In an announcement that will make many people's beards turn instantly gray, Pearl Jam is planning a re-release campaign in advance of the band's twentieth anniversary in 2011. The band's 1991 debut Ten is the first to get the treatment, due March 24.
Yeah, that's right. Pearl Jam is almost 20. Eddie Vedder and the gang have been in our lives for two decades of Who-worshipping, flannel-waving, grunge-fathering rock. Ten still stands as the band's definitive statement; the singles - which you can still hear about once an hour on "New Rock Alternative" the Buzz - have more than stood the test of time.
"Suggestion/Even Flow" (Fugazi cover), live in Houston, April 1992
"Alive" began its life as a demo traded back and forth between Eddie Vedder and Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard while Vedder was in San Diego and the other two were in Seattle. Ament and Gossard had just lost the lead singer of their previous band, Mother Love Bone, to a drug overdose.
Andrew Wood passed away in 1990 and it took almost a year before Ament and Gossard began the search for a new project. Tapes were mailed back and forth, with Vedder recording vocals over instrumental tracks. Soon enough, he was in Seattle recording the debut.
"Jeremy" (alternate video)
"Even Flow" and "Jeremy" were the other two singles; with the latter drawing the most heat from critics with its controversial accompanying music video. Depicting a young man killing himself during class, the video still makes it to the top of most '90s video countdowns - sometimes even coming in right under "Smells like Teen Spirit."
Speaking of Nirvana, Ten initially outsold Nirvana's Nevermind, but soon suicides and batshit widows pushed Pearl Jam aside. The super deluxe edition of Ten will include a remaster of the album by producer Brendan O'Brien, a DVD of the band's MTV Unplugged performance and a replica of the band's original three-song demo tape. - Craig Hlavaty