My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Original album consists of tracks 1-10
Brief Background: Pearl was recorded in the fall of 1970 and was released in January of 1971. The album was issued posthumously as Joplin died of a heroin overdose before it could be finished. In fact, the track “Buried Alive and the Blues” was included as an instrumental on the album, because Joplin was never able to record the vocals for it.
What I think: When Joplin is backed by a sparse, quieter backing group, this album is pure gold. Songs of this ilk such as “Cry Baby”, “A Women Left Lonely” “Mercedes Benz” and of course “Me and Bobby McGee” show and support Joplin’s amazing voice. There are a few songs on the album in which the band is just doing too much and it makes it feel like they are playing around her instead of along with her. “Move Over”, Half Moon” and “Trust Me” all feel this way. So while it’s a great album with some amazing pieces it does have its misses.
Also, if you can get your hands on the extended version, make sure to check out the demo/acoustic version of “Me and Bobby McGee” I wouldn’t say its better than the original, but it is at least as passionate.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? For an album that Joplin was never able to finish, it is pretty stellar. I’ll give it a pass.
Rating (Out of 5): 3.5
Pearl Amazon Review (Out of 5): 5
Is this my first time hearing this album? Yes (183/242)
Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 80%