Label
Columbia/Legacy
Release date
1971
Running length
33 tracks
Running time
128:25

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Tracklist

    Track     Duration Listeners
1 Move Over 3:39 240,028
2 Cry Baby 3:56 302,631
3 A Woman Left Lonely 3:27 124,989
4 Half Moon 3:51 118,683
5 Buried Alive in the Blues 2:24 71,541
6 My Baby 3:44 88,524
7 Me and Bobby McGee 2:02 419,783
8 Mercedes Benz 1:46 337,756
9 Trust Me 3:15 115,041
10 Get It While You Can 3:23 202,277
11 Tell Mama (live) 6:32 17,948
11 Happy Birthday, John (Happy Trails) 1:08 2,363
12 Me And Bobby McGee (Demo Version) 4:46 3,455
12 Little Girl Blue (live) 3:55 18,401
13 Try (Just A Little Bit Harder) (Live) 6:52 16,068
13 Move Over (Alternate Version) 4:25 2,582
14 Cry Baby (Alternate Version) 4:59 3,641
14 Cry Baby (live) 6:29 15,410
15 My Baby (Alternate Version) 3:59 2,652
16 Pearl (Instrumental) 4:27 2,390
2 Half Moon (Live) 4:38 2,462
3 Move Over (Live) 3:58 2,820
4 Maybe (Live) 3:57 9,006
5 Summertime (Live) 4:39 7,645
7 That's Rock 'N Roll (Live) 5:03 1,719
9 Kozmic Blues (Live) 5:05 5,002
10 Piece Of My Heart (Live) 6:31 7,974
12 Get It While You Can (Live) 7:20 2,849
13 Ball And Chain (Live) 8:15 14,617

About this album

Pearl is an album by Janis Joplin, released on February 1, 1971 - four months after her death from a heroin overdose. It is her fourth album and the only album she recorded with Full Tilt Boogie.

The album has a more polished feel than the albums she recorded with Big Brother and the Holding Company and the Kozmic Blues Band due to the expertise of producer Paul A. Rothchild and her new backing musicians. Rothchild was best known as the producer of The Doors, and worked well with Joplin. Together they were able to craft an album that showcased her extraordinary vocal talents. The Full Tilt Boogie were the musicians who accompanied her on the famous Festival Express in the summer of 1970, and many of the songs on this album were introduced on the concert stage in Canada.

Pearl features the hits “Me and Bobby McGee,” (commercially released with “Half Moon”, another album cut, on the flipside) written by Kris Kristofferson, her lover at the time, and “Move Over,” which she penned herself. Joplin sings on all of the tracks except for “Buried Alive in the Blues.” which remained an instrumental because Janis died before being able to add her vocals. The recording sessions, which began in early September, ended with Joplin’s untimely death on October 4, 1970. The iconic album cover shows Joplin reclining on her Victorian loveseat with a drink in her hand, conveying that this is Janis Joplin as she really is.

In 2003, the album was ranked number 122 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

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