Pearl Jam's beloved baritone turns 55 today.
The multi-instrumentalist has enriched American rock music since Pearl Jam's debut in 1990. Eddie Vedder (lead vocals, guitar), Mike McCready (lead guitar), Stone Gossard (rhythm guitar), Jeff Ament (bass), and original drummer Dave Krusen helped bring forth the era of grunge and speaking out against the soulless corporatization of the music industry (we still love that the band sued Ticketmaster for creating a monopoly over concert ticket sales). When it came to finding their name, Vedder once claimed that "Pearl Jam" was an homage to his great-grandmother Pearl. "Great-grandpa was an Indian and totally into hallucinogenics and peyote," he said. "Great-grandma Pearl used to make this hallucinogenic preserve that there's total stories about. We don't have the recipe, though." In true rock and roll fashion, he later clarified the story was "total bullsh*t" (though to be fair, he did indeed have a great-grandmother named Pearl).
As a band (and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees), Pearl Jam has more classics than we have time to list, but Eddie Vedder shines brightest on these gems:
Back in the days of MTV spotlighting musicians rather than lonely strangers playing online games of catfishing and ghosting, there was MTV Unplugged. Your favorite musicians gave raw, stripped down performances of their biggest hits, revealing new layers of their talent as well as new emotional vulnerabilities of their work.
Black (Live) - MTV Unplugged - Pearl Jam youtu.be
The lead song on Binaural is beloved by true Pearl Jam fans, despite it never being released as a single. The pulse-quickening pace is matched with Vedder's vibrating energy and his signature rasp.
Breakerfall - Live at the Showbox - Pearl Jam youtu.be
Baba O'Riley (The Who cover)
Pearl Jam's 2003 cover of The Who's classic proved that they match the talents of rock's greatest bands. Even dressed in full dad-fresh-off-the-golf-course gear, Vedder gets all of Madison Square Garden on their feet with rock and roll energy.
Baba O'Riley (The Who Cover) - Live at Madison Square Garden - Pearl Jam youtu.be
As one of Pearl Jam's most well known songs, "Jeremy" can seem overplayed to some. But their 1992 performance at the Pinkpop Festival in Landgraaf, Netherlands saw Vedder at his sharpest, crooning in perfect sync with McCready and "unleashing the lion" in true Grunge spirit.
[HD] Pearl Jam - Jeremy [Pinkpop 1992] youtu.be
No words. Experience this. You're welcome.
Oceans (Live) - MTV Unplugged - Pearl Jam youtu.be