Janis Joplin

Box of Pearls: The Janis Joplin Collection

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A limited-edition five-CD box set comprising both albums that Janis Joplin made with Big Brother & the Holding Company (Cheap Thrills and Big Brother & the Holding Company), both of her solo albums (I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama! and Pearl), and a bonus EP with five previously unreleased recordings. Each of these four albums includes previously unreleased bonus tracks (including live material), and each is available separately with the same bonus cuts. The tracks on the bonus EP aren't available anywhere else, and if you're devoted enough to consider laying out for this deluxe box, you're probably most interested in what's on that fifth disc. There are a couple of Cheap Thrills outtakes, "It's a Deal" and "Crazy Once You Know How," with a garagey feel and some typically scorching, uninhibited Big Brother lead guitar; it can be seen why they may not have been deemed strong enough for the album, but they're pretty cool to have. The live versions of "Maybe" (April 1969) and "Raise Your Hand" (October 1969) are OK, but not essential; of greater curiosity is the raw live charge through "Bo Diddley" (also October 1969). In the original long-box shaped release, each of the CDs is packaged in a mini-LP-type jacket, which would be really cool except for the fact that, cheapskates that Sony management is, none has an inner-sleeve, so the CDs tend to roll out of the sleeve once they're unsealed, unless you put them back in the box very carefully; additionally, the producers didn't re-create the gatefold design of Cheap Thrills; there are two subsequent versions of the set, a domestic wide CD-sized box containing full, jewel-cased versions of the five discs, and a Japanese version in mini-LP sleeves (with inner sleeves) and with two accompanying booklets. Note that this box does not include a good deal of material that has shown up on the Janis box, the Janis movie soundtrack, In Concert, and Farewell Song, so it's not a complete collection of Joplin's recordings.

Track Listing - Disc 4

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:43
2 3:58
3 3:29
4 3:53
5 2:27
6 3:45
7 4:31
8 1:47
9 3:17
10 3:33
11 6:32
12 3:56
13 6:52
14 6:30
blue highlight denotes track pick