It's hard to believe that Janis Joplin's meteoric career lasted only three years before she disappeared in a spray of feathers, gin, and myth. Thankfully, she left behind a body of work that serves as testimony to a voice so arrestingly powerful and quintessentially American -- culled as it was from gospel, the blues, country, folk, and San Francisco psychedelia -- that it still distinguishes her amid today's plethora of zealous pop divas. Box of Pearls
contains all four of Joplin's digitally remastered studio albums as well as a bonus CD of previously unreleased tracks, Rare Pearls,
which features a couple of groovy, ragtag outtakes from Cheap Thrills
and live renditions of "Maybe," "Raise Your Hand," and "Bo Diddley" that showcase Joplin's ball-bearing-hard, James Brown
-style bravado. In addition, the package features a bonanza of previously unreleased live and bonus tracks from each stage of Joplin's recording career, which not only open another window into her sandpaper sensuality and spotlight her electric intensity but also offer another taste of something we never got enough of.