Not too many bands that came out of the '90s alt-rock boom still have careers as flourishing as Pearl Jam 's. Their most recent album debuted at No. When's the last time another group of flannel-wearing fortysomethings reached that spot?
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There has not been a new Pearl Jam album in six years. At the moment, the release of a new PJ record does not appear to be imminent. And this seems like as good of an excuse as any to listen to Pearl Jam songs and figure out which ones are the very best. For the past week, I have revisited each Pearl Jam record, made about a dozen different lists of my favorite tracks, and finally concluded upon this listing of 60 songs culled from 10 studio records, plus compilations, singles, and various television appearances. Given the rabid following this band has, I expect there to be … absolutely no disagreement about this list.
Ten sold slowly until the breakthrough of Nirvana, whose Nevermind, released only a couple of weeks after, went on to become a surprise smash hit. It was never quite right, though. Ten bore out that ambition. The incident caused something to snap inside Pearl Jam, who began asking themselves how big they really wanted to be, and how much control they still possessed over their band and over their own lives. Their second album, Vs, was originally titled Five Against One, an indication of how embattled they felt. Epic and heroic, Rearviewmirror was an anthem of survival from a group undergoing an unexpected tumult, and realising it was time to take repossession of their lives.