Here’s something very unusual for my site: A review of an album on a major label that wasn’t submitted to me for review.
Such is my love for Pearl Jam.
“Ten” is without a doubt one of the best rock albums of the last 25 years, and it also marks the rare example of a debut album that lived up to its name. PJ went on to become one of the best rock bands of the last 25 years, and one of the last real touring rock and roll groups around. A Pearl Jam concert is a musical event, not a spectacle with fly-shaped sunglasses or twelve screens and go go girls.
The only issue I, and many others, have with “Ten” is that the sound quality wasn’t the best ever. It wasn’t an especially well-mixed record. Now, that’s been cured. On March 24, the band will release a remixed “Ten.” The reissue will launch of a re-release of every song in the band’s catalog before they celebrate their 20th anniversary in 2011. Come one, how many bands make it 20 years these days? I’ve heard the remixes and they are very good, all done by the band’s regular producer, Brendan O’Brien (Bruce Springsteen, AC/DC, Audioslave). So I recommend you all go spend hard earned money on a major label product. But here’s why: Pearl Jam releases all of their live shows for basically nothing, is taper friendly, tried to help out on causes, doesn’t flaunt their wealth, and just in general is a band with true musical spirit. I’ve never heard of someone having to spend thousands of dollars to have their picture taken with Eddie Vedder (a la The Stones).
Disc 2 also has some bonus stuff, songs and snippets like “Just a Girl,”, “State of Love and Trust,” and “Evil Little Goat,” but the real reason to buy this is the remixes.
To help get you psyched, I’m posting a brief A to Z of PJ covers and rarities. It’s brief because PJ has commercially released nearly every show they’ve done for the last 10-15 years, and I don’t want to step on their toes. None of these are from live shows released by the band, they’re from bootlegs and the like. Support the band as often and as much as possible.
A is for Atlantic City (Springsteen cover)-Pearl Jam. (Not in zip file.)
B is for Bruce Springsteen and Eddie Vedder doing “My Hometown.” (YSI)
C and D are for Cat Stevens’ “Don’t Be Shy”, as covered by PJ. (YSI)
E is Eddie!
F is for Forever Young (Bob Dylan cover)-Pearl Jam.
G is for Gossard!
H is for Hunger Strike-Pearl Jam w/Corrine Tucker.
I and J are for I’ve Just Seen a Face (Beatles cover)-Pearl Jam
K is for the KKK took my Baby Away! (Ramones cover)-Pearl Jam
L is for Leash (Pearl Jam cover)-Jason Anderson
M and N are the My Morning Jacket show where we found Eddie covering “No Surrender.” (YSI)
O is for I’m One (Who Cover)-Pearl Jam.
P is for noisy pants. Courduroy (acoustic version)-Pearl Jam
R is for Rockin’ in the Free World with Bono of U2 (Neil Young). (YSI)
S is for Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay (Otis Redding cover)-Pearl Jam.
T is for Timeless Melody (Las cover)-Eddie Vedder and Death Cab for Cutie (YSI)
U is for U2 (see R).
V is for Vedder.
W is for The Who (see O).
XYZ is for Examine your Zip File!