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Pearl Jam, Kings of Grunge

Updated on May 18, 2020
Mark O Richardson profile image

Mark loves listening to music and has hundreds of CDs. His favorite bands are Pink Floyd, Depeche Mode, and Stereophonics.


Pearl Jam started in Seattle when grunge rock music emerged in the early 90’s. Origins from a band Green River brought together bassist Jeff Ament and guitarist Stone Gossard, founding members of Pearl Jam. After Green River, they formed Mother Love Bone. The lead singer died of a drug overdose. There was a tribute album called ‘Temple of the Dog’ that included members of Pearl Jam (guitarist Mike McCready) and Soundgarden, who were also from Seattle. After that compilation, Pearl Jam was officially formed after vocalist Eddie Vedder joined, who had been part of the band ‘Bad Radio’. The band moved quickly to create songs and begin playing. The grunge bands from the 90’s all knew each other. Others included Alice in Chains. Most of these bands have had tragedy where typically the lead singers have died from drugs (Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains).

Current Lineup
Current Lineup | Source

Albums & Thoughts

Their first album, ‘Ten’ was released in 1991. Vedder said that a lot of the songs are open-ended, meaning people can insert themselves into the songs. Many of the songs are dark, including ‘Jeremy’, which is about a troubled child. Their next album, Vs. (1993) was harder, in my opinion. I really liked them from Vitalogy (1994), No Code (1996) and Yield (1998). I went to one of their concerts once and it was good. I believe it was the Vitalogy tour. I was with a data and I bought some T-Shirts, but I think someone had just made them because I don’t think they wanted us to wear them at the venue. They were one of my favorite bands at one time, but I lost interest when they became mainstream. Binaural (2000) only had a couple songs that I liked. I do not know their music as much after that. However, I like the song ‘Sirens’ from ‘Lightning Bolt’ (2013) and I have listened to Gigaton (2020) on Spotify (Spotify is my favorite streaming service, except it has a lot of ads. But I like the control you have over what you listen to). They had a hard time keeping drummers. But in recent years, the former drummer for Soundgarden, Matt Cameron, has stuck around. I have observed that they have been successful enough that they could joke around a lot on many of their albums.


Pearl Jam, A tear-out photo book by Oliver Books. Also referred to Wikipedia.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Mark Richardson


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