‘Pearl’: Janis Joplin’s posthumous album

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In October 1970, Janis Joplin She entered the recording studio full of energy and with the clear idea of ​​making a own and different albumto set the new direction that his career was going to take with her as Main characterafter passing through several formations.

On January 11, 1971, it was published Pearlwhich would be the last studio album of the singer American rock and blues soloist and one of the most remembered albums of Joplin’s brief, but intense, career. Released posthumously by Columbiajust three months after Joplin’s death, compiles the singer’s last recordings.

Cheap Thrillsthe second LP he made with Big Brother and the Holding Companyan American rock band formed in San Francisco, already made her a star, but Pearl It’s Joplin in essence.– From the eye-catching cover photo to the carefully selected songs.

The album opens with the powerful Move Over and a simple drum rhythm that after a few seconds is complemented by his unmistakable voice. A energetic theme and with a good guitar solo. She was the only song composed entirely by Janis.

Sessions for the album began in Los Angeles in the fall of 1970, with the producer of the doors, Paul Rothchild. Within a month, they had nearly a dozen songs recorded, all approved by Joplin. On October 1, 1970, Janis Joplin entered the studio to record an a cappella version of Mercedes Benz. That would be the last song Janis Joplin would record. Three days later, she died.

Unfortunately, he passed away before all the songs were completely finished, but there was enough good material to make an album. As a tribute, the topic was left Mercedes Benz a cappella, since it was the last one he recorded; The song was also included Buried Alive in the Blues, only with music, without Janis’s voice.

Pearl It was a success and remained in the number one sales for fourteen weeks. He reached the No. 1 position in the Billboard 200, holding that spot for nine weeks. The simple Me and Bobby McGeecomposed by Kris Kristofferson and Fred Fosterrepresented his greatest successbeing the only Janis Joplin song on reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100in March 1971.

Janis, who was in the prime of his career and was a hippie icon of the 1960s, died of a heroin overdose that October 4, 1970, in a hotel in Los Angeles. Considered as one of the best and most influential artists of all time, died at the age of twenty-sevenjust a couple of weeks after another great American musician, Jimi Hendrixwho also died at that age.

Janis Joplin in 1970.

Janis Joplin in 1970. / John Byrne Cooke Estate/Getty Images

Although more than half a century has passed since her death, this work by Janis is still relevant. Her music has crossed the barrier of time and today sounds with the same vitality than when it was recorded. Janis Joplin had a very short and intense life. Was one of the first female artists to stand out in a scene so traditionally led by men as rock and roll has always been. He stood out for being a free spirit and for having a powerful and unique voice.


Written by

Christopher Johnson

Christopher Johnson is a dedicated writer and key contributor to the WECB website, Emerson College's student-run radio station. Passionate about music, radio communication, and journalism, Christopher pursues his craft with a blend of meticulous research and creative flair. His writings on the site cover an array of subjects, from music reviews and artist interviews to event updates and industry news. As an active member of the Emerson College community, Christopher is not only a writer but also an advocate for student involvement, using his work to foster increased engagement and enthusiasm within the school's radio and broadcasting culture. Through his consistent and high-quality outputs, Christopher Johnson helps shape the voice and identity of WECB, truly embodying its motto of being an inclusive, diverse, and enthusiastic music community.