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45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Collector's Edition
Pearl Jam has surpassed the competition with this Super Deluxe Edition of the Ten reissue. Though the cost may appear to be restrictive, and to some in this economy--insulting, note that the band has put everything into this box. A lot of bands today are releasing increasingly-priced deluxe editions of varying widths and lengths, but this set feels the worth. They clearly...
Published on March 24, 2009 by The Vinyl Recliner

versus
77 of 91 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars LP sounds great (CD is a victim of the "loudness wars")
Ten was & still is one great album. The "Redux/Remastered" version gives us a mix closer to Vs. & Vitalogy (i.e., the reverb/echo is gone). I really appreciate having both mixes because the original sounds closer to a concert and the Redux is closer to what we are used to from the later albums. Kudos to Brendan O'Brien's work.

Now the bad news - both the...
Published on March 30, 2009 by TF


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45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Collector's Edition, March 24, 2009
This review is from: Ten Collector's Edition (2CD/1DVD/4vinyl/1 Cassette/Memorabilia) (Audio CD)
Pearl Jam has surpassed the competition with this Super Deluxe Edition of the Ten reissue. Though the cost may appear to be restrictive, and to some in this economy--insulting, note that the band has put everything into this box. A lot of bands today are releasing increasingly-priced deluxe editions of varying widths and lengths, but this set feels the worth. They clearly put every bit of their respect for the long-time fans into this box set.

The cloth-bound box is rather heavy and is the shape of a vinyl record. The slip box that pulls out of it contains everything except the vinyl records. In that is an envelope that includes reproductions of Pearl Jam memorabilia including postcards, a Mookie Blaylock playing card, concert ticket, sticker, etc. Additionally there are card-stock quality photos, all of which contain the box's liner notes/credits on the back (for the set, the concert, the original album and the remix).

Underneath a composition book is fastened into the box. The book, designed to perfection by Jeff Ament and Eddie Vedder, is exactly what a Pearl Jam would expect to see. It includes notes, doodles, designs and memorabilia seemingly fastened onto the page (though every page is actually just a flattened reproduction). The book is exhaustive with memorabilia, including backstage passes, newspaper clippings, pictures of the actual Mookie Blaylock. The box also contains a full sized poster of the album cover. It's a visual history of 1990 to 1992, a peak into the band's unique design sense, thanks in large part to Ament's meticulous craft. (As a designer, I took special appreciation in seeing the sketches of t-shirt designs or posters with notes about font styles and sizes). The band eschewed the self-serving biographical liner notes that typically champion a band in these box sets, keeping to their reluctant and humble image. If you're buying this box set, you probably already know the stories.

Underneath the book, are the sleeve for the CDs/DVD and the reproduction of the infamous Momma-Son cassette tape that brought Eddie Vedder to Stone Gossard's attention. The demo includes Vedder's vocals for Alive, Once and Footsteps over Gossard's music demo (with help from future drummer Matt Cameron). The demo is of the quality you would expect of the time, but is a fascinating peak into the band's formation. (Especially hearing Vedder's spot-on vocals prior to ever meeting any of his future bandmates.)

The first CD is a remaster of the classic Ten (which doesn't need to be reviewed here). The second CD is a Brendan O'Brien remix of the album, along with six bonus tracks. The remix doesn't mess with the essential basics but crisps up the original mix and improves the production value of the recording. (Whether a fan wants to remain completely loyal to the original mix is unessential since both versions are included.) The bonus tracks include rough mixes of two favorites from the Singles soundtrack ("Breath" and "State of Love and Trust") along with four other notable additions...all in the spirit of the first album's delivery. Additionally, a DVD captures the full unedited set from Pearl Jam's famous appearance on MTV Unplugged from 1992, a nice preview to the band's increasing skillful dabblings in acoustic-performed rock in later albums.

Vinyl productions of both Ten and the Ten redux are included along with a double-vinyl of Drop in the Park, a famous concert Pearl Jam performed in Seattle. (The latter has been mixed by O'Brien.) It's a gripping peak at Pearl Jam in their raw infancy...tearing through their early tracks with the same reckless abandon of Vedder climbing the scaffolding. (The Drop in the Park vinyl includes a poster fold-out for the show.)

