Pearl (album)

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Pearl
Studio album by Janis Joplin and the Full Tilt Boogie Band
Released January 11, 1971 (1971-01-11)
Recorded September 5 - October 3, 1970
Genre Blues rock, soul blues, psychedelic rock, funk rock
Length 34:10
Label Columbia
Producer Paul A. Rothchild
Janis Joplin and the Full Tilt Boogie Band chronology
I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!
(1969)
Pearl
(1971)
In Concert
(1972)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars [1]
Robert Christgau A–[2]
Rolling Stone (favorable) [3]
Rolling Stone Album Guide 4/5 stars [4]

Pearl is the second solo studio album by Janis Joplin, released posthumously on Columbia Records, catalogue KC 30322, in January 1971. It was also released simultaneously in a 4 channel Quadraphonic format in the U.S., catalogue number CQ 30322, and in Japan as SOPN 90 and a foil type cover with obi as SOPN 44005. It was the final album with her direct participation, and the only Joplin album recorded with the Full Tilt Boogie Band, her final touring unit. It peaked at #1 on the Billboard 200, holding that spot for nine weeks. It has been certified quadruple platinum by the RIAA.[5]

Content[edit]

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 recording studio producer of The Doors, and worked well with Joplin, calling her a producer's dream. Together they were able to craft an album that showcased her extraordinary vocal talents. They used Sunset Sound Recorders in Los Angeles.

The Full Tilt Boogie Band were the musicians who accompanied her on the Festival Express, a concert tour by train of Canada, in the summer of 1970. Many of the songs on this album were recorded on the concert stage in Canada two months before Joplin and the band started their Los Angeles recording sessions. The band also appeared twice on The Dick Cavett Show. They also played many American cities, both before and after Festival Express, although no recordings of those concerts have been officially released.

All nine tracks that she sings on were personally approved and arranged by Joplin. Pearl features the number one hit "Me and Bobby McGee", on which she played acoustic guitar, written by Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster; "Trust Me", by Bobby Womack, written for Joplin; Howard Tate's "Get It While You Can", showcasing her vocal range; and the original songs "Move Over" and "Mercedes Benz", the latter co-written by Joplin, Bobby Neuwirth and Michael McClure.

Joplin sang on all tracks except "Buried Alive in the Blues", which remained a Full Tilt Boogie instrumental because she died before adding vocals, but she approved the instrumental track. The recording sessions, starting in early September, ended with Joplin's untimely death on October 4, 1970. Her final session, which took place on Thursday, October 1 after a break of several days, yielded her a cappella "Mercedes Benz."

The album cover, photographed by Barry Feinstein in Los Angeles,[6][7] shows Joplin reclining on her Victorian era loveseat with a drink in her hand.[8]

Legacy[edit]

A reissue of Pearl remastered for CD was released August 31, 1999. It included four previously unreleased live recordings from the Festival Express Tour, recorded on July 4, 1970, as bonus tracks. In 2003, the album was ranked number 122 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[9] A two-disc Legacy Edition appeared on June 14, 2005, with bonus tracks including a birthday message to John Lennon of "Happy Trails," and a reunion of the Full Tilt Boogie Band in an instrumental tribute to Joplin. The second disc included an expanded set from the Festival Express Tour, recorded between June 28 and July 4, 1970.

The Pearl Sessions[edit]

