It took me a long time to warm up to Pearl Jam. Long as in about twenty years. It was not until I watched the documentary on Netflix a few years ago that I really started digging the band. I tried back in the day; I had Ten on cassette, and Vs. on CD, but never really got into them. But after watching Twenty and reviewing the band’s output since the grunge explosion, I have grown to appreciate and even like Pearl Jam, much to some of my college friends’ displeasure. With their recent Rock Hall induction, this is a perfect time to give these rockers the “Ultimate Mixtape” treatment.
If you are not familiar with the “Ultimate Mixtape” concept, here is a quick run-down of the rules:
- Every album must be represented by one and only one song.
- The selected song does not have to be a single used to promote the album.
- Live albums are fine if you want to use them, but you are not required to include them if you are satisfied with your “Ultimate Mixtape” without them. Sometimes they are a great tool to sneak in a classic song when the studio version didn’t make the cut. “Even Flow” and “Just Breathe” get the live treatment here from two PJ concert albums.
- “Greatest Hits”/ “Best of” albums are eligible only if they contain new songs, or new versions of old songs. Since “State of Love and Trust” (from the Singles soundtrack) was never released directly by the band until their first hits compilation, I decided to use it to represent rearviewmirror.
Everyone’s “Ultimate Mixtape” will be different, and I would love to know how yours differs from mine. There are no right or wrong tracklistings (as long as you follow the rules)! Are you ready to rock? Let’s check out “JT’s Ultimate Mixtape: Pearl Jam edition”…
JT’s Ultimate Mixtape: Pearl Jam edition
- “Alive” (Ten, 1991)
- “Daughter” (Vs., 1993)
- “Better Man” (Vitalogy, 1994)
- “I Got Id” (Merkin Ball EP, 1995)
- “Hail, Hail” (No Code, 1996)
- “Given To Fly” (Yield, 1998)
- “Even Flow” (Live on Two Legs, 1998)
- “Breakerfall” (Binaural, 2000)
- “Thumbing My Way” (Riot Act, 2002)
- “Yellow Ledbetter” (Lost Dogs, 2003)
- “State of Love and Trust” (rearviewmirror, 2004)
- “Severed Hand” (Pearl Jam, 2006)
- “The Fixer” (Backspacer, 2009)
- “Just Breathe” (Live on Ten Legs, 2011)
- “Black” unplugged (Pearl Jam Twenty, 2011)
- “Sirens” (Lightning Bolt, 2013)
The “Bonus tracks” are taken from soundtracks, tributes, solo projects, and collaborative works…tunes that never made it on a Pearl Jam album, but is still related in some way to the group. And man, there was a ton that I omitted here. These are some of the best Pearl Jam-related tunes out there:
- “P. C. C.” (Green River, Dry as a Bone, 1987)
- “Chole Dancer/Crown of Thorns” (Mother Love Bone, Shine, 1989)
- “Hunger Strike” (Temple of the Dog, Temple of the Dog, 1991)
- “Hey Baby (Land of the New Rising Sun” (M.A.C.C., Stone Free: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix, 1993)
- “River of Deceit” (Mad Season, Above, 1995)
- “Against the 70s” (Mike Watt, Ball-Hog or Tugboat?, 1995)
- “Act of Love” (Neil Young, Mirror Ball, 1995)
- “It’s Alright” (Candlebox, Happy Pills, 1998)
- “Fever Dog” (Stillwater, Almost Famous soundtrack, 2000)
- “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” (Jack Irons, Attention Dimension, 2004)
- “Mercy Mercy Me” (The Strokes feat. Eddie Vedder & Josh Homme, “You Only Live Once” single, 2006)
- “All Along the Watchtower” (Eddie Vedder & The Million Dollar Babies, I’m Not There soundtrack, 2007)
- “Love, Reign O’er Me” (Pearl Jam, Reign Over Me soundtrack, 2007)
- “Far Behind” (Eddie Vedder, Into the Wild, 2007)
- “Ole” (Pearl Jam, non-album single, 2011)
- “Eyelid’s Mouth” (Soundgarden, King Animal, 2012)
- “Ghost Riding” (RNDM, Ghost Riding, 2016)
What did I miss? How does your Pearl Jam mix differ from mine?
