Taking a visit down the Far Out archives, we’ve discovered a glorious isolated vocal recording of the incredible Janis Joplin performing her wonderous hit ‘Move Over’.
‘Move Over’ featured on her much-adored second album, Pearl, which would be released just two months following her death which meant, of course, that Joplin sadly never lived to see the song and the album become the staple of any good record collection. The record, which sold four million copies and hit number one on the charts, all tragically after Joplin passed away.
The song arrived like a piece of art, a project that was of immense pride to Joplin as she was known primarily for her voice alone rather than her songwriting brilliance which is on full flow on this track. It’s the only number on Pearl that was penned solely by Joplin.
Joplin appeared on The Dick Cavett Show on June 25, 1970, to perform ‘Move Over’, stated that the song was about men and specifies it is about the sort of man who tells you your relationship is over but equally won’t let you move on.
It’s a song that clearly carried a lot of emotional weight for Joplin and used it as a mechanism for airing the personal issues she was dealing with at the time. The song was delivered as a perfect opportunity to have a subtle swipe at her problematic ex.
The legendary singer would only perform the track on four occasions before she would, unfortunately, succumb to addiction and accidentally overdose on heroin in 1970, an incident which cut one of the most distinctive and pioneering musical careers painfully short. It was soon after her passing that more rare recordings would be released posthumously, a body of work that further cemented her legacy as a one of a kind talent.
Florence Welch detailed how much Joplin inspired her as an artist because of how she managed to turn her turbulent personal struggles into something beautiful with her music, a discussion that perfectly summarises the late singer’s talent: “She was so vulnerable, self-conscious and full of suffering. She tore herself apart yet on stage she was totally different. She was so unrestrained, so free, so raw and she wasn’t afraid to wail.”
She continued: “It seems to me the suffering and intensity of her performance go hand in hand. There was always a sense of longing, of searching for something. I think she really sums up the idea that soul is about putting your pain into something beautiful.”
On this isolated vocal version of the track, Joplin’s voice sounds striking and through her voice, she manages to navigate the listener to this emotion which you can viscerally feel travelling straight from her heart, to her lungs and into her voice which is amplified further when you hear it isolated.