The first official greatest hits with 33 total tracks. 2 disc set spans 14 year career with legendary anthems, compilation tracks and radio hits. 2 discs broken out thematically, one up-tempo and the other more ballad driven.
In an era when pop nihilism fulfilled its dark promise all too regularly, Pearl Jam not only survived, but thrived to become one of rock's greatest bands. This 33-track double-disc career retrospective documents the arc of a career that went from arena and radio triumphs in the early 90's (while Nirvana's promise imploded in the wake of hype, Pearl Jam's crowd-pleasing fame only burgeoned) to the uncompromising, core audience-focused tack that carried the band into the 21st century. Shrewdly compiled by the band into an "Up" disc that chronicles the band's driving, Stone Gossard-Mike McCready fueled hard rock dramatics (including such early career landmarks as "Jeremy," "Alive" and "Even Flow" alongside more aggressive fare like "Go" and "Spin the Black Circle") and a "Down" side that focuses more on Eddie Vedder's brooding, often dark ballads ("Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town," "Yellow Ledbetter," their unlikely hit cover of the oldie "Last Kiss"), it's a collection that underscores both the band's range and musical integrity. Though centered largely on the band's pre-Vitalogy
studio era and containing no new material, longtime producer/collaborator Brendan O'Brien contributes remixes of "Once," "Alive" and "Black" that offer new insights on the familiar, while non-album tracks like "Man of the Hour" and "State of Love and Trust" considerably enhance the overall listening perspective here. --Jerry McCulley