Whether you enjoy classic, modern, or independent rock, 2013 was a great year for music. Several “best of” lists have been posted around the internet already, but it’s time for The Writer’s Journey to weigh in with our list and a brief sentence about each. And away we go…
10. Brandon Reeves – A Decent Melody. A fantastic independent release from a Georgia-based blues artist, Reeves’ album is much better than decent.
9. Pearl Jam – Lightning Bolt. The kings of the nineties rule again with a throwback to the seventies.
8. Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2. Part 1 is good, but Part 2 will go down as a historically great record.
7. Stryper – No More Hell to Pay. The Yellow and Black Attack is back with soaring vocals and squealing guitar solos, a fantastic hair metal album.
6. J Roddy Walston & The Business – Essential Tremors. Another throwback rock band with hints of Aerosmith and the Black Crowes.
5. Black Sabbath – 13. Ozzy, Iommi, and Butler recaptured the magic of the band’s beginnings and reached No. 1 on the US Billboard 200 charts.
4. Newsted – Heavy Metal Music. It’s heavy and it’s loud and it’s everything you would expect from a former member of Metallica.
3. Krokus – Dirty Dynamite. Full of catchy hooks, but the best song might be the Beatles cover “Help,” arranged as a hair metal ballad.
2. Twenty One Pilots – Vessel. Modern rock at its finest, and they really rock out with a ukulele on “House of Gold.”
1. Death On Two Wheels – Death On Two Wheels. Traditional hard rock sound with more authenticity than anyone else out there.
Here are some other “Best of 2013” lists around the web…
- Bring Back Glam! (contributor Brian Carvell)
- Bring Back Glam! (contributor Christian Graus)
- Loudwire (according to Megadeth)
- Loudwire (rock albums)
- Loudwire (metal albums)
- Matt Tauber
- Ultimate Classic Rock
- Vocals On Top
- Vocals On Top (contributor Danny R. Phillips)
- Vocals On Top (contributor Matthew Coman)
The Sun Came Out:
The Making of 7 Worlds Collide
Cinema Libre Studio, 2012
84 minutes + extras
To raise money for the charity Oxfam, Neil Finn of Crowded House gathered together a group of musician friends and played a series of concerts in 2001. Seven years later, he decided to repeat the effort and add to it, resulting in a double album written and recorded in just three weeks for the charity. Among those participating in the first series of concerts included Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, Johnny Marr of the Smiths, and Ed O’Brien and Phil Selway of Radiohead. The more recent performances also included KT Tunstall and several members of Wilco, including Jeff Tweedy.
The main feature on this DVD is a documentary of the making of the album and clips from the latter series of concerts. While an interesting behind-the-scenes look at the writing and recording process, the documentary really takes a backseat to the bonus material: a re-release of the 2002 DVD, 7 Worlds Collide – Live At The St. James, featuring twenty-six performances from the 2001 concerts. See the tracklist below for the songs included.
1. Fall At Your Feet
3. Hole In The Ice
4. Paper Doll
5. The Climber
6. Take A Walk
7. Last To Know
8. Down The Corner
9. There’s A Light That Never Goes Out
10. Private Universe
11. Parting Way
12. Driving Me Mad
13. Turn And Run
14. Loose Tongue
15. She Will Have Her Way
16. Angels Heap
17. Edible Flowers
18. Stuff And Nonsense
19. Four Seasons In One Day
20. Suffer Never
21. Cry Wolf
22. History Never Repeats
23. I See Red
24. Paradise (Wherever You Are)
25. Weather With You
26. Don’t Dream It’s Over
Vedder’s live performances are particularly powerful, but Neil Finn is the star of the show in both the documentary and the concert. The vision he had to bring all of these creative people together is commendable, and one can only hope that these collaborations will not stop anytime soon.
Fans of Crowded House, Wilco, KT Tunstall, and Eddie Veddar would do well to add this DVD to their music collection.
Watch the trailer for The Sun Came Out: The Making of the Album 7 Worlds Collide: