Pearl Jam: Ten (1991)

Produced by Rick Parashar and Pearl Jam

In march 27, 2020 Pearl Jam will release a new album and since I got the time, I want to take these days prior to the release to talk about their albums and story. The first thing that amazed me as I began was to realize the passage of time, Ten debuted in 1991, a lot of time has passed but the album remains a classic and one of their best albums. 

The story of how Pearl jam began to me is an example of how destiny works. The band has its genesis in the band Mother Love Bone where Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard were members until Andy Wood, the lead singer died. Mike McCready began practicing with Gossard and there you have three members of what would be Pearl jam. Eddie Vedder came to band because he received a demo tape given to Jack irons who passed it to him. Vedder then wrote lyrics for the music in the tape and the rest is history. 

Released on August 21, 1991, a month before than Nirvana’s Nevermind album which created the whole alternative/grunge genre and opened the doors for many bands. I always give credit to Cobain and Nirvana even though I always maintain my belief that Pearl Jam was a better band and Ten a better album, but the truth is Nirvana opened the door for these bands. This means that at first, the album passed unnoticed at first. The album had three hit singles and one classic music video. I think the attraction of this genre was the fact that the lyrics once again felt real. I think the whole party metal scene of the ’80s grew old and bands like Pearl jam had lyrics that had meaning and dealt with what the generation was going through.

The band had the perfect combination of great musicians and the perfect lyricist in Eddie Vedder, the words that man wrote for the album were deep and honest and raw. The album begins with Once, a song Eddie says is about the descent of a man into madness. From that moment on the audience is treated to great music. 

The highlights for are the songs:

Alive – what a great opening riff by Stone Gossard and the lyrics are so good. I get the sarcasm behind the lyrics where Eddie is saying things like he just found out his real father had died and the man he thought was his father was not really his father but reminding himself that at least he was alive. The song is almost like an anthem perfect to be sung live. 

Jeremy – This a special song, based on a true story of this kid who killed himself in a classroom. The song says the effect on this kid that sadly receives no attention from his parents. The lyrics are devastating just hearing as Vedder sings “Daddy didn’t give affection and the boy was something mommy wouldn’t wear, King Jeremy the wicked ruled his world”. The video was shocking and exposed a real of parents needing to pay attention to their kids. 

Black – is a beautiful ballad and I just love the line where he sings out why couldn’t she be part of his sky. 

Release – this to me is the deepest song in the album and of the songs, Eddie has written. I can imagine not knowing his dad could have influenced the story in the song of a man asking his father to release them, of course, that is my interpretation I can’t say what Eddie was thinking. 

Reference

Wikipedia. (2020). Once (Pearl Jam song). Retrieved from https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Once_(Pearl_Jam_song)

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