Janis Joplin wouldn’t be denied on Pearl. The powerhouse vocalist had kicked her addictions, teamed with a stupendous band, and partnered with a producer that knew how to best showcase her voice on record. She came to the sessions with an armload of astonishing songs, and a burst of creative energy that mirrored her rejuvenated emotional state and undeniable spirit. You can hear it on every note of the 1971 record. Ranked #135 on Rolling Stone‘s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list, Pearl sold more than four million copies and stands as the first female rock superstar’s definitive studio work. Mobile Fidelity’s hybrid SACD presents the lasting artwork like never before.
Mastered from the original master tapes, the iconic audiophile label’s 2LP 45 RPM edition takes Joplin and Co.’s stupendous performances to newly transcendent levels. Boasting a fidelity that further magnifies the singer’s passion and producer Paul A. Rothchild’s clear production, this sterling reissue reveals increased spaciousness, dynamics, and openness. Joplin’s husky, strong, and penetrating singing has never sounded so vibrant or made deeper connections. Warm, organic, and free of any artificial ceilings, this version lets you step into Sunset Sound Recorders with the performers, such is the degree of realism and authenticity. Indeed, few, if any words, describe Joplin better than “authentic,” and her spirit comes to life on this 2LP set in positively transcendent fashion.
While Joplin’s electrifying vocal prowess is universally lauded — she’s recognized as the greatest white female blues singer the world has ever seen — her mix of compassion, confidence, and charm play as large a role in attracting listeners and keeping them ensnared more than four decades after her tragic death. And on Pearl, she burrows into deeper stylistic veins, teasing out sides of her persona and craft she’d never previously displayed. Her signature desperation, sadness, and vulnerability remain — the harrowing, lonely wail that begins her soul-ravishing take on Jerry Ragovoy’s “Cry Baby,” underlined with a Wall of Sound-like piano accompaniment, could only come from a person severely scarred by loss and disappointment — yet Joplin also reveals a sense of humor and beatnik innocence that helped propel the album to the top of the charts for nine straight weeks.
|3||A Woman Left Lonely|
|5||Buried Alive in the Blues|
|7||Me and Bobby McGee|
|10||Get It While You Can|
|11||Tell Mama (Live)|
|12||Little Girl Blue (Live)|
|13||Try (Just a Little Bit Harder) (Live)|
|14||Cry Baby (Live)|