Sunset Sound Recorders | October 1, 1970

The initial three days of October, 1970 were occupied ones for Janis Joplin. She spent October first updating her will with her legal group yet discovered time to head into Sunset Sound Recorders to complete up work on her up and coming album Pearl, almost completed yet at the same time requiring a couple of last touches and spontaneously, started to set out an a cappella studio execution of her recently composed “Mercedes Benz.” Stripped bare of any support instrumentation or studio impacts, “Mercedes Benz” is as harsh as any Janis Joplin track gets, just as perfectly unfinished as the lady driving it yet still as impactful as any of its more cleaned, album-ready colleagues.

Fun Fact: In 2003, Joplin’s recording was remixed, adding a beat and a background melody.

Thoroughly lacking in falseness of any sort, what might come to be Janis’ last studio performance fixed the 27-year-old vocalist’s legacy, putting fans a valiant effort and brightest at her most daring and defenseless in a spot she felt sufficiently safe to let down her guard; while “Mercedes Benz” would be remixed more than 30 years after the fact and given a beat and foundation tune, there’s something profoundly inauthentic about the remix that double-crosses the genuineness and naked feeling Janis’ last studio performance.


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