will ever have that chance again, but the recordings remain.
This is a single CD issue, there are however 2 CD issues under the same title, use the search facility to find them, pity amazon often miss out vital info.
1. Move Over (Album Version) 3:39 2. Cry Baby (Album Version) 3:56 3. A Woman Left Lonely (Album Version) 3:27 4. Half Moon (Album Version) 3:51 5. Buried Alive In The Blues (Album Version) 2:24 6. My Baby (Album Version) 3:44 7. Me And Bobby McGee (Album Version) 4:29 8. Mercedes Benz (Album Version) 1:46 9. Trust Me (Album Version) 3:15 10. Get It While You Can (Album Version) 3:23 11. Tell Mama (Live) 6:32 12. Little Girl Blue (Live) 3:55 13. Try (Just A Little Bit Harder) (Live) 14. Cry Baby (Live)