Pearl Jam have outdone most bands with a perfectly themed, honest-to-their-roots set celebrating their much-heralded debut. And like they did back in 1991 they are now forcing other bands to get real and give their fans what they want: more bang for our buck. SPECIAL NOTE: In all of the literature in the box, the set is called "Pearl Jam 1990-1992" which follows up on the rumblings that the band plans to do the same with much of their back catalog.
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73 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now THIS Is Deluxe Reissues SHOULD Be About!, March 27, 2009
Remaster the original 1991 album to perfection,add a second disc which features a great 2008 Brendan O'Brein remix that strips away the dated reverb of the original mix and makes Eddie Vedder's vocals clearer and more upfront,gives the guitars additional bite and edge and adds kick and punch to the bass and drums.Include outtakes and demos,"Brother" being the standout with the slowed-down "State Of Love And Trust" being a close second.Contain all of the 1992 "MTV Unplugged" performance (availble for the first time on DVD)and compliment it with stellar picture and sound quality.(BTW, all discs were mastered by the talented Bob Ludwig.)Finish off with a nostalgic,colorful booklet and you've got a great,entertaining package worth its high price.Bravo!
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58 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revisiting an Absolute Classic, March 24, 2009
By 
To be perfectly honest, I've never had a problem with the production of Pearl Jam's classic debut album. It's always been a little slicker than the albums that followed, but I feel like it gave the cd its own unique texture within their catalog. But, for years, the members of Pearl Jam indicated they'd like to revisit the album, and now they have. The original cd (included here) sounds great. The "redux cd" sounds great. Brendan O'Brien's production is immediate and well-balanced. He's a great producer, and he's got a great feel for Pearl Jam, having worked with them numerous times. So, while I don't know that I'd describe it as "better" or "worse," it's another take on how the album should sound. So now there are two versions of one of the best albums of the 90s (or any decade). Cool.

Better still is the addition of extra tracks from that era and the fantastic MTV Unplugged performance on dvd.

The important thing to note is that this is a well-put-together and well-considered reissue, not just some cash-in. As a long-time fan, I'm really happy to have a new way to revisit this masterpiece.
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80 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mookie Blaylock would be proud..., April 11, 2002
This review is from: Ten (Audio CD)
The album, named after the Jersey number of basketball star, Mookie Blaylock, has been considered as being among the finest and most influential albums written during the 90s, and with reason. Before 91, Michael Jackson was atop the charts, the king of pop. It was not until the rise of Nirvana, and subsequently Pearl Jam, that the 'King' was dethrowned. Armed with epic, sweeping hard rock anthems and the bleedingly powerful vocals from Eddie Veddar, Pearl Jam found itself atop the charts themselves.
I admit, I hated 'Ten' for the first full year of it's release. It took some time to sink in. I was too accustomed to Weird Al, Madonna and 'Sweet Dreams'... I was still submerged in the 80s, and the blistering power of Pearl Jam was simply too much for me. Yet as I grew familiar with the Seattle quintet, so did my appreciation of their music. It was not until 93's "VS" that I realized that Pearl Jam had become my favorite band of all-time. I have been ardently following their career ever since.
Song by song review:
1. Once - With a profoundly suspenseful and edgy guitar to backdrop the first emergence of Eddie's vocals, this song is immediately famous. Plus it's got a haunting oceanic intro to boot...
2. Even Flow - Arguably Pearl Jam's most famous song, Even Flow is easily deserving of such status. It explodes into a narrative about a Homeless man, and manages to maintain the ripping intensity for 5 solid minutes.
3. Alive - Another contender for the most famous song by Pearl Jam, this song roars for nearly 6 minutes. Starting somewhat slow, this song builds to a climactic guitar solo that rivals any Zeppelin or The Who.
4. Why Go - Similar to "Even Flow" in it's blinding energy, this song is a standout among standouts. A guttural, hypnotic guitar underscores Eddie's portrayal of a conflicted girl's tortuous homelife.
5. Black - Originally slated to be Pearl Jam's fourth single from the album, following 'Alive', 'Even Flow', and 'Jeremy', this could have become the biggest. A six minute operatic of love and loss, this song is among the most moving in Pearl Jam's catalogue. Deep, gentle guitars accentuate Eddie's somewhat subdued singing.
6. Jeremy - Spawned one of the most famous music video's of all time, coming in at #6 in Rolling Stone Magazine's list of 'best videos of all time'. This song carries a strength in every stroke of the strings, that you can't help but be emotionally drained and exhilerated by the end of this harrowing, disturbing epic.
7. Oceans - One of the two best songs Pearl Jam ever wrote, the other being track 11 of the same album. This song is beautiful beyong comparison, with guitar and drumwork that match the songs title. As we lilt through this song of reunion, we glide along the waves that Eddie so poignantly describes.
8. Porch - Perhaps the most forgettable song on this album, Porch somewhat departs from the overall feel that the rest of the album creates. This is not to say that it is a bad song, as we find Eddie at what could be his angriest. Nearly rapping his way through a lot of lyrics in under 4 minutes, this song is not without it's merit.
9. Garden - Underappreciated, this song is quietly suspenseful in it's beginning, until the pressure is too much, and the floodgates open. The tumultuous uprising is textured and melodic, yet like the tide goes down once more before a climactic finale.
10. Deep - Just like the title, this song opens with a gaping guitar slide and solo that breaks down the barrier between subtlety and power. Truly deserving to be placed in this perfect album.
11. Release - Eddie Vedder's personal tribute to his dad. The guitar matches his soulful wails, begging for the love of a lost father. Finishing out with the same melody that began 'Once', this CD leaves you the way it left you, only now you are an elevated human being.
Man, I love these guys...
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77 of 91 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars LP sounds great (CD is a victim of the "loudness wars"), March 30, 2009
By 
TF "TF" (Allentown, PA USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Ten (2 Vinyl LPs) (Vinyl)
Ten was & still is one great album. The "Redux/Remastered" version gives us a mix closer to Vs. & Vitalogy (i.e., the reverb/echo is gone). I really appreciate having both mixes because the original sounds closer to a concert and the Redux is closer to what we are used to from the later albums. Kudos to Brendan O'Brien's work.

