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Pearl Jam – Ten (1991)

May 22, 2013

[Album 185/1001]

I was not always a Pearl Jam fan.  See my attached letter (recently found by my parents), written as a 10-year-old, to Much Music!

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Now the times have changed somewhat.  Past-me clearly misunderstood what video-Jeremy actually did at the end.

Of all the 90s Seattle groups, Pearl Jam is also now my favourite.

Although many point to Ten as their pinnacle, I do not.  Black is certainly up there, Jeremy has a fantastic bassline & outro, and side A could easily be mistaken for a Greatest Hits package.

I might give the full album nod to Vitalogy, or I definitely would if Bugs were removed from the running order.  As it is arguably the worst song in the history of recorded music, the Bugs-free Yield and Vs. are also worthy of consideration.

My surprise with this list is that Pearl Jam made but one appearance.  Surprised only scratches the surface; I was more like Jackie Chiles, shocked and chagrined, mortified and stupefied!

This is one of the few instances where I find such an oversight unacceptable.

– Some bands, I get it, you’ve heard one album, you’ve heard them all.  Pearl Jam is not even close to being one of those groups.
– If the 1001 records included are based on musicianship, has there been a better guitar pairing than Stone Gossard & Mike McCready?
– The unique & unpredictable career path:  Formed out of the remnants of Mother Love Bone.  Recorded Temple of the Dog.  Fired their Drummer.  Abandoned the music video format.  Fought with Ticketmaster.  Backed Neil Young on Mirror Ball.  All while the core lineup (Vedder/Gossard/McCready/Ament) remained intact.  Not to mention the entire catalogue has aged remarkably well.

The ONLY possible explanation for such a snub I think can be explained by the karaoke scene in the movie Ted (thanks LeBrain & Kamertunes for the clip):

Eddie, and all of PJ for that matter, should not be held responsible for the wave of vastly inferior imitators that followed.

Post-script: I’m not sure if Much Music ever wrote back.  Especially considering what is shown on TV in 2013, I stand by my Grade 6 argument that banning Baby Got Back was misguided!

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From → 1990s

12 Comments
  1. That is cool…being able to visit your childhood self. I have to say that I think I agree with him. Smart kid!

    • Thank you sir – I think if I revisited some of my 1992 mix tapes, I wouldn’t be bragging about all the choices, but I’m pleased to see some of my favourite groups haven’t changed!

  2. Great post! Kudos to your parents for holding onto that letter. My evolution was exactly the opposite: The Cure made me wish Jeremy would kill me back then, but now I can’t get enough of them, and while I still like Pearl Jam, I just don’t find myself putting them on much anymore.

    • Many thanks! I find I don’t put on the old Pearl Jam as much anymore as well, there’s some stuff from the mid to late 90s that keeps entering the rotation though. Glad to hear the cure makes the playlist for you today!

  3. I love your letter. For me Jeremy is such an amazing song. I love the lyrics and especially the layout of the instruments in the background. I love the music video as well.

    • My thanks – I’ve definitely changed my tune about the song. When the second guitar comes in during the verses on “Daddy didn’t give affection,” love it!

  4. Geoffrey! What an adorable letter!! Cute! “Baby Got Back had no bad influences” hahaha
    I remember I drew something for RSVP and sent it in. I requested Duran Duran, The Reflex…Never got aired.

    • haha, thanks Sarca!

      I don’t think I ever received a reply/on air acknowledgement either. It’s funny, from a childhood of watching the Coca Cola Countdown, that MuchMusic address is part of my Toronto geography. Go to Union Station, walk up to corner of Queen & John (is Speaker’s corner still a thing??), and then head down Queen Street to Steve’s Music.

      Good news about the Reflex – even if Much didn’t play it on the Daily RSVP, it comes out once a year in my Grade 9 math class: when we recap that angles greater than 180 degrees but less than 360 are called reflex angles!

  5. One more thing: that Jackie Chiles reference made me want to watch more Seinfeld!!

    • Best lawyer ever!
      It’s hilarious hearing the actor speak when he’s not in character – he had a funny interview or two on the Seinfeld DVDs.
      If I remember correctly, his name is Philip Morris so he had extra motivation with Kramer’s tobacco lawsuit episode!

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