H.E.A.R. Honors Peal Jam
Named for Eddie Vedder's great grandmother Pearl's famous
homemade jam (which was said to be hallucinogenic), Pearl
Jam set a foundation in music that would become known simply
as Grunge. That band took shape after Mother Love Bone lead
singer Andrew Wood died and guitarist Stone Gossard and bassist
Jeff Ament recruited Mike McCready (lead guitar), Dave Krusen
(drums) and Eddie Vedder (vocals) to form Pearl Jam.
Based in Seattle, Pearl Jam led the pack along with Nirvana
and Soundgarden in the race to bring alternative music to
the forefront of America's youth culture. Releasing Ten in
1991, Pearl Jam combined '70s-stadium style rock with angry
lyrics and heavy riffs. In no time, Ten shot up the charts
and sold hundred of thousands of albums worldwide.
Pearl Jam, however, was not one to sell out and consider
themselves mainstream. With their hits "Alive," "Evenflow"
and "Black," Vedder and the gang painted dark pictures of
depression, suicide and a bleak world in general. They became
the voice of a new, angry generation of teenagers known as
Generation X. Furthering their anti-mainstream, anti-sellout
stance, the group refused to produce any videos for songs
from their second release, Vs., which came out in 1993. This
new album featured a new drummer, Dave Abbruzzese, who was
added after Krusen decided to leave the band. In an era when
record sales seem to be guided by radio and video airplay,
Vs. easily managed to reach multiplatinum status like its
A spring 1994 tour followed the release of Vs., but Pearl
Jam canceled their summer tour when they entered into a heated
battle with the giant ticket agency, Ticketmaster. During
this time, the band re-entered the studio, replaced Abbruzzese
with Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Jack Irons, and released
their third album, Vitalogy. Vitalogy, which was intially
released only on vinyl, quickly climbed to the top of the
charts and was registered multiplatinum.
In early 1995, the Justice Department sided with Ticketmaster,
ending the two-year battle between Pearl Jam and the company.
The band then teamed up with Neil Young on a hugely successful
tour of Europe. Working so well together, Pearl Jam and Young
entered the studio and recorded Young's 1995 release, Mirror
Laying somewhat low and staying out of the proverbial spotlight,
Pearl Jam again went back into the studio to record their
summer 1996 release, No Code. Pearl Jam's fifth studio album,
Yield, was released in February 1998. The band launched a
world tour in support of the album that kicked off in Australia
in January. In the fall of 1998, Pearl Jam released the live
album, Live on Two Legs.
Binaural, was released in May 2000. Live albums released
in 2000 EuroBoots2000, NorthAmBoots1, NorthAmBoots2 and TouringBand2000.Riot
Act released in 2001. Live at the Garden released 2- disc
DVD of the July 8, 2003 concert performance at Madison Square
Garden. Lost Dogs Rarities/B-sides Double Album - This 2-disc
album features 31 tracks compiled from Pearl Jam's extensive
b-side archives and from various benefit albums and soundtracks.
None of the included tracks have been previously featured
on any of the band's studio albums.
The official bootleg series the band instituted three years
ago in an effort to beat the bootleggers at their own game
prvides for a fraction of what you'd pay for a boot or even
a major label release -- only $12.98 to members of the group's
"10 Club," $14.98 otherwise -- fans can order a well-recorded
double disc set of the show they just saw (or any other show
of their choosing) from the band's Web site, www.pearljam.com.
They immediately get an link to MP3 version, and a fully mastered
CD within a week or so. "It's worked out really well," the
guitarist enthuses. "At first our record company thought we
were out of our minds. But when they realized they could make
money off the manufacturing, suddenly they were all for it.
And it makes sense for a band like ours. We're always messing
with the set list, adding stuff spontaneously, making it different
every night. If I could have done this with my favorite bands
growing up, I'd have been in heaven. With current technology,
it's not really a radical idea at all." Pearl Jam may soon
be in the market for a more radical idea regarding record
distribution. The band's current album, "Riot Act," is the
last under its contract with Sony Music subsidiary Epic Records.
There has been speculation that it will not sign with another
major label, but may opt for an independent company or perhaps
even create its own imprint. Industry observers are closely
monitoring the progress of the new Eagles single, "Hole in
the World," released via the group's Eagles Recording Company
II, as a test of how much an act can accomplish without the
benefit of major label muscle. Pearl Jam is known for raging
against the music industry machine with endeavors like taking
antitrust action against Ticketmaster in 1994 and releasing
scores of live albums from each of its last two tours.