Legacy Recordings released today The Pearl Sessions, a two-disc edition of Janis Joplin’s final studio album.
Joplin’s Pearl, originally released on January 11, 1971, was recorded in the fall of 1970, just before she died. Disk One of The Pearl Sessions includes the original album and original mono singles from the album. It contains such tracks as “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Mercedes Benz,” and “Half Moon.” But the real treasure here is Disk Two, which features recently discovered studio outtakes, live performances, alternate versions of songs and vocal takes. You can hear behind-the-scenes banter, song demos and even Joplin joking with her band, Full Tilt Boogie, and with producer Paul Rothchild. Through the Pearl Sessions you get to know her laugh, her sarcasm, her humor, her wit. The Pearl Sessions paints a picture of Joplin, a picture that’s more than the music.
Here’s my favorite Janis Joplin song, “Cry Baby,” which is on Pearl.