When Pearl Jam came out with Ten, their debut in 1992, it was obvious from the first couple of songs that the record was much more than just a musical footnote for the band and the grunge movement, but a classic album destined to be passed on to the next generation. Rolled out just as the media was starting to pick up on the Seattle sound and exploit it to an early grave (remember grunge fashion shows?), the 11 song record was as near to flawless as a first record could ever aspire to be. Songs like â€œAlive,â€ â€œOnce,â€ Even Flowâ€ and â€œBlack,â€ showed a band equally in love with classic punk, classic metal and classic rock.
Sure they may have spawned a country full of half-assed, faux grunge rockers (Stone Temple Pilot, Candlebox, etc.), but there is no denying that influence Pearl Jam and fellow scene mates Nirvana, Mudhoney and Soundgarden had on music. Legacy Recordings just released the album in a number of different formats. The Deluxe edition includes the original 11 track CD, an extra CD remixed by Brendan Oâ€™Brien with louder vocals and guitars. The bonus CD includes all of Tenâ€™s songs and six previously unreleased tracks like â€œBrotherâ€ and â€œEvil Little Goat.â€ The collection is capped off with a DVD of the bandâ€™s MTV Unplugged concert. You know why those sad Generation X 30-somethings canâ€™t shut up about how great bands like Pearl Jam and Nirvana were? Itâ€™s because theyâ€™re right. Put on your flannel, your old Doc Martenâ€™s and spin the black circle.
Top Tracks: â€œEven Flow,â€ â€œOnce,â€ â€œJeremyâ€ and â€œOceansâ€
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
Pearl Jam â€“ Ten [Deluxe Edition] /CD/2009/Epic and Legacy/28 tracks/www.legacyrecordings.com