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Janis Joplin left this world all too soon 48 years ago today (October 4), but even after her untimely passing, she left her fans one final gift with the album Pearl.

Pearl was released about three months after Joplin’s death and would top the Billboard 200 album charts for nine weeks and go on to be certified four-times platinum.

Pearl, of course, isn’t the only album to be released after an artist’s death.  In honor of her wonderful life, here are nine posthumously released albums everyone should own.


Janis Joplin – Pearl

From the opening track of “Move Over” to the closing of “Get It While You Can,” this Pearl is a diamond of an album.

Janis Joplin - Me And Bobby McGee (Audio)

Janis Joplin's official audio for 'Me And Bobby McGee'. Click to listen to Janis Joplin on Spotify: As featured on Janis Joplin's Greatest Hits.

Otis Redding – The Dock of the Bay

Two months after Redding’s death via plane crash, we received this stellar album.  And that title track?  Simply a classic!

Otis Redding - (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay (Official Video)

Watch the official video for (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay by Otis Redding. The video features video clips and photos of Otis Redding in the prime of his musical career. (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay was released posthumously on Stax Records' Volt label in 1968 becoming the first posthumous single to be #1 on the charts in the US.


Roy Orbison – Mystery Girl

Like Redding, Orbison’s Mystery Girl was released two months after his heart attack death and featured the hit single “You Got It.”

Roy Orbison - You Got It

Music video by Roy Orbison performing You Got It. (C) 2013 Roys Boys LLC

Gram Parsons – Grievous Angel

Gram Parsons was only 26 when he died via an overdose of morphine and alcohol.  Four months later, his second solo album Grievous Angel was released forever reminding fans what could have been.


George Harrison – Brainwashed

Harrison’s final studio album came out about a year after he died and features tracks dating back to the late 1980’s.  It was completed by close friend Jeff Lynne and son, Dhani Harrison.

George Harrison - Brainwashed

George's final album, but the first to be credited to Dark Horse AND Parlophone.


Johnny Cash – American V:  A Hundred Highways

The fifth installment of Cash’s American series, it became Cash’s first number one album in 37 years and featured one of the most haunting, cool versions of “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” that you’ll ever hear.  (Its video is also pretty awesome, too.)

Johnny Cash - God's Gonna Cut You Down

Music video by Johnny Cash performing God's Gonna Cut You Down. (C) 2006 American Recordings, LLC & The Island Def Jam Music Group

Marvin Gaye – Dream of a Lifetime

Gaye’s first posthumous release came out a year after his murder and featured the single “Sanctified Lady,” which hit number two on the Billboard Hot R&B Singles chart.

Marvin Gaye "Sanctified Lady"

Marvin Gaye Sanctified Lady from 1985. This track was featured on the album Dream Of A Lifetime which was released after Marvin's death in 1984.



John Lennon and Yoko Ono – Milk and Honey

Completed by Ono, Milk and Honey was Lennon’s final studio release and came out four years after Lennon was murdered and featured the hit single “Nobody Told Me,” which was originally written for Ringo Starr to be included on his 1981 solo album Stop and Smell the Roses, but he ended up not recording the track.

Nobody Told Me - John Lennon

John Lennon Signature Box contains 9 Albums, all the singles, a disc of rarities & a book from Yoko, Julian & Sean. Available on Amazon: & iTunes Video from Lennon Legend DVD: JL Videos on iTunes: Notes from Lennon Legend DVD: A new video, edited from newly transferred footage and out-takes from John & Yoko's "Imagine" film and other previously unseen footage.

Gregg Allman – Southern Blood

The most recent posthumous release on this list, Allman’s Southern Blood was released four months after his passing.  The album was made up of mostly cover songs but featured one original track with “My Only True Friend” that Allman wrote with Scott Sharrard.

My Only True Friend (OFFICIAL VIDEO) | Gregg Allman - Southern Blood

My Only True Friend is written by Gregg Allman and Scott Sharrard Get 'Southern Blood now: GA Store: Amazon: iTunes/Apple Music: SOUTHERN BLOOD serves as a remarkable final testament from an artist whose contributions have truly shaped rock & roll throughout the past four decades.

Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock blogger that loves the smell of old vinyl in the morning.

Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice.