Pearl Jam – Vs. (1993/2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 59:42 minutes | 1,38 GB | Genre: Alternative, Rock
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | Digital Booklet | © Epic/Legacy
Vs. is Pearl Jam’s second album, and their first release after becoming the one of the biggest rock bands of the early 1990s. Uncomfortable with their new-found fame, the band found refuge in obscurity. The title of Vs. did not appear anywhere on the album’s packaging, and no singles or music videos were released for the album. This remastered version of Vs. features three bonus tracks recorded by Brendan O’Brien at the studio during the Vs. sessions: a previously unreleased version of “Hold On”, “Cready Stomp”, a previously unreleased studio outtake, and Pearl Jam’s cover of Victoria Williams’ “Crazy Mary” featuring Wiliams on backing vocals and guitar (this track was previously released on the 1993 tribute album Sweet Relief: A Benefit for Victoria Williams.
– Reached #2 on the US Billboard 200 and Canadian Albums charts.
– #14 on the US Billboard 200 decade-end chart for 1990-1999.
– Certified diamond by the RIAA in 2013.
– Certified 13x Platinum in the US.
A much more raw and direct album than Ten, Vs. appealed to music fans of nearly every background and sold 950,378 copies in its first five days of release. It outperformed all other entries in the Billboard top ten in that week combined, setting the record for most copies of an album sold in its first week of release.
The album was recorded and mixed one song at a time, with most of the musical material coming from jam sessions the band played together instead of one member writing a song and bringing it in. Guitarist Stone Gossard said, “I think we allowed things to develop in a more natural, band-oriented sort of way”.
Pearl Jam took to superstardom like deer in headlights. Unsure of how to maintain their rigorous standards of integrity in the face of massive commercial success, the band took refuge in willful obscurity — the title of their second album, Vs., did not appear anywhere in the packaging, and they refused to release any singles or videos. (Ironically, many fans then paid steep prices for import CD singles, a situation the band eventually rectified.) The eccentricities underline Pearl Jam’s almost paranoid aversion to charges of hypocrisy or egotism — but it also made sense to use the spotlight for progress. You could see that reasoning in their ensuing battle with Ticketmaster, and you could hear it in the record itself. Vs. is often Eddie Vedder at his most strident, both lyrically and vocally. It’s less oblique than Ten in its topicality, and sometimes downright dogmatic; having the world’s ear renders Vedder unable to resist a few simplistic potshots at favorite white-liberal targets. Yet a little self-righteousness is an acceptable price to pay for the passionate immediacy that permeates Vs. It’s a much rawer, looser record than Ten, feeling like a live performance; Vedder practically screams himself hoarse on a few songs. The band consciously strives for spontaneity, admirably pushing itself into new territory — some numbers are decidedly punky, and there are also a couple of acoustic-driven ballads, which are well suited to Vedder’s sonorous low register. Sometimes, that spontaneity comes at the expense of Ten’s marvelous craft — a few songs here are just plain underdeveloped, with supporting frameworks that don’t feel very sturdy. But, of everything that does work, the rockers are often frightening in their intensity, and the more reflective songs are mesmerizing. Vs. may not reach the majestic heights of Ten, but at least half the record stands with Pearl Jam’s best work.
01 – Go
02 – Animal
03 – Daughter
04 – Glorified G
05 – Dissident
06 – W.M.A.
07 – Blood
08 – Rearviewmirror
09 – Rats
10 – Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town
11 – Leash
12 – Indifference
13 – Hold On
14 – Cready Stomp
15 – Crazy Mary