The Pearl Sessions
Artist: Janis Joplin
Genre: Rock(Sony Music)
Reviewer: MARTIN VENGADESAN
THE late Janis Joplin was a raw talent blessed with intense vocals that were all the more thrilling because she could sometimes be erratic. Personally, I felt that she did her best work with Big Brother and the Holding Company, specifically the awesome Cheap Thrills album. Somehow, I felt that I Got Dem Olí Kozmic Blues Again Mama! was unfocused.
Pearl, which saw her fronting a revamped band-line-up, was definitely a return to form and actually Joplinís biggest success and listening to it now, itís easy to see why.
Firstly, there was the absolutely timeless beauty of Me And Bobby McGee (everybody now ... ďfreedomís just another word for nothing left to loseĒ) and a fiery Move Over, but more than anything else, there is this inescapable feeling that Joplin was back at her blues-soaked best, and what a tragedy it was that she succumbed to a drug overdose before she got to enjoy the enormous success of the record. As the sad story goes, this album was originally released on Jan 11, 1971 (three months after her passing on Oct 4, 1970).
This reissue, which puts a wider perspective on Joplinís last sessions, sees the original Pearl album (10 tracks) expanded with a truckload of extras, spread over two CDs.
With previous uncatalogued tapes of the Pearl Sessions now available, the bonus disc captures Joplin in her element joking with producer Paul Rothchild and her band members. Itís nice to hear that behind all those troubles, Joplin was still a lively loving soul. This is hard to resist.