Never one of my favorite bands, Pearl Jam has earned my grudging (no, not grunging) respect by doing the almost-impossible and remaining, as the song says, aliiiiive. EW scribe Whitney Pastorek does a fine job here breaking down the ways that PJ defies one's ordinary impulse to dismiss or otherwise take Vedder's crew. or their mega first album, Ten, now available in a deluxe reissue, for granted after all this time. (Still hate that album cover photo, though.)
I can't make a snap judgment on this! WTF are you talking about? In my possession I now have the original remastered version of Ten, a remixed version from Brendan O'Brien that includes a bunch of bonus tracks, a demo cassette, a wax paper packet of photos and stickers and ticket replicas, a composition notebook that serves as a photo album, a DVD of the band's MTV Unplugged show, and three vinyl LPs, including the 1992 Drop in the Park concert. The record sleeve for the latter depicts Vedder soaring over a flannel-drenched crowd. I spent 20 minutes staring at it last night. I also spent most of my week in Texas driving around with the O'Brien remix advance in the car stereo, and am still finding new and exciting tweaks to these songs I've known for half my life. Absorbing all of this is going to take some time. Additionally -- and perhaps more shamefully* -- I don't own a record player, and neither Best Buy nor my local music equipment store were able to sell me one this morning. (Apparently the only people still in the market for turntables are DJs, and I do not require the technology for "scratching.") So while I wait for a Craigslist transaction to go through in order to properly review this thing, I open the floor to you, M-Dubs: Who's got a copy? Who's got an opinion? Share it in the comments! And meanwhile, check out this phenomenal hip-hop cover of "Why Go," which incorporates nearly everything this post was about!