Main article: The Pearl Sessions

The album was reissued a third time on disc in 2012 as The Pearl Sessions. It contains alternate takes of the songs that constituted the Pearl vinyl album when Columbia Records released it in 1971. Recordings of Joplin and Paul Rothchild talking between takes give the listener insight into their creative musical process.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Move Over"   Janis Joplin 3:39
2. "Cry Baby"   Jerry Ragovoy, Bert Berns 3:56
3. "A Woman Left Lonely"   Dan Penn, Spooner Oldham 3:27
4. "Half Moon"   John Hall, Johanna Hall 3:51
5. "Buried Alive in the Blues"   Nick Gravenites 2:24
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "My Baby"   Jerry Ragovoy, Mort Shuman 3:44
2. "Me and Bobby McGee"   Kris Kristofferson, Fred Foster 4:29
3. "Mercedes Benz"   Janis Joplin, Bob Neuwirth, Michael McClure 1:46
4. "Trust Me"   Bobby Womack 3:15
5. "Get It While You Can"   Jerry Ragovoy, Mort Shuman (Howard Tate 1966 rendition) 3:23
2005 Legacy Edition bonus tracks
No. Title Writer(s) Length
11. "Happy Birthday, John (Happy Trails)"   Dale Evans 1:12
12. "Me and Bobby McGee" (demo version) Kristofferson, Foster 4:46
13. "Move Over" (alternate version) Joplin 4:27
14. "Cry Baby" (alternate version) Ragovoy, Berns 4:59
15. "My Baby" (alternate version) Ragovoy, Shuman 3:59
16. "Pearl" (instrumental) Full Tilt Boogie Band 4:29
2005 Legacy Edition Disc Two - Live from the Festival Express Tour
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Tell Mama" (Toronto, June 28, 1970) Clarence Carter, Marcus Daniel, Wilbur Terrell 6:49
2. "Half Moon" (Toronto) John Hall, Johanna Hall 4:38
3. "Move Over" (Calgary, July 4, 1970) Janis Joplin 4:41
4. "Maybe" (Winnipeg, July 1, 1970) Richard Barrett 3:57
5. "Summertime" (Winnipeg) Ira Gershwin, DuBose Heyward, George Gershwin 4:39
6. "Little Girl Blue" (Calgary) Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart 5:10
7. "That's Rock 'n' Roll" (Toronto) Full Tilt Boogie Band 5:03
8. "Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)" (Toronto) Jerry Ragovoy, Chip Taylor 9:11
9. "Kozmic Blues" (Toronto) Janis Joplin, Gabriel Mekler 5:29
10. "Piece of My Heart" (Toronto) Jerry Ragovoy, Bert Berns 5:21
11. "Cry Baby" (Toronto) Jerry Ragovoy, Bert Berns 6:31
12. "Get It While You Can" (Calgary) Jerry Ragovoy, Mort Shuman 7:20
13. "Ball and Chain" (Calgary) Willie Mae Thornton 8:15

Personnel[edit]

Additional personnel[edit]

Produced by[edit]

  • Paul A. Rothchild - Productor
  • Phil Macy - engineer
  • Barry Feinstein & Tom Wilkes - Photography & Design for Camouflage Productions

Chart positions[edit]

Year Chart Position
1971 Billboard 200 1
Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart
Canadian RPM 100[10]

