11 January 2013

11th Jan - Janis Joplin's Pearl

Artist – Album: Janis Joplin - Pearl
Released:  11th January 1971
Sounds Like: Honey coated cigarettes. According to my sister.

It wasn't easy to decide which record to listen to and blog about today – as well as this excellent slice of blues rock celebrating its 42nd birthday, Vampire Weekend’s Contra was released 3 years ago to the day. That album is a literate, summery, sort-of concept album that mashes a huge array of genres together with intelligence and flair. In the end, I chose to plump for the album which sounded freshest to me. For while Contra’s style may not be exactly ten a penny nowadays, there really is no one out there making big soulful blues rock like Pearl any more.

The album revolves around Joplin’s extraordinary vocals, a captivating rasp that is the voice of a big-busted, whiskey swigging, tattooed angel. Songs like Mercedes Benz and A Woman Left Lonely rely on a delicate sweetness to her tone, whilst the likes of the Me and Bobby McGee and Cry Baby (or the near carbon copy My Baby) are all about the prodigious power she possessed.

Joplin died on 4th October 1970 of a heroin overdose, meaning that Pearl was released unfinished. In fact, the vocals for now instrumental track Buried Alive in the Blues were due to be recorded the day that she died. Her untimely death means that we can only wonder what she could have go on to accomplish, but the strength of this album, as well as the posthumous U.S. number one Me and Bobby McGee, still leave an incredible legacy.

Albumaday... rating:   8/10

1.       Move Over – 3:43
2.       Cry  Baby – 3:58
3.       A Woman Left Lonely – 3:29
4.       Half Moon – 3:53
5.       Buried Alive in the Blues – 2:29
6.       My Baby – 3:26
7.       Me and Bobby McGee – 4:33
8.       Mercedes Benz – 1:48
9.       Trust Me – 3:17
10.   Get It While You Can – 3:27

Listen to ‘A Woman Left Lonely’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klhK_4evO5c

Also released on the 11th January:
2010: Vampire Weekend - Contra

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