Kelly’s Album of the Week: Ten

In 1991, Pearl Jam released their debut album, Ten, and the Grunge Rock revolution was born.  Along with bands Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgarden, and Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam came out of the Seattle area and flooded pop-culture with distorted amps and charged lyrics.

Ten started as a project by guitarists, Stone Gossard and Mike McCready, and bassist, Jeff Ament. They wrote the music to songs that later would be huge hits and started their search for a singer. A guy named Eddie Vedder auditioned for the band, and they immediately loved his lyrics and vocals.

Vedder wrote lyrics dealing with depression and suicide, and he gave fuel to the growing anger of the teenage society. The album started to gain popularity with songs “Alive,” “Jeremy,” and “Even Flow,” but around 1992 the album as a whole became extremely popular. At this time, MTV ruled the music industry, and Pearl Jam’s music video for “Jeremy” became very popular and controversial because of the depiction of the young boy’s suicide.

With Stone Gossard playing a Les Paul and Mike McCready playing a Stratocaster, the guitar tones on this album are really nicely mixed. The Hendrix-style lead parts fill the album with energy and emotion, and the wah pedal is a staple of their sound. Basslines offered by Jeff Ament take this album to the next level along with the famous growls from Eddie Vedder.

Ten has been regarded as one of the best rock albums of all time. I couldn’t name one song on the album that shows weakness. Also, be sure to check out more of Pearl Jam’s work. They’re a truly influential band.

About the author: As an avid listener of music, guitar player, singer, and band member, I thought it might be fun to give my two cents about music I enjoy. I’m a fan of most genres, but really I just want to hear music with some artistic merit. I hope to get people to listen to music they haven’t heard and see if they like it. Also, feel free to suggest any music for me to listen to.

Kelly’s Album of the Week Archive