Now the bad news - both the remastered CD and Redux version CD are hyper-compressed to make them sound louder - while reducing the overall music dynamics. Take a look at the comparision between the original Ten and the 2 newer discs at [...] (thanks to Dave Mack for the link).

As you can see, the newer versions look like a "brick" (i.e., white noise). If you think that music should look like a brick, then stop reading now. I really need to know who decided to do this to the CD versions. Bob Ludwig from Gateway Mastering handled the master and his position on the ridiculous "loudness war" is clearly stated here [...]

Brendan O'Brien's work is so good he had to know that compressing the mix to get it louder just ruins the overall sound. I have to believe it was the producers and that Pearl Jam simply trusted them to put it together.

Maybe Pearl Jam really only listened to the LP. The good news is that the LP versions are not hyper-compressed (the LP had a separate master compared to the CD); however, the LP versions does not ship w/ the Unplugged DVD, which is an amazing and long sought after session. The DVD sounds great and as with most DVDs, it is not hyper-compressed.

For more information regarding the "Loudness Wars", check out the above links and [...]
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Errr...it beats me, June 10, 2006
This review is from: Ten (Audio CD)
We'll never learn. For years it has always been, "Oooo Nirvana's great but Eddie Vedder sucks!" Or, it'll be, "Pearl Jam is awesome, but Kurt Cobain doesn't know how to write better songs."

This is what happens what the media lumps bands together under an umbrella label. In this case, it's grunge. But frankly, comparing Nirvana and Pearl Jam is like apples and oranges. Pearl Jam is obviously more influenced by classic and blues oriented rock, listen to the leads on this album. It sticks out like a sore thumb. But Nirvana was essentially a punk band. I'm sure everyone agrees that Cobain's point wasn't to write complex guitar-oriented rock. He had a very primitive, organic way of playing that was unusually unique. Cobain was a good writer in his own right, and different from the epic rock sound that Pearl Jam had. So both bands are very much credible.

