Review: Jack Foley
IF EVER there was a band screaming out for a greatest hits retrospective,
then surely it's Pearl Jam.
Never one's to do things the easy way, the band has consistently
delivered some of the best grunge-laced rock anthems of recent
years, from the awe-inspiring power of stadium-fillers Jeremy
and Alive, to the intelligent songwriting of ballads
like Better Man and Elderly Woman Behind The Counter
In A Small Town.
Thanks to the commanding presence of former surfer-turned-lead
singer, Eddie Vedder, the band has never shyed away from controversy,
emerging from the shadow of Nirvana to all but take their thrown
following the death of Kurt Cobain.
Vedder, himself, is a colourful personality, yet the band, as
a whole, have been at the centre of some well-publicised spats,
most notably their boycotting of Ticketmaster, and, more recently,
their outspoken comments about the Bush administration and the
evils of corporate America.
They've also been known to shun interviews and refused to make
promotional videos, determined that their music should do the
talking in most, if not all, cases.
And certainly, most of the time it does. While their biggest
albums remain 10 and Vitalogy, you can generally
bet each long-player contains something worthwhile about it -
not least because of Vedder's unique and recognisable vocals.
Rear View Mirror (named after one of the tracks from
their second album, Vs) is packed with reminders of why
they remain one of the most important bands of today, with tracks
such as live favourites, Yellow Ledbetter and Evenflow,
to more recent material from their most recent work, Riot
And not to be outdone, their retrospective even contains some
typically Pearl Jam nods - such as their refusal to conform with
the traditions of putting out greatest hits collections.
Once, Alive and Black come in the form of 2004
remixes, while there is even a track from the soundtrack to Singles,
entitled State Of Love And Trust, which should have the
purists purring with delight.
It's a double CD to cherish from one of the bands who seemed
destined for iconic status.
1. Once (2004 Remix)
2. Alive (2004 Remix)
3. Even Flow
5. State Of Love And Trust
10. Spin The Black Circle
12. Not For You
13. I Got S**t
14. Hail, Hail
15. Do The Evolution
16. Save You
1. Black (2004 Remix)
4. Elderly Woman Behind The Counter in a Small Town
6. Better Man
8. Who You Are
9. Off He Goes
10. Given To Fly
12. Last Kiss
13. Nothing As It Seems
14. Light Years
15. I Am Mine
16. Man Of The Hour
17. Yellow Ledbetter