Much like Agent Fox Mulder, I want to believe (in Pearl Jam) but I just don’t.
Sure, like every other guy in the early 90’s I bought Ten (from Columbia House no less) and promptly forgot about the band.
I dug Nirvana more, likely due to my high school buddy who drove a hearse and listened to Pennyroyal Tea and Polly almost incessantly. I was more a fan of Lithium and In Bloom, but we agreed to disagree.
I also was quite into Screaming Trees. I still think Nearly Lost You is one of the only true “grunge” songs out there. It has all the requisite elements: the throaty, smoky lead singer; droning, washed out guitar track; chunky rhythm section. Perfect pop tune with a flannel shirt.
Lastly, while I didn’t appreciate them at the time, my metal tooth is now sufficiently black and rotted and so I have a much greater appreciation for Soundgarden (and Chris Cornell’s otherworldly howling) and Alice In Chains. If I had it to do all over again, I’d support these bands with my CD and concert dollars. As it stands, I downloaded the singles (Ha, a Singles reference!) and now own the full albums.
Stone Temple Pilots, while a rock radio (and early alternative) mainstay, is clearly not grunge but some sort of unholy glam/hard rock/poseur mashup. It sucks but I keep on listening to Weiland. His facial hair alone (and to a lesser extent that of Layne Staley) made “grunge” interesting.
But Pearl Jam held no interest for me for a long time.
Just not interested.
I had that Temple of the Dog album, but mostly for the single Hunger Strike. Good stuff.
I did dig Do the Evolution off of Yield, mostly for the video, but not much else of their work. Maybe it was the perceived pretension of Eddie Vedder’s vocal stylings/stage presence and the release of all those live albums.
Not my bag. It just seemed like Pearl Jam were a band you either loved or hated. Not feeling the love, I settled for ambivalence.
But their recent SNL performance and the words of AJ have me re-examining my opinion. Was I wrong? Should I buy the older stuff? Did I miss the party?
YouTube had videos of the live performances, but NBC had them scrubbed in their unending quest to make sure the hip youngsters whom they want to watch SNL never actually watch. Go figure. Instead, you can get “official” videos, via Pearl Jam themselves, for Worldwide Suicide and an Electronic Press Kit promoting their upcoming album.
Words of encouragement or shouts of mental disease/defect are welcome.