Apart from all that, Ten is a GREAT album. As far as combining simply good songs and accessibility, Pearl Jam didn't get any better than this. It is not my favorite PJ album, but one can't deny the opening riff of "Once." When you hear it, it's like, "Oh God, what's happening??" Evenflow and Alive are simply well-written songs. Why Go is ferocious and energetic. Jeremy is a song that nearly anyone could relate to, and there's a haunting beauty to it that totally contradicts its subject matter-that's good writing. Black and Oceans are simply raises the bar very high, so high there's probably few bands that could match that kind of desire and power.

So in it's own right, Ten could be arguably one of the best albums of the 90s. True, it sold a ton of copies, but you can't knock an album that everyone just gets into. Just because it has sold 12 million in the US and Rolling Stone calls it one of the best doesn't mean it must suck...some albums are just GOOD.

If you're new to PJ, this is the perfect place to start.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why is the average rating not 5 stars?, July 2, 2002
This review is from: Ten (Audio CD)
Time to do something about it. This is the greatest album I've ever owned. To me, there is nothing better, no other music does as much for me as the songs on 'Ten'. It's something you can't put your finger on, but every single song brings about some kind of powerful emotion that just can't be evoked by anything else. I don't know how they did it, but somehow they managed to stumble upon a perfect formula(spaced-out guitars that sound heavy and soothing at the same time + hyperactive drumming + funkyass basslines + of course, Eddie's voice which manages to be guttural and beautiful at the same time) that countless other bands have attempted to imitate, that no one's been able to touch since. The tempos are deliberate yet driving. Every single guitar solo on this album sizzles. The melodies are somewhat lacking on some songs, but it's forgivable since they improved so much in that department over time, and it does nothing to detract from the anthemic quality of every single song. Here's how it goes:
"Once" - A very strong opener, and Eddie's voice is probably more abrasive here than it is on the entire rest of the album. What better way to introduce yourself to the world than with a pounding ode to insanity with lyrics about killing people for no reason at all?
"Even Flow" - Instantly recognizable, this is one of Pearl Jam's most popular songs, and with good reason too. Great verse and spectacular chorus lead up into an epic conclusion...."YEAH!.....whoo!....aw, yeah.....fuggit up!"(incredible solo goes here)
"Alive" - Oh. My. God. There are no words to describe how great this song is. From the opening riff that sounds very spacey to the final smash of chords and drums, there in not a single bad or non-golden moment in this entire song, not one. This is as perfect as music can get, according to me.
"Why Go" - The ONLY track on here I don't particularly worship, it's good I suppose, but compared to the rest of the material here, it's just so lackluster. Should've put "Yellow Ledbetter" on the album instead of this one so us PJ geeks wouldn't have to buy the "Jeremy" single.
"Black" - Catharsis. Beauty. Poignancy. PJ's first "ballad" type song is still one of their best. I love how it starts off sounding so hopeful and lighthearted, then quickly drops into the dark pits of despair and anguish, one of the best verse/chorus transitions I've ever heard. Aaron Lewis will rot in hell for butchering this song.
"Jeremy" - Easily their most well-known song, though I personally think Alive should've been. Eddie's storytelling-style of songwriting is in its strongest form here, and the music accompanying it is simply incredible. Though the lyrics are quite moving enough on their own, I think the non-lyrical vocal parts near the end("hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo," and "ooo-whoooooaaa oh, oh, ohohoh") are much more powerful.
"Oceans" - This one was really difficult for me to enjoy at first; guess I was just put off by the extremely high-pitched vocals in the "chorus." But it grew on me and now it's one of my favorites...mainly because I can relate to the lyrics about not being able to be with someone that you love. This one screams out "old-school arena rock" louder than any other song here.
"Porch" - I love how it goes straight from the slow, everloving balladry of Oceans to the thrashing angst of this track. The onyl song here written entirely by Eddie, it's probably also the fastest song on the album. A live staple for sure.
"Garden" - Haunting and powerful. Always evokes images of candles being light in a cemetery at night, don't know why. Jeff and Stone come up with some really great songs together.
"Deep" - Another song written by Jeff and Stone, this one being the stronger of the two. This one has the distinction of being Pearl Jam's first waltz-time song. Eddie's lyrics about a man whose habitual drug use leads to suicide sound downright prophetic in retrospect.
"Release" - The perfect ending to a perfect album. Makes everything they did up to this track sound like mere hack work, like they wanted to wait 'til the very end to show what they were capable of. The only song on this disc written by each memeber of the band.
In short, if you don't own and worship this, you are somebody I will hate with a passion for the rest of my life. Nah, not really, but I'll certainly never respect your taste in music until you buy this, listen to it endlessly, and praise it as the masterpiece that it is.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Executive Summary: Recommended for Serious Fans, April 3, 2009
This review is from: Ten Collector's Edition (2CD/1DVD/4vinyl/1 Cassette/Memorabilia) (Audio CD)
You've probably already read the other reviews, so I'll keep this one short: if you just want to hear the Brendan O'Brien remixes of Ten, by all means, buy the cheaper version and continue on with no loss of face or disrespect. If, on the other hand, you and your wife met in college because you sent her a get-well e-mail that contained references to many of the band's early songs ("Glad you're still 'Alive' and hope you feel 'Yellow Ledbetter' soon"), you're probably the Pearl Jam nerd this package was intended for.

