Pearl Jam: Twenty (OST)

Celebrating two decades of grunge.

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Once you get over the shock of realising it’s a whopping 20 years since Seattle became the capital of the music world, Kurt was king and plaid was the national uniform, it’s a pleasure to celebrate that big milestone with Pearl Jam, whose debut Ten was released in 1991.

To mark the occasion, they’ve become the subject of a new documentary by fanboy and Almost Famous director Cameron Crowe, and the live tracks and demos from it collected here show how fresh their music still sounds and also how perfect their live performances are – there’s barely a bum note from Eddie Vedder, his rich baritone dripping with emotion on opening track Release. There’s a real sense of being there, for better or for worse – Garden is ruined by a Zurich audience who yack all the way through it.

While the hits are well represented (no Jeremy, though), it’s the inclusion of rarities like Crown Of Thorns (originally by Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard’s old band Mother Love Bone, and included on Crowe’s grunge-com Singles) that will have fans a-flutter.

Twenty years on, Pearl Jam still sound utterly alive.

Emma has been writing about music for 25 years, and is a regular contributor to Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog and Louder. During that time her words have also appeared in publications including Kerrang!, Melody Maker, Select, The Blues Magazine and many more. She is also a professional pedant and grammar nerd and has worked as a copy editor on everything from film titles through to high-end property magazines. In her spare time, when not at gigs, you’ll find her at her local stables hanging out with a bunch of extremely characterful horses.