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C. Virnig's Profile

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C. Virnig "Vern" RSS Feed (Blaine, MN)

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Rearviewmirror: Greatest Hits 1991-2003
Rearviewmirror: Greatest Hits 1991-2003
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Price: $16.00
47 used & new from $2.89

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pearl Jam: Honoring a Work In Progress..., November 16, 2004
When I first heard that Pearl Jam decided to leave Epic records after their Riot Act album (their most recent studio album, released in 2002), I knew Epic would squeeze them by putting together a greatest hits album. To be totally honest I was not anticipating this release. I am an avid Pearl Jam fan and own every studio album plus 6 live performances and all 4 dvd's. I was further hesitant a few weeks ago when I saw the track listings. And to be sure, there were several omissions on this greatest hits. "Oceans" and "Red Mosquito" in particular. But being the dedicated fan that I am, I went out on the release day and bought the album. I must say that I was impressed. The re-mixes of the old grunge-era songs are fantastic. "Even Flow" in particular has a whole new feel to it. And dedicated fans should rest assured because long time and current PJ producer Brendan O'Brien did the mixing himself. The first side features more hard rock while the second side is the softer PJ. It would be nice if this record could work to re-familiarize the band to middle America. Fans on the East and West coasts know how great Pearl Jam still is, but the middle portion of the country seems to have forgotten that the band is perhaps as good today as they've ever been--both instrumentally and creatively. This is an absolute must have for any fan of rock music. And fans shouldn't have to wait long, Pearl Jam is rumored to be headed back to the studio before the new year.

Live at Benaroya Hall
Live at Benaroya Hall
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pearl Jam escalating up the All-Time list, July 28, 2004
This review is from: Live at Benaroya Hall (Audio CD)
After witnessing perhaps the most extensive re-birth of any rock band in history, maybe it would not be a bad idea for Pearl Jam to change their name. Bassist Jeff Ament even joked about the idea during "Single Video Theory." To surmise that this band has undergone a metamorphosis of unprecedented magnitude would be an understatement. One need only look at archive concert footage of any show during their 1991 tour and compare it to this performance at Seattle's Benaroya Hall to understand how maturation has lead to perfection. While their hard-rocking, head-banging days have long since come and gone (actually, that era of Pearl Jam only lasted for about 3 years), we are left with a better, more fine-tuned product. Ed Vedder is perhaps the finest lyricist in the genre. The catalogue of songs displayed in this acoustic set may only be recognized by true Pearl Jam fans; but it is those who are only familiar with the standard "Even Flow," "Jeremy," "Daughter," or "Better Man," that should experience this performance. None of the songs just mentioned are included in this performance. In fact, Pearl Jam's most personal and least liked studio album, Binaural, leads the pack with 5 tracks. When I say least-liked, I refer to both fans and reviewers who sadly still hold Pearl Jam in the "grunge" pigeon hole. True fans of the band will argue that Pearl Jam really never was a grunge band. While that may be a tall order, try to think back those of you who are old enough to remember. Pearl Jam never fit in with the rest of the Seattle sound. They had quarrels with Nirvana (whether that was staged or not is still debatable) and never blended in with the likes of Soundgarden or Alice in Chains. In fact, Pearl Jam was the first hard rock band in either the Rock or Metal genre to do a complete about-face. 1994'S "No Code" startled almost all fans of the group. Some cherished the truly seminol accomplishment, while others dove back into the mosh pit and brushed the band off as sellouts only to mostly accept change when Metallica finally cut their hair. But never forget who showed even the legendary Metallica that it could be done. Pearl Jam's subsequent albums have all contained beautiful and unique compositions. Unlike bands such as AC/DC who have admittedly made the same album 30 times, every Pearl Jam studio offering is different. In fact, only two Pearl Jam albums can be honestly compared to one another; and those were their two very first albums "Ten" and "VS." While it is true that there are those 35 year old burnouts out there who accuse Pearl Jam of of being sellout "has-beens," they are clearly the minority here. We have seen bands such as Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, and Smashing Pumpkins fade to glory over the years. Pearl Jam has resisted. Even grunge era main-stays Stone Temple Pilots and Jane's Addiction have called it quits in the last year. Pearl Jam presses on. They move forward not just in ceremony. They do not continue to make music so that they may play "Even Flow" over and over again. They progress because they are the best at what they do. It is no joke when fans of the band compare them to The Who or Led Zeppelin. It is important to note that most members of Pearl Jam are pushing 40 if they have not already crossed that threshhold. The Who and Led Zeppelin had already disbanded when they were where Pearl Jam is now. If you are a fan of the band, or just getting into them, buy Live at Benaroya Hall. It is, perhaps, their finest live performance. Jeff Ament said recently that he envisions Pearl Jam touring in the near future not in arena's, but in theaters such as Benaroya. We could only be so lucky. This is truly one of the greatest bands of all-time. There is no sign of them stopping anytime soon. Rumor has it that they will be back in the studio toward the end of the year.

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