Following her departure from Big Brother & The Holding Company, Janis Joplin had begun her solo career with 1969's I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!, recorded with the Kozmic Blues Band. She toured with them, and performed at the Woodstock festival. Following Woodstock she broke up the band. She took some time out, travelling to Brazil and attempting to kick her heroin addiction. However on her return to America she was soon using again. She put together a new group called The Full Tilt Boogie Band, consisting of John Till (guitar), Richard Bell (piano), Ken Pearson (organ), Brad Campbell (bass) and Clark Pierson (drums), all of whom were Canadian. They went on tour, and also joined the all-star Festival Express train tour through Canada, and appeared on the film Festival Express.
During the autumn of 1970 Joplin and the band recorded her new solo album, working with producer Paul A. Rothchild (at the time best known for producing The Doors). The album was almost completed when Joplin was found dead in her hotel room. The official cause of death was a heroin overdose. The Pearl album was thus released posthumously, and featured one song (Nick Gravenites' "Buried Alive In The Blues") which she never got round to recording her vocals for, thus leaving it as an instrumental. The album improved on the R&B/rock fusion sound she had first explored on her debut, featuring covers of songs by Bobby Womack, Dan Penn, Jerry Ragavoy and Kris Kristofferson, as well as a few good originals. The last recording she ever made was her a capella original "Mercedez Benz", which has become something of a signature tune of hers. The album was a success, and gave her a posthumous #1 hit - her cover of Kristofferson's "Me And Bobby McGee" topped the charts three months after her death.
Since her death Janis Joplin's fame has endured, and she is today looked back on as one of the major icons of the 60s hippie counter-culture and rock music in general.
I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama! (1969) <|> In Concert (1972)
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