Recording Studio: “That was a pretty heavy time for me,” she later said in an interview with Howard Smith of The Village Voice. “It was really important, you know, whether people were going to accept me or not.” (Joplin’s interview with Smith was her last; it took place on September 30, 1970, just four days before her death.) Outside of music, Joplin appeared to be struggling with alcohol and drugs, including an addiction to heroin. Joplin’s next album would be her most successful, but, tragically, also her last. She recorded Pearl with the Full Tilt Boogie Band and wrote two of its songs, the powerful, rocking “Move Over” and “Mercedes Benz,” a gospel-styled send-up of consumerism.
Recording Studio: Janis Joplin – Tragic Death and Legacy
Following a long struggle with substance abuse, Joplin died from an accidental heroin overdose on October 4, 1970, at a hotel in Hollywood’s Landmark Hotel. Completed by Joplin’s producer, Pearl was released in 1971 and quickly became a hit. The single “Me and Bobby McGee,” written by Kris Kristofferson, a former love of Joplin’s, reached the top of the charts.
Despite her untimely death, Janis Joplin’s songs continue to attract new fans and inspire performers. Numerous collections of her songs have been released over the years, including In Concert (1971) and Box of Pearls (1999). In recognition of her significant accomplishments, Joplin was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, and honored with a Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammy Awards in 2005.
Dubbed the “first lady of rock ‘n’ roll,” Joplin has been the subject of several books and documentaries, including Love, Janis (1992), written by sister Laura Joplin. That book was adapted into a play of the same title. Amy Berg’s documentary, Janis: Little Girl Blue, premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2015.