Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I have mentioned here before that I am a big fan of my hometown band, the legendary Grunge rockers Pearl Jam.

Personally, I consider PJ to be the greatest living and still united American band, period.  Sure you could make valid arguments for other bands, but for me there is just something different about Ed and the guys that set them apart.

What is that something? Maybe it was the Saturday Night Live performance of Alive back in 1992 which introduced me to the band, and had such a profound impact on the way I would view music for the next two decades.  Or perhaps it was their wild concert that same year at The Gorge in George, Washington which I made the trek to with 3 of my buddies that cemented that status in my mind. 

Then again, it could have been the concert of theirs I attended a couple of years later with my hot new girlfriend at Seattle's Mercer Arena (a truly amazing concert experience) where we shimmied our way to near the front of the jam packed crowd before she smiled at me and announced "I'm going up", then disappeared - crowd surfing off during a blistering set.  I knew right there Mrs. LIAYF was unlike anyone I had ever dated before.  And it was she who, a couple of years later had partial lyrics to the song Smile engraved into my wedding band, further endearing me to my favorite group, and her of course.

Pearl Jam, the band who had an awesome cameo as the group Citizen Dick in Cameron Crowe's classic movie Singles, turns 20 this year. 

There are a lot things planned to commemorate the anniversary including a Summer festival, a new studio album, and a documentary about the band by Crowe.  I thought I would add my own small commemoration to this 20th Anniversary lineup with a post listing my choice for the 20 best Pearl Jam songs.
Some of you might feel inclined to comment, telling me why you don't like the band.  Don't bother.  I know their music is not for everybody, and if you are one of those people...this is Not for You
But, if you ARE a fan, leave a comment telling me what some of your favorites are.  Here are mine:

1. Alive

2. Smile
3. Just Breath

4. Yellow Ledbetter
5. Black
6. Not for You
7. Daughter
8. State of Love and Trust
9. Life Wasted
10. Wishlist

11. Crazy Mary

12. Better Man
13. Man of the Hour
14. Given to Fly
15. Dissident
16. Evenflow
17. Bee Girl
18. Amongst the Waves

19. Garden
20. Nothingman


Anonymous said...

Being that Seattle is my hometown, this blog makes me happy to my very core. :)

"Trauma Mama S" said...

I used to frequent a bar here in Honolulu after work before heading home... usually 3 nights/week. ANYWAY, one of the nights I was not there, guess who showed up and jammed with the local artist? That's right. Eddie Vetter. And of course it was the one night my cousin decided to go to that bar so he could rub in my face forever.

Siera said...

I don't know much about them but I like most their songs that I've heard. The movie Singles rocked. I've only been to one concert at The George at The Gorge but I think any concert there would be awesome. I plan to see another this summer.

triles said...

Gotta love Pearl Jam. I saw them in a little club in Madison on the Ten tour, right before they really blew up. It was a wicked show-one of the best I've ever seen.

My favorite PJ song is Corduroy. I also love their version of Last Kiss.

SciFi Dad said...

I feel compelled to add Rearviewmirror and Corduroy to your list.

James (SeattleDad) said...

@motherawesome - That is nice to hear. Thanks so much. You mean the blog or the post.

@Aggy - Eddie does a lot of that. Esp around here. I haven't lucked out and been to one of those shows

@Siera - They have a whole catalog that is pretty sweet. The Gorge is a great place to see a show, but I have not been back since becoming a parent.

@Tim - What I wouldn't give to have been there for that show.

@Scifi - Absolutely. Such great songs too. Easily could have made my list, and probably should have if I had taken more time to think it through before publishing.

Diplo_Daddy said...

Ah yes, good 'ol PJ. A good and decent band. Nice post! And I enjoyed the You Tube videos, too.

Andy_UK said...

You really are a lucky man... :) One thing that I can add is that the feeling of joy you experience at a PJ concert is doubled many fold when your children want to go and see them. Not to make you happy, but because they are fans too. :)

Hope I bump into you at the festival or one of the tour dates.

Kevin said...

While I'm not as big a fan as you are, I do like their music and own several of their albums (Ten having a soft spot in my heart).

Happy Birthday Pearl Jam!

Krystal said...

There is nobody that plays like them anymore. Love them!! Heck, I listen to AOL radio's Pearl Jam station almost daily while at work.

Love em!!

Shane said...

Your post takes me back...I remember the SNL performance, the MTV unplugged, all of that. Never go to see them in concert, but hey. Loved the whole grunge scene, rocked, pondered and wept with the songs, etc...
1) Alive
2) Yellow Ledbetter
3) Porch

ericdbolton said...

The other day I added a Pearl Jam station to my Pandora playlist. It's great! I've given up on listening to new music. Only what I grew up on.

I am my father.

kenny said...

I got to see their free Drop in the Park concert back in 92 (in Seattle for school one semester).

Amazing show. I saw them 3 or four times between 91-94 but that was the best.