Sales certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[11] 4× Platinum 400,000^
United States (RIAA)[5] 4× Platinum 4,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ Huey, Steve. "Janis Joplin & the Full Tilt Boogie Band: Pearl" at AllMusic. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (1970). "Consumer Guide (16)". The Village Voice (New York). Retrieved April 5, 2013. 
  3. ^ Shadoian, Jack (18 February 1971). "Janis Joplin: Pearl". Rolling Stone (Wenner Media). ISSN 0035-791X. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  4. ^ http://www.rollingstone.com/music/artists/janis-joplin
  5. ^ a b {{#switch:United States |Argentina="Argentinian album certifications – Janis Joplin – Pearl". Argentine Chamber of Phonograms and Videograms Producers.  |Australia=NO certyear WAS PROVIDED for AUSTRALIAN CERTIFICATION. |Austria="Austrian album certifications – Janis Joplin – Pearl" (in German). IFPI Austria.  Enter Janis Joplin in the field Interpret. Enter Pearl in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen |Belgium=NO certyear WAS PROVIDED for BELGIAN CERTIFICATION. |Brazil="Brazilian album certifications – Janis Joplin – Pearl" (in Portuguese). Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos.  |Canada="Canadian album certifications – Janis Joplin – Pearl". Music Canada.  |Denmark="Danish album certifications – Janis Joplin – Pearl". IFPI Denmark.  |Europe=NO certyear WAS PROVIDED for EUROPEAN CERTIFICATION. |Finland=The first web page presents the sales figures, the second presents the certification limits: |France="French album certifications – Janis Joplin – Pearl" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique.  |GCC=NO certyear WAS PROVIDED for GCC CERTIFICATION. |Germany="Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Janis Joplin; 'Pearl')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.  |Greece="Greek album certifications – Janis Joplin – Pearl" (in Greek). IFPI Greece.  |Hong Kong=NO certyear WAS PROVIDED for Hong Kong CERTIFICATION. |Hungary=NO certyear WAS PROVIDED for HUNGARIAN CERTIFICATION. |Ireland="Irish album certifications – Janis Joplin – Pearl". Irish Recorded Music Association.  |Italy="Italian album certifications – Janis Joplin – Pearl" (in Italian). Federation of the Italian Music Industry.  Select Album e Compilation in the field Scegli la sezione. Select Week -- and Year ----. Enter Janis Joplin in the field Artista. Click Avvia la ricerca |Japan="Japanese album certifications – Janis Joplin – Pearl" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan.  |Mexico="Certificaciones –" (in Spanish). Asociación Mexicana de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas.  |Netherlands="Dutch album certifications – Janis Joplin – Pearl" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers.  |New Zealand=THE FIELD id (chart number) MUST BE PROVIDED for NEW ZEALAND CERTIFICATION. |Norway="Norwegian album certifications – Janis Joplin – Pearl" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway.  |Poland=Portugal="Portuguese album certifications – Janis Joplin – Pearl" (in Portuguese). Associação Fonográfica Portuguesa. 
  6. ^ McClellan, Dennis (October 21, 2011). "Barry Feinstein dies at 80; rock music photographer". Los Angeles Times. 
  7. ^ Los Angeles Times obituary for Barry Feinstein says he photographed Pearl album cover
  8. ^ Gartner, Paul (7 July 2005). "Janis Joplin: "Pearl"". New Sounds. thegazz.com. Archived from the original on 6 September 2008. 
  9. ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone: 122 | Pearl - Janis Joplin. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  10. ^ "RPM 100 Albums". RPM (Archived at Library and Archives Canada) (Volume 15, No. 4). 13 March 1971. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  11. ^ {{#switch:Canada |Argentina="Argentinian album certifications – Janis Joplin – Pearl". Argentine Chamber of Phonograms and Videograms Producers.  |Australia="ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1979 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association.  |Austria="Austrian album certifications – Janis Joplin – Pearl" (in German). IFPI Austria.  Enter Janis Joplin in the field Interpret. Enter Pearl in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen |Belgium="Ultratop − Goud en Platina – 1979". Ultratop & Hung Medien / hitparade.ch.  |Brazil="Brazilian album certifications – Janis Joplin – Pearl" (in Portuguese). Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos.  |Canada="Canadian album certifications – Janis Joplin – Pearl". Music Canada.  |Denmark="Danish album certifications – Janis Joplin – Pearl". IFPI Denmark.  |Europe="IFPI Platinum Europe Awards – 1979". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.  |Finland=The first web page presents the sales figures, the second presents the certification limits: |France="French album certifications – Janis Joplin – Pearl" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique.  |GCC="IFPI Middle East Awards – 1979". IFPI Middle East.  |Germany="Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Janis Joplin; 'Pearl')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.  |Greece="Greek album certifications – Janis Joplin – Pearl" (in Greek). IFPI Greece.  |Hong Kong="IFPIHK Gold Disc Award − 1979". IFPI Hong Kong.  |Hungary="Adatbázis – Arany- és platinalemezek – 1979" (in Hungarian). Mahasz.  |Ireland="Irish album certifications – Janis Joplin – Pearl". Irish Recorded Music Association.  |Italy="Italian album certifications – Janis Joplin – Pearl" (in Italian). Federation of the Italian Music Industry.  Select Album e Compilation in the field Scegli la sezione. Select Week -- and Year ----. Enter Janis Joplin in the field Artista. Click Avvia la ricerca |Japan="Japanese album certifications – Janis Joplin – Pearl" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan.  |Mexico="Certificaciones – 1979" (in Spanish). Asociación Mexicana de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas.  |Netherlands="Dutch album certifications – Janis Joplin – Pearl" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers.  |New Zealand=THE FIELD id (chart number) MUST BE PROVIDED for NEW ZEALAND CERTIFICATION. |Norway="Norwegian album certifications – Janis Joplin – Pearl" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway.  |Poland="Polish album certifications – Janis Joplin – Pearl" (in Polish). Polish Producers of Audio and Video (ZPAV). 
Achievements
Preceded by
Jesus Christ Superstar by Original Cast
Billboard 200 number-one album
February 27–April 30, 1971
Succeeded by
Jesus Christ Superstar by Original Cast
Preceded by
All Things Must Pass by George Harrison
Australian Kent Music Report number-one album
May 17–June 20, 1971
Succeeded by
In Rock by Deep Purple
Preceded by
Jesus Christ Superstar by Original Cast
RPM 100 number-one album
March 13–May 1, 1971
Succeeded by
Love Story Soundtrack