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Vinyl, Original recording remastered, March 24, 2009
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Media Type: CD
Artist: PEARL JAM
Street Release Date: 08/27/1991
Part of the '90s Seattle grunge triumvirate completed by Nirvana and Soundgarden, Pearl Jam debuted with Ten, their most accessible, least self-conscious album. Over time, PJ's rep as a politically correct band just a little too above it all to prostitute its music on MTV has nearly superseded the music. But before that, they were a simply an in-your-face, in-your-head, loud, melodic rock band. And lead singer Eddie Vedder was known for his possessed stage presence and a primal growl that sounded like it required three vocal chords. The personal, narrative singles "Alive," "Jeremy," and "Even Flow" catapulted the reluctant band into the 10-million-plus-sales division. Subsequent albums are more intricate, subtle, thematically complex, and, in many ways, better than Ten. But the band may never repeat the stampede caused by this debut. --Beth Bessmer
Top customer reviews
One note: the price seems to fluxuate a lot on this item. I remember seeing it for about $22-24 and I almost pulled the trigger on it until it plunged to $17 one day and I couldn't resist. As of this writing it is now over $28 although cheaper elsewhere.
This is the pinnacle Pearl Jam album for me since I grew up in the 90s and was introduced to them when the sons Even Flow, Alive and Jeremy were playing on the radio and MTV. This album also brought greater awareness to the exploding Seattle scene which blew Glam Rock and Hair Metal out of the water. I love this album from front to back and listen to it without skipping a track. Not many albums do that for me but this one does.
I wasn't expecting Ten to be as good as it is, but I really love this album and think it has a lot to offer. No two songs on here feel generic or similar, and every song has a different, powerful message. Release has got to be one of the most emotional rock songs I have heard in a while, and songs like Even Flow and Once are flat out great.
None. I skip Porch sometimes but only because the intro is weird to me.
Buy this album, you will not regret it.
(Also recommend VS on vinyl!)
My gripe is best is best exemplified during track #3 "Alive" at min sec.
At this point it is clear just how much reverb is on the mix. Reverb helps smooth and blend instruments and vocals together. This is not a bad thing in and of itself, but the overuse of reverb smoothed out the grit and edge of these songs in my opinion.
Now que up track # 3 "Alive" on the remixed version of the album at min sec. WOW!! I was blown away!! I never looked forward to this point of the song knowing that the revealing of this reverb was taking serious edge off of all of the songs on the CD. This was terribly apparent with the release of "VS" which has much more grit and edge to the sound. I had always wished "Ten" had the same grit and edge because the playing on the album clearly demonstrated that everyone was playing with intensity, but the edge was subdued. NO LONGER!! Now you can enjoy "Ten" the way I wish it had initially been released.
Now, I cannot fault Brendan O'Brian or anyone else for the original 1991 mix, after all we were coming out of the 80's which produced some serious overuse of effects, EQing, etc in order to make recordings sound "contemporary" at the time. Nowadays, many of these recordings sound very dated. Listen to Sinatra from the 40s, 50s or 60s and while the music may be cemented in a specific genre which 50 years later may sound "dated" to some (not so to me though because I love Sinatra), the recordings sound natural, no artificial flavors added!! I am so pleased to have this unexpected version of "Ten" which reveals the edge, grit and guts that the guys played with and which launched them to international stardom.
I send a hearty "Thank You" to Brendan O'Brian and the members of Pearl Jam for revisiting "Ten"!! Crank the volume up the "Ten" and ROCK HARD!!
PS: Yes, the compression for loudness-sake is unfortunate but to be expected in this day and age. I look forward to getting the LP version as well.
PPS: The DVD of the MTV Unplugged session is great to have!!