COLUMBIA/LEGACY RECORDINGS CELEBRATES JANIS JOPLIN WITH THE RELEASE OF ESSENTIAL NEW ADDITIONS TO HER CATALOG: JANIS JOPLIN – THE PEARL SESSIONS (NEW TWO-DISC EDITION PREMIERING NINE PREVIOUSLY UNAVAILABLE TRACKS & NEWLY DISCOVERED STUDIO RECORDINGS) & THE FIRST OF BEAR’S “SONIC JOURNALS”: BIG BROTHER AND THE HOLDING COMPANY FEATURING JANIS JOPLIN – LIVE AT THE CAROUSEL BALLROOM 1968 RECORDED & PRODUCED BY OWSLEY STANLEY (“BEAR” )
New York, NY – Columbia/Legacy Recordings celebrates Janis Joplin with the release of two essential new titles in the catalog of the American blues-rock-country-soul singer: Janis Joplin – The Pearl Sessions, a two-disc set premiering newly discovered studio recordings produced by Paul Rothchild (available Tuesday, April 17) and Big Brother and the Holding Company Featuring Janis Joplin – Live at the Carousel Ballroom 1968, an electrifying full-length concert recorded and produced for release by the legendary soundman Owsley (“Bear”) Stanley (available Tuesday, March 13). The Pearl Sessions is an historic expansion of Joplin’s final studio album, providing fascinating new insight into Janis’ creative process through a range of rare and previously unreleased material.
Newly available bonus material on The Pearl Sessions includes the original master mono mixes of the album’s singles (“Cry Baby,” “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Half Moon,” “Get It While You Can,” “Move Over,” “A Woman Left Lonely”) and a full-length second disc showcasing Joplin live in the studio performing never-before-heard takes of Pearl classics. From behind-the-scenes banter to full finished takes, The Pearl Sessions shows the complexity of Joplin’s genius, the tough and vulnerable aspects of her personality, her lightning sense of humor, and her razor-sharp attention to the details of her craft. Offering fresh perspectives on the more familiar “official” versions of the songs, alternate takes of “Get It While You Can,” the Janis Joplin-composed “Move Over,” and others open up unexpected new dimensions in the material and in the sublime nuances of Joplin’s delivery.
The Pearl Sessions offers an unprecedented opportunity to be in the room with Janis, her producer, Paul Rothchild, and the members of the Full Tilt Boogie Band (guitarist John Till, pianist Richard Bell, bassist Brad Campbell, drummer Clark Pierson, organist Ken Pearson) as they create one of the enduring masterpieces of rock ‘n’ roll.
Originally released on January 11, 1971 (three months after her passing on October 4, 1970), Pearl debuted Joplin’s final finished studio recordings. The only album Joplin ever recorded with the Full Tilt Boogie Band, the touring ensemble that had backed her on the Festival Express (a mythic 1970 concert tour by railroad across Canada with the Grateful Dead, the Band and others), Pearl included canonical studio recordings of songs that had been introduced to audiences on tour. A live version of “Tell Me Mama” (a song not included on the original Pearl), recorded during the legendary Toronto Festival Express date, is included as a bonus track on The Pearl Sessions. Also included as a bonus is Janis’ scorching live version of “Half Moon,” recorded for her appearance on “The Dick Cavett Show” on August 3, 1970.
Peaking at #1 on the Billboard 200, a position it held for nine weeks, Pearl included some of Janis’s most familiar and best-loved performances including her cover of Kris Kristofferson’s “Me and Bobby McGee” and her off-the-cuff a cappella “Mercedes Benz.” A never released alternate take and the original “Me and Bobby McGee” demo are both included on The Pearl Sessions.
When putting together material for a 40th anniversary edition of Pearl, researchers discovered a treasure-trove of previously uncatalogued audio tapes from the album’s sessions, produced by Paul Rothchild. An industry legend, perhaps best-known for producing the first five Doors albums, Rothchild further solidified his position in music history with his work on Pearl.
The Pearl Sessions brings together the original mono versions of the album’s 45s and the original LP tracks alongside a revelatory cavalcade of newly-discovered alternate versions, outtakes and vocal takes that put you in the studio with Janis Joplin.
A limited edition double 10″ high fidelity vinyl gatefold release, Highlights from The Pearl Sessions will be available exclusively for Record Store Day (April 21, 2012). A companion to the newly curated two CD edition of Joplin’s farewell masterpiece, Pearl, this vinyl release presents previously unreleased and seldom heard takes and early versions of classic songs, culled from the recently discovered tapes used to create The Pearl Sessions.
A limited edition 12″ vinyl edition of Pearl will also be available on Tuesday, April 17. A breakout from the Classic LP Collection box, the album is pressed at RTI on 180-gram audiophile vinyl.
The release of The Pearl Sessions marks a renewed focus on Janis Joplin and the continuing influence of her music. Columbia/Legacy Recording will release Live at the Carousel Ballroom 1968, a previously unavailable live concert recording of Big Brother and the Holding Company featuring Janis Joplin,recorded June 23, 1968 by legendary soundman Owsley Stanley, a/k/a “Bear,” who supervised the mastering of this release before his fatal car accident in his adopted homeland of Australia on March 12, 2011. Dedicated to Bear, the album will be released on March 13, 2012, marking the one-year anniversary of his passing.
A special collector’s edition of Live at the Carousel Ballroom will be available in a special two 12″ vinyl LP gatefold collector’s edition on Tuesday, March 27. “This evening was special,” remembers Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart was in the Carousel Ballroom that night in June ’68. “The Bear loved Janis. Her ability to sing multiple tones simultaneously and then morph them into heart wrenching chords was singular. Her primal cry, filled with tenderness and hurt, was delivered at 140 decibels as the band pushed here into the slipstream. There could be no one more qualified to bring Big Brother and the Holding Company to life than Owsley. Together they captured the magic. The Bear sure had it right this night.”
As potentially being the complete and definitive collection of Janis Joplin’s work and her short but exciting career in music, these offerings would be the key part of any rock and roll fan, historian or audiophile.