OK, so a little background on why I am asking this:
From 1992 to 1996 I was a huge Pearl Jam fan. I bought all the import singles, many bootlegs, and saw them on the Vs. tour. Then No Code came out. I got it immediately, as I did with all their records. I listened to it a few times and it didn’t grab me like the other 3 records did, so I never listened to it again. I still have it though.
Plus, during my college years, they did not tour (not a complaint, just bad luck. I supported their stance against Ticketmaster) so I kind of pushed PJ to the back of mind as I didn’t like the new record and they didn’t tour. When Yield came out I kept almost buying it, but I didn’t really like “Given to Fly” so I never did and I didn’t really bother with Pearl Jam until two months or so ago.
Then I saw Lost Dogs for sale for about 15 bucks at Tower. I figured this was a good price for a double cd and I was familar with some of the old outtakes. Well, I love most of the record! I don’t like songs not sung by Eddie and a few of the others, but overall it is great. The newer stuff was stronger than expected. I have re-discovered Pearl Jam! I gotta dig out No Code and check it out again.
Now where do I go from here? I was thinking Riot Act, but people seem to like Yield. Binaural seems to get the least love. Anyone?
Yield is the best of the three. It’s a true rocker and certainly one of my favorite of Pearl Jam’s albums.
Actually, a large complaint throughout the Pearl Jam community is that the songs on Lost Dogs that are from the Binaural and Riot Act recording sessions didn’t make it onto those records. (and no that’s not only my opinion).
Binaural’s not bad or anything, it’s just a few of the songs don’t have a very good shelf life. Riot Act is pretty good, it just has very dark feel to it. Anyway, get Yield. And give your copy of No Code a listen.
I second the vote for Yield. Really great album. I’m a huge PJ fan but I have a hard time really giving Binaural much of a listen. Only one or two songs really do anything for me. But my faith in the band was restored with Riot Act. *Save You * and *Green Disease * are two killer tracks, and *I Am Mine * is just a beauty of a song, both IMHO of course.
But while you’re at it, don’t stop with the studio albums. Do yourself a favour and pick up some of the live bootlegs from the 1999 tour. Either of the Poland shows from the European leg and the final show in Seattle (a triple disc!) cover a wide range of their songs. Also, Live at the Garden, **Touring Band 2000 ** and **Live at the Showbox ** DVD’s are all a must for a PJ fan.
Yield, definitely and give No Code another try!
I was so disappointed with No Code the first time I heard it that I didn’t ever give it another try. I finally gave it a try again a few years later and it is really a gret album, in fact, I think it’s my favorite now.
No Code is a great album. It’s the first to have some songs I don’t quite care about (not bad, but not really exciting either), but it’s got some great stuff. In My Tree, Present Tense, Off He Goes, that single, Hail Hail. I didn’t actually like Yeild as much as everyone said, but it’s solid too. Lowlight, In Hiding, All those yesterdays: some solid tracks, and I love No Way. I liked binural. Some great lines, and more solid hooks. Insignificance, Rival, Grievance, Soon Forget, and some solid rockers. I really didn’t care much for Riot Act: just too many weak songs. But the first track, the last track, and I am Mine are definately worthy. I agree that the era of Pearl Jam album perfection ended with Vitalogy and/or No Code, but every album after that still has stuff that’s as good or better than most bands out there, so they’re still worth your time. And their lives shows are still fantastic. Their current drummer is smoking awesome, the rest of the band is as solid as ever, and while Eddie’s voice sounds like he’s been smoking a gazillion cigs (as far as I know, he doesn’t smoke), he still puts all his passion into it.
They should start recording a new record this April or so.
I think nobody is praising Ten because the OP seemed like they already owned that album and were asking which of the last three people would recommend.
Ten was great, but I think that as a band they’re really matured and evolved, so it’s hard to judge their current stuff based on what their first album sounds like.
If you don’t have TEN, then it is a must-buy. I actually love Vitalogy, and think (IMHO) it is thier second best album. I think all of thier albums are worth a try as you will obviously have your own tastes and preferences in music styles.
Just as a guide, I would describe Vitalogy as a sort of rough around the edges sound from the band. It’s not as neat and clean as the other albums, but is has more of an edge to it too.
Let us all know what you decide, and also what you think of the album you end up with.
You posted that you collected many bootlegs during the first 3 albums era. That being the case, you’re probably going to like this show. Certain aspects of this show reminded me of the early days…Eddie chatter, fuck ups that don’t matter(listen to what they did with Satan’s Bed), the amazing encores(this alone is reason enough to buy this cd…powerful!!!), and heck they even did an couple of improvs. Annnnnnnnnd its their longest show to date. All that and more. Also, if you’re looking for good shows and wondering how PJ has done, then I would also suggest the Boston show, if only for the semi-acoustic pre-set the band did(nice little story for this).
And for the record, I loved Binaural…it was the album I was waiting for.