Pearl Jam Mix #2

Pearl Jam's Official Website!

By Pat Tremaglio

WHEN: 1990-present

CULPRITS: Eddie Vedder (Vocals, Guitar), Mike McCready (Guitar), Stone Gossard (Guitar), Jeff Ament (Bass), Matt Cameron (Drums) / Former members: Dave Krusen (Drums), Matt Chamberlain (Drums), Dave Abbruzzese (Drums), Jack Irons (Drums) / Touring member: Boom Gaspar (Keyboard)

ALBUMS: Ten (1991); Vs. (1993); Vitalogy (1994); Merkin Ball (EP; 1995); No Code (1996); Yield (1998); Binaural (2000); Riot Act (2002); Lost Dogs (2003); Pearl Jam (2006); Backspacer (2009)

HOW: I was introduced to Pearl Jam during my freshman year of high school back in 1991. The grunge movement was coming into full swing and a kid in my biology class brought in Ten, which I was able to borrow for a couple of days. From the minute I put the album into the CD player, I was completely mesmerized — it was truly unlike anything I had heard before.

I had grown up listening to Billy Joel, Simon & Garfunkel, etc. — music my dad would play in the car. Hearing this album for the first time completely blew me away, and I was an instantaneous fan. My first Pearl Jam show was in Springfield, Massachusetts, in April of 1994 and I’ve been fortunate enough to see them over 30 times throughout the United States and Canada, most recently on a five-show swing through the northeast last summer.

With every new release, I still feel the same excitement that I did when I first listened to the opening chords of “Once.” No other band’s music has ever affected me this way, their sounds and style have evolved over time but I feel like I’ve been along for the ride. I often say that I kind of feel as though we’ve grown up together.

WHY: Many people are familiar with Pearl Jam’s catalogue but I also know that there are many that stopped listening to the band in the late nineties when they started to shift away from their traditional sound. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say “Those guys are still around?” when I’m discussing the group or a specific show I’ve seen. They’re one of the few bands that you can see on consecutive nights and hear completely different set lists, most likely 50 different songs between the two nights spanning their entire career. I’d say that’s pretty unique in today’s music scene, but something that has kept me looking forward to their work on a consistent basis.

It’s difficult for me to put into words how much this group means to me, but I pretty much drop everything for the chance to see them on tour. Whether it’s flying to Seattle for a couple benefit shows, driving up to Montreal and Ottawa for a chance to see them in Canada, or spending a week following them down the eastern seaboard, they’ve been the source of some of my favorite road trips with friends, while making new ones along the way.

I’m absolutely passionate about Pearl Jam’s music because I’ve been able to relate to their songs during some of my happiest days and also some of my lowest nights. Loud or quiet, fast or slow, there’s always a song that I can identify with, regardless of what I’m feeling at the time. They’re like a friend that always says the right thing and knows exactly where you’re coming from. I can feed off the energy of seeing them in concert or sit alone and leaf through liner notes analyzing lyrics, either way they’re relevant to whatever I’m feeling… Their music has tremendous depth and I think they’ve grown so much as a band, specifically with the creative input of the various members.

In my opinion they’re the greatest band around, it hasn’t changed in twenty years for me and probably never will.

SONGS: The real joy for me in creating this mix was going through Pearl Jam’s history, seeing how they’ve evolved over time and putting together a list of some of their best songs, young and old. It’s a daunting task trying to create an 80-minute mix encompassing an entire career without leaving certain parts out. I hope this collection will not only take you back to some familiar favorites, but also introduce you to some rare and new tracks that you may have not discovered until now. After getting the list down to about 25 songs, I was able to cut it to 18 finalists (just within the time constraints) and I think it’ll give you a good taste of where Pearl Jam has been and where they’re going. It’s certainly not a greatest hits list but there are some fan favorites you’ll find sprinkled in. I covered most of the eras but tried to mix them together with a variety of songs focusing on different styles, tempos, and themes.

Throughout the mix, you’ll find several recognizable songs from the early Pearl Jam albums, tracks like “Release,” “Porch,” “Rearviewmirror,” “Indifference,” and “Corduroy.” Although these weren’t necessarily the biggest hits from those early albums, I think they’re some of the most well-written songs that really represent where the band was during their recording process (additionally, all tremendous songs in concert). I also selected two other songs from Vitalogy, “Last Exit” and “Immortality.” “Last Exit” is the first song on the album and kicks it off with an intense energy. Even though he doesn’t play on the album version, I think most Pearl Jam fans would tell you that Matt Cameron has taken “Immortality” to another level and it’s become a favorite of mine.

Sticking with the drummer theme, I included “In My Tree,” a song that will always remind of me of the Jack Irons era and his unique style and his influence on the group during his time with Pearl Jam. Also from No Code is “Present Tense,” a track that highlights McCready & Vedder before eventually kicking in with the rest of the guys. I included “Given To Fly,” which is perhaps the greatest Pearl Jam sing-a-long, and also “Low Light,” a beautiful song with great harmonies written by bassist Jeff Ament.

Selecting a couple of the more recent songs, I chose “Save You,” a song that is purely guitar-driven rock & roll. I also picked “Come Back,” a beautiful song off their latest album. It almost reminds me of something that may have been released way before I was born — big fan of this one.

Some rarities selected include “Long Road,” a haunting song from the Merkin Ball Single w/Neil Young. Following that is “State of Love & Trust,” an up-tempo track originally found on the “Singles” movie soundtrack. I also included “Footsteps,” an old B-side that is as powerful as it is simple. “Let Me Sleep” was the first Pearl Jam Holiday Single back in 1991, the beginning of many great holiday presents from the band. Of course no Pearl Jam mix would be complete without including “Yellow Ledbetter,” which has pretty much become the closing anthem to most Pearl Jam set lists, I thought it would be a fitting way to complete this mix.

WHAT’S MISSING: Songs I would have loved to include (and that made the first cut) were: “Even Flow,” “Oceans,” “Go,” “Whipping,” “Off He Goes,” “In Hiding,” “Insignificance”… this was the last cut, “Grievance,” and “Inside Job.”

LINK: Click on the list below to hear every Pearl Jam album for FREE on Lala.com!

Click the list to hear Pearl Jam on Lala.com
SAMPLE SONGS:

“Yellow Ledbetter” from Live in Santiago: 11-22-05

“Come Back” from Pearl Jam

___________________________________

Pat Tremaglio is a 32-year old purchasing agent for Turner Construction Company, living downtown in New York City. He is a huge fan of live music and travel, so when he’s not working, you’ll most likely find him jumping on the subway (or traveling throughout North America) headed for the next great concert.  He also tries to work on his blog, The Tremagazine, pretty much every day, researching new (and old) music and sharing as much as he can get out there.

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~ by Patrick Gosnell on September 23, 2009.

2 Responses to “Pearl Jam Mix #2”

  1. love, love, love it Pat. great job! love reading the path of the music for you, can totally relate to the ‘growing up with them’ kind of feeling. excellent song selection – some real favourites of mine in there.

  2. Hey Pat, Really nice story! Love it! and can definitely relate. I was 21 yrs old in 1991 when Pearl Jam answered a call from deep within. They have always been there in anyway, shape or form of life affirming goodness for this human being. Thanks for your story again!

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