Sunday, January 14, 2018

Pearl Jam "Ten" (1991)

See, there was just no way you could dodge this one when you were a teenager in the early 90ties. Personally PJ was an acquired taste for me, since my roommate at my boarding school played it on repeat mercilessly.

At some point of time I was able to distinguish the vowel rich whining into separate songs and it turned out it was the perfect backdrop to the novels I was reading at that time: "The Faded Sun" trilogy by C. J Cherry.

Anyhow it grew on me and I bought the record myself (wondering how Eddie Vedder managed to finish every word with an "a") and lost interest in it when my girlfriend started to listen to it.

(In Denmark "Grunge" was absorbed into the mainstream as fast as Norwegian Formula on a fisherman`s hand....£$%£$^£$%" posers!)

Anyhow, I never managed to get the same attachment to Pearl Jam`s other records like with this one and as for me: It would have been fine if the band had resigned in dignity then. But hey..

As for the 25 years later and listening to them again (after 12 year consumption of Ska music) it takes me back to the slowest emotional roller coaster ride in the universe. The "Mamasan" trilogy consisting of the songs "Alive", "Once" and "Footsteps" describe a young mans descent into madness after learning that the man who raised him is not his father. After that he starts an incestuous relationship with his mum and becomes a serial killer.

Oh, the early 90ties. So full of cheer!

My personal favorite is "Even Flow": A song so powerfully mumbled that it took me years to find out that it was about a homeless guy with mental health issues.

As for "Jeremy"...we don`t speak about "Jeremy"...EVER! That song traumatized and entire generation!

Fun facts:

- "Pearl Jam" does in fact mean sperm

- Eddie Vedder was a surfing gas station attendant in Los Angeles before he got black bagged and shlepped to Seattle where they cut holes in his jeans and threw some long underwear at him

-The albums title Ten was inspired by the professional basketball player Mookie Blaylock`s jersey number "10"

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