Janis Singing “Mercedes Benz” A Cappella, and Flat-Plus a Special Treat
New music guest blog by Ruddy Adam.
Fellow Music Lovers:
Still having requests for more JJ songs, and Southern Rock. Will get out more SR later on, but here are a couple of JJ songs worth listening to.
Very glad so many of you have the ear to appreciate one of the all-time great voices.
Here Janis sings without instrumental accompaniment, and perfectly out-of-tone—on purpose, of course, to give the song a delicate country music flare, still, however, with a slight slant toward the Blues. She can’t help it!
Again, she shows her singing talent, and her ability to make a song her own. It was Janis’ idea for the song, and she initially wrote it by herself, and then honed it with two other writers.
Very short version below, but it’s worth hearing her sing a cappella, showing a fearless voice and the talent to sing out-of-tone when she wants to.
Janis Joplin, 1970, singing “Mercedes Benz” a cappella (1:50)
Here is Janis doing this great song for the very first time in studio. You hear her getting ready and talking about her Texas accent, which she feared she had lost, and wonders whether it has come back. A member of the band says he hopes it has. She certainly gets it back about halfway through the song, and at the end shows what she eventually did with this song: made it her own by manipulating her fabulous voice. In the final cut (see below) she per usual innovated lines.
“Me and Bobby McGee” was written by Kris Kristofferson as a bluesy folk ballad and first done by Roger Miller in 1969 as a country song. It was released after Janis died and went to number one on the pop charts. Practically everyone, including Kristofferson, rank hers the best version of the song. Many (myself not included) think it’s Janis’ best song.
Quite a treat to hear it sung for the first time in studio. Be sure and take a look at the lyrics below. They are truly exquisite. Enjoy.
“Me and Bobby McGee,” by Janis (4:40)
For those of you who wish to hear the final cut, this is it. There’s a nice time change at 3:25, you might notice, along with Janis’ brilliant innovation.