Pearl Jam hit it big while I was in high school, which is probably why I like them so much. They were right on for their time. The grunge era was new and edgy and Pearl Jam personified them in a way no other band could. They defined a generation, created a new musical genre, and created millions of fans instantly. Every guy I knew wanted to be as cool as Eddie Vedder and every girl I knew dreamed of meeting him.
Seattle seemed to be the center of the music world. It was at least the center of the grunge world. While many of the grunge bands seem to disappear Pearl Jam has remained active in the music world and continued to produce music and grow their fan base. They have release 8 albums over the years. They started in the 1990’s and continue two and half decades later to release relevant music that is serious, though provoking, and enjoyable all at the same time.
While Pearl Jam members have changed over the years, currently Eddie Vedder works along side Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, Mike McCready, and Matt Cameron. Stone pays rhythm guitar, Matt plays drums, Jeff is on bass guitar, Mike plays lead guitar, and Eddie is still the lead vocals singer. Matt Cameron is the newest member. He joined in 1998, replacing Jack Irons. Irons was suffering form health problems. Right or wrong I have to say that Eddie Vedder is the main reason most people respond to Pearl Jam, he could go solo and the fans would follow.
Pearl Jam has an amazing collection of songs, but like most others I have a top ten list of favorites. They are number chronologically with number one being my absolute favorite.
6. Hunger Strike
7. Even Flow
In the late 1990’s Pearl Jam chose to not produce music videos. This has hurt their popularity and accessibility somewhat, but true Pearl Jam fans know they are still around and thriving. I was happily surprised to hear some new songs on the radio at the beginning of this summer. Like many others I am often surprised when I hear Pearl Jam pop up on the radios sounding better than ever.
My favorite cover song recorded by Pearl Jam is “Last Kiss.” This is remake of a song made popular in the1960’s by Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers. I grew up listening to it on the oldies station my mother listened to. Vedder made it his own and made it up to date. It is tragic, and edgy all at once. Quite a fete considering the 1960’s had almost nothing in common with the 1990’s. 34 years after the original became a hit Pearl Jam revamped it and created a new life for the classic. Pearl Jam fans across the nation loved it, myself included.
Pearl Jam has released 8 albums. Their latest was released for the airwaves in May 2006 and entitled Pearl Jam after themselves. The band has stated that they see this as their best work to date and I highly agree. Their distinctive sound shows through in songs like “Gone” and “World Wide Suicide.” I knew it was Eddie Vedder the minute I heard them. “World Wide Suicide” from the Pearl Jam seems to be the biggest hit to date with the public. It reached number one on the Billboard Modern Rock and has received regular airplay. This is one of the few new Pearl Jam songs that hear with any regularity on my local radio stations.
I hope for many more years of great songs from Pearl Jam. They were one of the most influential parts of a generation of people that continue to search out their music and appreciate their outlook on life, charity acts, and musical genius. They are the Led Zeppelin of their generation.