Tuesday, October 11, 2011
PEARL JAM 20: THE SOUNDTRACK
This is really a collection for the hardcore fans, it's not for beginners (although the film may turn on some new people, from what I've heard about it).
It's mostly a collection of live performances and demos. And considering that the band has released a live recording of every concert for the second half of their career, and released exhaustive extended editions of their first three albums, there's not a ton of stuff left that we haven't heard. BUT!
There's still a lot of great stuff here. Probably the highlight is their version of Mother Love Bone's "Crown Of Thorns" from their tenth anniversary show (which I have on the Pearl Jam's live recording of that concert). "Alive" from the Moore Theater in Seattle from 1990 isn't great quality sound, but it's one of their first shows, and it is worth listening to. "Black" from their legendary MTV Unplugged show is amazing (they need to release that as a CD already, although many fans - myself included - have that on an unauthorized bootleg, and the DVD came with the Ten Super Deluxe reissue). Their recent performance of "Just Breathe," accompanied by a string section, on Saturday Night Live was great (although it is very similar to the single version recorded at Austin City Limits that they've released).
My favorite parts included Temple Of The Dog's "Say Hello 2 Heaven" demo, the instrumental "Times Of Trouble" demo, Jeff Ament's acoustic demo of "Nothing As It Seems," Matt Cameron's demo "Need To Know" (which later became "The Fixer") and most of all, their performance of Neil Young's "Walk With Me" (from Le Noise) from last year's Bridge School Benefit Concert, with Neil on guitar and vocals.
What I'm really looking forward to from Pearl Jam are their live bootlegs from their recent 20th anniversary festival. And, of course, their next album. I'd say 20 years marks the halfway point for Pearl Jam, and there aren't many bands you can say that about.