Artist name is Janis Joplin/Full Tilt Boogie on the back cover, Janis Joplin elsewhere on the release. Tracks A1, A4, A5, B3 ASCAP; all others BMI
Track B1, B5, writer Shuman name misspelled on liner (Schuman); as above on label. Track B2 credited as just "Kristopherson" on liner; as above on label. Track B3 credited as just "Janis Joplin" on liner; as above on label.
Barcode and Other Identifiers
Matrix / Runout (Label, Side A): AL 30322
Matrix / Runout (Label, Side B): BL 30322
Matrix / Runout (Side A Variant 1): P PAL 30322-2 2-K
Matrix / Runout (Side B Variant 1): o PBL 30322 2-G P
Matrix / Runout (Side A Etched [Stamped] Variant 2): [P o] PAL 30322 2-J
I did not remember this album as a whole. All I could remember were some songs like 'Mercedes Benz,' 'Me & Bobby McGee,' and 'Cry Baby.' I just wanted to add some Janis Joplin to my collection, and I thought this would be her best effort. It's not that great of an album though. I bought this copy used as VG+, and after cleaning it, it's decent. Lots of surface noise, but once the music kicks, it's barely noticeable, and that's just fine with me.
OKAY SO MINE MATCHES ALMOST ALL IDENTIFIERS BUT WITH SOME WEIRD QUIRKS. PLEASE ADVISE IF SOMEONE HAS THE SAME COPY AND THE PROPER WAY TO CATALOGUE IT. First my matrix runouts are the same as Variant 3, but on opposite sides of the record?????? Second my catalogue # is PC 30322 not KC 30322 Final it has a gold PROMOTION ONLY OWNERSHIP RESERVED BY CBS stamp on upper L back corner??????? but has the red label with gold colombia all around the edge?????
The woman in the hootch next to mine in Viet Nam played this album night and day, so often that I began to think it was the only album she owned, so it was many years before the full splendor of Pearl revealed itself to me, and while it isn’t an album I play often, I am thankful for the space it holds in my collection.
Pearl was the final evaluation of anything Janis would ever do. Janis could be a tender singer, and erratic singer, a downright lousy singer at times, often distracted, unable to find the voice to suite her vision, or on those special occasions, she blossomed with maturity and confidence, sounding larger than life. While I’d like to say that this assemblage of songs somehow seems polished, I think that it’s more that as good as these songs are, had Janis lived, she might have desired to revisit each and every one of them for the express purpose of breathing new life into the verses as her voice and presentation evolved … but that’s a dream that will never be, leaving us with what we have here, the music that stands as the pinnacle of all that this rising star would ever achieve.
Critics gave this album a difficult time when it came out, for exactly the same reasons I mentioned, claiming that she really wasn’t a blues artist, nor was she a soul artist. Janis was a rock hybrid, a Thelonious Monk if you will, walking in far too many worlds, and with her short time on this earth, she’d never been able to define or even identify herself in order to become a competent artist of character and grace. Often her music sounded hokey, often a bit desperate, yet what this album and Janis Joplin had going for them, was the fact that Pearl represented a point in time that fans had no intentions of forgetting, Janis was the quintessential hippie star, the lost little girl, the savage voice of a generation, and that immortalized her as no one else. The music found within these grooves bestows a simple charm, where I now realize that polishing these songs would be to remove that charm, that Janis was the voice of every woman singing her heart out as she did the dishes or ironed clothes alone, completely immersed in a space that men of that time could never understand.
The record also sees Janis as the voice of a band and not that of a frontman/woman, as she was with Big Brother, thus allowing for Janis to soar, to orbit her audience, to immerse her music into their very souls, where a number like “Me and Bobby McGee” became an instant classic, a timeless voice from the wilderness that inspired and touched so many, encouraging them to set out on their own adventure and see how it might unfold. Janis’ style was raw, rough and sincerely genuine, she in no way was the fabrication of a publicist, she lived in the moment, she sang in the moment, totally immersed in the emotion.
There are some ghosts haunting this record as well. The number “Buried Alive In The Blues” is a chilling poignancy, an instrumental manifestation, an unfinished song, as the night before Janis was due to lay down the vocal tracks she was found dead. Compared to her other outings, Pearl is far more refined, genuine, carefully crafted and labored over, a collection of songs that hang together with no actual sense of purpose, yet hearing them sung by this wondrous artist is entirely enough to give you chills.
*** The Fun Facts: Pearl was named after a character Joplin invented for herself, once described by biographer Alice Echols as a “fast-talking, sock-it-to-me broad”.
My copy is ALMOST like the above and also ALMOST like a couple of others, but not exactly, so I can't narrow down to whether my copy is an unique release or a variant of one of the others. One difference is what looks like a faint "AM" or "AMP" etched on Side B. I also question if the "2F" portion of "variant 3" for Side B is a misreading or mis-etching, because my etching is "2E" on Side B.
This was Janis Joplin's final album , released just days after she passed away - was barely finished when it came out. Still, it is one of the best showcases of her massive talent and vocal prowess on record, and - by universal acclaim - one of the top-50 Rock and blues albums of all times. The album includes no less than four top-10 charting hits, including Janis' timeless rendition of Kris Kristopherson's "Me and Bobby McGee", no less than three (3) covers of Jerry Ragovoy's deep soul ballads (two originally performed by Garnett Mimms & the Enchanters and one by Howard Tate), plus songs by Bobby Womack, John Hall, Penn-Oldham and Janis herself - her immortal "Mercedes Benz."