The inclusion of the Mookie Blaylock card was a fun inside reference, and I loved the faux-whiteout used on the label on the front of the Momma-Son cassette...if my own high school band's 4-track tapes sounded that good, even in their lo-fi gravel-tone, maybe my rock-star dreams would have come true.

Vinyl in all its primitive analog-ness is antithetical to someone who makes his living from contemporary digital technology, but the inclusion of some LPs in this package at least sent me to my dad's closet for one of his old turntables. My own theory: the instinct that leads many producers to up the level on CD recordings is the real culprit (Hi, Metallica!)...it's harder to do that on vinyl, so you get a more nuanced audio spectrum that your sound system can make sense of, without clipping. I'm no audiophile, but if nothing else, it feels nice to hold that big black circle in your hands.

I have no qualms sending my money off to the folks who worked hard to put this together, and the grunge-era survivors who are Pearl Jam. But, honestly, if you don't already have your copy, you might be better off getting one of the more stripped-down versions instead. Or, spend your money and time grabbing some of their back catalog, and set aside a few twenties for a ticket the next time they're on tour.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ten thumbs up!!!!!!!!!!, March 30, 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Ten (Audio CD)
If by some strange twist of fate you've never heard this album, I highly recommend that you listen to it as soon as possible. The first time you hear it, it will hit you like a train that this is one of the most brilliantly written rock albums, period. The haunting instrumental which explodes into "Once" is one I can't keep out of my head. The first four songs, "Once," "Even Flow," "Alive," and "Why Go" set the standard for what alternative rock should sound like. "Alive," in fact, is the definition of '90's rock. The guitar solo at the end of this song blew me away the first time I heard it. Following these four songs is what I like to call the "Terrific Three," which is three of the most brilliant songs Pearl Jam ever performed, all in a row: "Black," the best ballad by PJ in my opinion, "Jeremy," their biggest single, and "Oceans," which sounds to me like an ocean of music rolling into my ears and crashing into my deepest thoughts. I remember the first time I heard "Black" on the radio. The song came together so perfectly that after only one listen it was going in my head for the rest of the week. "Garden" is another haunting song about death. As for "Porch" and "Deep," they are also memorable rockers which each hold a perfect place on the album. The closing song, "Release," is about Ed's father if I hear correctly. Although I believe "Indifference," the closing song from Vs., is the best PJ closer, this song is still beautiful and a perfect closer for Ten. After "Release," there is an extended version of the same instrumental heard at the beginning of the album which also closes out the album, giving it a more balanced feel. I believe that the official title of this instrumental is "Master-Slave." That's my review, but in closing I would like to say that anyone who ignores Ten because of its commercial success needs to listen to it a few more times, with an open mind. Many may agree that Vs. or Vitalogy is the "best" PJ album, but I find it rather immature to single out one and say that it is the "best." All PJ albums are excellent musical acheivements, and Ten is among the most noteworthy recordings in rock.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great remaster., April 10, 2009
This review is from: Ten Collector's Edition (2CD/1DVD/4vinyl/1 Cassette/Memorabilia) (Audio CD)
The best selling grunge album remastered with bonus tracks and collectibles is very well done indeed. I wasen't sure what a remaster of Ten would sound like as the origional is perfect as is, which is also nice that an origional copy is included in this package. The result is well put together and sounds great. Highly recommended.
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