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  • Rearviewmirror: Greatest Hits 1991-2003
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Rearviewmirror: Greatest Hits 1991-2003

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Audio CD, November 16, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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.

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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

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 16, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Epic/Sony
  • ASIN: B000669GAI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (276 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,727 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Music Enthusiast on November 19, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I love all of these reviews which seem to be testimonials as to the degree of one's loyalty to the band. There is a lot of passion in the Pearl Jam fanbase and a lot of discussion around whether such an album should exist. I think this album is great. Here is my review...

SONG SOURCES/DISTRIBUTION

Here is the distribution of songs by album... Ten(5), Vs.(6), Vitalogy(6), No Code(3), Yield(3), Binaural(2), Riot Act(2), From singles-not on an album (3), From movie soundtracks (3).

SONGS THAT WERE (RADIO) HITS NOT INCLUDED

Glorified G (Vs.)

Rats (Vs.)

Tremor Christ (Vitalogy)

Smile (No Code)

In Hiding (Yield)

SONGS I AS A FAN WISHED WERE INCLUDED IN ADDITION TO EXCLUDED RADIO HITS

In My Tree (No Code)

VERSIONS DIFFERENT THAN ON THE ALBUM

Once, Alive and Black come with an asterisk stating they were remixed by Brendan O'Brian. I found them to be clearer and slightly more raw sounding. Like the difference between the Lost Dogs version of "Alone" as compared to the B-side version. Very slight difference from the original in my opinion. Some of the alteration in Lost Dogs versions of songs were drastic as compared to this.

Evenflow is an entirely different take. Another reviewer said it was the music video version. This is not a re-mix, an entirely different recording. Sounds live from a studio. Similar in recording style to Zeppelin's "I can't quit you" from the Coda album.

State of Love and Trust is the most radically changed song. Delay added to the backup vocals, echo added to the guitar solos, vocals more pronounced and forward, mixed louder and clearer. In my opinion, long needed change.
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215 of 234 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on November 16, 2004
Format: Audio CD
The trouble with best of compilations is that they can never quite satisfy everyone. Devoted fans are usually disappointed because some of the more obscure favorites inevitably don't make the album. Conversely, the casual fan is often left puzzled by "greatest hits" they've never even heard of. More often than not, it the serious fan who is left wanting, because as a general rule, these things aren't made for the serious fan, as they already own all the songs on the compilation. In the case of "rearviewmirror" this dynamic is rather exacerbated by the fact that it is being produced by Epic, which owns these masters, but no longer has a contract with the band. So, while I don't think Pearl Jam is upset by this release, neither has it received the attention that the incredible "Lost Dogs" did just a year ago.

Actually, to the band's credit, they haven't thrown on one or two new songs for the sole purpose of selling the compilation to their core audience. So there is nothing on these two discs that you can't find elsewhere; even the relatively obscure "Man of the Hour" is available as a single. Plus, the arrangement is nice with the more up tempo songs on Disc 1 and slower ones on Disc 2. There are some that could go either way (like "Breath"), but all in all this set-up makes for a listening experience that feels new. Which brings me to my first point, the package promises re-mixed versions of "Once", "Black" and "Jeremy", but don't get your hopes up. These are re-mixes, not re-recordings, so if you were looking for new arrangements, you're out of luck. Actually, the differences are hardly worth mentioning; I'm by no means an expert, but all I noticed were slightly stronger percussions, with Ed's voice being somewhat more prominent in spots.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By eyit on December 19, 2004
Format: Audio CD
First of all, this album is an excellent compilation that shows both the power and sentience of one of the greatest American rock bands. If you like Pearl Jam in any way, shape or form, I highly recommend this album. It is a must have...that is unless you own 20 PJ cds already.

But anyway, why would anyone complain about a greatest hits album that has all the greatest hits? There are many great songs that are not on this album but does that mean that the songs that are on it don't deserve to be? Absolutely not. Not every one is a die-hard Pearl Jam fan. This album is for them; the people that don't (yet) already own every studio album and a few bootlegs.

To the die-hard; Isn't it enough that almost every live Pearl Jam concert from the past four years has been made available for purchase? What is there to complain about?

If you already own every studio album and more, why even bother with this one, and why rate it less for not having "Untitled" from Live on Two Legs? That song is not a hit. And if you miss it from this cd, you probably already have it on 20 bootlegs!! Give me a break. And please don't discredit the band for not giving the finger to the general public. That's just rediculous.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Tuccio on November 20, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Pearl Jam is a band who, although they started out selling millions of discs, has survived as a result of their dedicated fans. A lot of their fans will certainly have problems with this compilation because it doesn't carry their personal favorites. That's always going to be a concern when it comes to bands who aren't simply "hit single-formula based." However, most bands put out greatest hits discs, and with that in mind, this is an outstanding collection! All of the big hits are here, as well as "Yellow Ledbetter," which every diehard knows. It also carries the two tracks they did for the movie "Singles," way back in 1992. Those songs, "Breath" and "State of Love and Trust," are excellent. I also like how both discs are in chronological order, with the harder stuff on disc one, the less-hard, but definitely not soft songs, on disc 2. This is a wonderful place for people who don't own any of the full-length CDs to start, and it should satisfy those of us who have been following this terrific group since 1991.
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