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Released: January 11, 1971

Rating: 4.271 (average of 8 ratings)

Genre: blues rock

Quotable: “Few artists could ask for a better final statement.” – Steve Huey, All Music Guide

Album Tracks:

  1. Move Over
  2. Cry Baby
  3. A Woman Left Lonely
  4. Half Moon
  5. Buried Alive in the Blues
  6. My Baby
  7. Me and Bobby McGee
  8. Mercedez Benz
  9. Trust Me
  10. Get It While You Can

Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only 4.0
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 4.0


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 1 9
peak on U.K. album chart 50

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Me and Bobby McGee (1/30/71) #1 US, air: 2 m
  • Cry Baby (5/15/71) #42 US
  • Get It While You Can (9/11/71) #78 US

Notes: A 1999 reissue added four live recordings from July 1970. The 2004 Legacy edition added a full second live CD as well as alternate versions of songs from the album.


Rated one of the top 1000 albums of all time by Dave’s Music Database. Click to learn more. One of the biggest #1 albums in U.S. chart history. Click to learn more. Grammy Hall of Fame. Click to go to HOF page.

Janis Joplin
“Janis Joplin made the blues her own” SA showing why she still “remains an essential, if tragic, figure in pop.” SA Her “second masterpiece (after Cheap Thrills), Pearl was designed as a showcase for her powerhouse vocals, stripping down the arrangements that had often previously cluttered her music or threatened to drown her out. Thanks also to a more consistent set of songs, the results are magnificent – given room to breathe, Joplin’s trademark rasp conveys an aching, desperate passion on funked-up, bluesy rockers, ballads both dramatic and tender.” SH

“Though she didn’t live to finish this album before her 1970 death from a heroin overdose, her intense passion and frantic cries of pain and ecstasy were enough to make Pearl one of the most memorable recordings of her era.” SA “Listen to the tortured heartbreak of Cry Baby or the hopeful declarations of Kris Kristofferson’s Me & Bobby McGee,” SA her signature song and posthumous number one hit.

“Her band does fill up some vinyl with the instrumental Buried Alive in the BluesSA – “she was scheduled to record them on the day after she was found dead” SH – “but it’s the vocals that make this album worth hearing these many decades later.” SA

“Its incompleteness mirrors Joplin’s career; Pearl’s power leaves the listener to wonder what else Joplin could have accomplished, but few artists could ask for a better final statement.” SH

Review Source(s):

Me and Bobby McGee

Cry Baby

Get It While You Can

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Last updated January 19, 2011.