Pearl Jam, of course, was one of the super groups of the 1990s. It surprised me that they still are touring today. Here is how Sterogum’s Ryan Leas begins his list of the band’s ten top songs:
Pearl Jam’s status as an artist can be a hard one to quantify. They entered the scene as one of the biggest bands in the world, and after a few years vanished from the mainstream audience radar, even though they continued, and still continue, to be an absolutely monolithic touring entity. Every fan knows the experience of talking to someone who goes, “Oh, they’re still around? I remember that one song they did…” before said person breaks into some ridiculous impression of the chorus from “Jeremy.” (Or maybe that was just me and a high school gym teacher, but I’ve got to imagine this is a semi-frequent phenomenon.) And even with them now falling outside of a lot of people’s attention spans, they’re still a quantifiably “big” band, between their ease at selling out arenas and the fact that their albums still move a respectable amount of copies (especially for a rock band in 2013, even if the numbers pale in comparison to their commercial peak twenty years ago). (Continue Reading…)
Billboard offers a straightforward profile:
Pearl Jam rose from the ashes of Mother Love Bone to become the most popular American rock & roll band of the ’90s. After Mother Love Bone’s vocalist, Andrew Wood, overdosed on heroin in 1990, guitarist Stone Gossard and bassist Jeff Ament assembled a new band, bringing in Mike McCready on lead guitar and recording a demo with Soundgarden’s Matt Cameron on drums. Thanks to future Pearl Jam drummer Jack Irons, the demo found its way to a 25-year-old San Diego surfer named Eddie Vedder, who overdubbed vocals and original lyrics and was subsequently invited to join the band (then christened Mookie Blaylock after the NBA player). Dave Krusen was hired as the full-time drummer shortly thereafter, completing the original lineup. Renaming themselves Pearl Jam, the band recorded their debut album, Ten, in the beginning of 1991, although it wasn’t released until August; in the meantime, the majority of the band appeared on the Andrew Wood tribute project Temple of the Dog. Krusen left the band shortly after the release of Ten; he was replaced by Dave Abbruzzese. (Continue Reading…)
Both the band and Eddie Vedder as a solo act are playing outside the United States this summer. More information is at the Pearl Jam site.
(Home page photo: Paul Hudson)