C5S2CD15 Pearl Jam have never really been a fashionable band, although part of the grunge explosion the ‘real’ grunge fans were fans of Nirvana not Pearl Jam. They have sold millions of albums across the world and hundreds of thousands will go to see them in concert but trying to find someone who says they are a fan is like looking for hen’s teeth!
I have never had an issue about following bands about that are fashionable or vice versa, I like what I like and that covers a wide range of music some might be mainstream and some not, I like good music full stop. Pearl Jam sits at the rockier side of my music collection and I have to say I’m a big fan. I love the music but I also love how Pearl Jam go about their business. They have an ethos and belief and they adhere to it and I admire them for that. Pearl Jam fought Ticketmaster for 2 years in the US as they disagreed with booking fees system and were only brought down when they couldn’t get venues to play. I recently watched a DVD of Pearl Jam touring Italy, Eddie Vedder brought in a Italian teacher as he felt he should try communicate with his audience in their language, I suspect very few bands would do this.
This was Pearl Jam’s debut album, released in 1992 and taken to the masses via MTV. There are two massive hits on this album Alive and Jeremy both were shown on a loop by MTV and were lapped up by the American public. Jeremy is the dark story of a boy picked on at school and decided to take matters into his own hands. Both tracks are heavy but have the hooks that had everybody singing along and are still crowd favourites to this day. My favourite track is Black which is as close to a ballad as Pearl Jam get. When playing this album I kept flicking back to his track and I have to say one 30 minute car journey was made up of this track on repeat.
This album has been recently been released in a number of formats, but my copy comes with 3 additional tracks than the original release a live version of Alive and a couple of outtakes which add very little. The album is still fresh nearly 20 years on and is a great introduction if you have often wondered what the grunge movement was all about.