Grunged 4: Angry man behind the desk in a medium-sized town

I was planning some grand epic post about how Pearl Jam have managed to survive and prosper while the other grunge bands have died (literally) or fallen apart by now. It was supposed to mention things like the band’s intentional alienation of their mass audience, their audacious urge to experiment musically and most importantly their epic live shows. I was also going to mention how they’re one of the only bands in America that has never sold out or compromised their integrity for record sales (and in fact did the opposite). It was going to mention all kinds of amazing stuff about all that shit.

But everything I want to say has probably been said before. People still listen to Pearl Jam because they are a great motherfucking band, and Pearl Jam is still around because they are truly a band, working as a cohesive unit to create good music, entertain their fans, and fight for causes they believe in. Pearl Jam work so damn well as a band that they should put out self-help books for troubled marriages. The adversity and hardships that Pearl Jam has fought through would kill most anyone else, but instead they come out stronger, better and more determined to succeed each and every fucking time. Pearl Jam proves time and time again that you can succeed on your own terms, and that if you have the talent, desire and determination the people will come around to you and not the other way around.

Pearl Jam is the best band in the world, and don’t you fucking forget it.

Heavy handed much? Yeah, but I don’t care. Moving on to the music….between Lost Dogs and the new special edition of Ten nearly every single Ten-era rarity from Pearl Jam is now easily available. But there are still a few tracks that have slipped through the cracks, lets take a look at some of the best (that I have).

Pearl Jam
Alive (Live)
Even Flow (Re-Recorded)
Dirty Frank
These four tracks have all been on various singles and EPs, but I got them from the Japanese version of the “Alive” single. The live version of “Alive” and the re-recorded version of “Even Flow” have never appeared on any proper Pearl Jam album. “Wash” And “Dirty Frank” were on Lost Dogs, but the versions that appeared there weren’t the originals for some strange reason – these are. “Dirty Frank” is an awesome song, and as the linear notes to Lost Dogs points out, the best song about a serial killer bus driver you’re ever likely to hear.

Why Go (Live)
Deep (Live)
Alive (Live)
These live cuts were B-sides to the “Oceans” single and are from a performance at the 1992 Pinkpop Festival in the Netherlands.

A long time fan-favorite and one of the first three Pearl Jam songs written, this track finally got the album appearance it deserved on Lost Dogs, but once again that version differed from the original, and included some slightly annoying harmonica. This is the version that appeared on the “Jeremy” single.

Dissident – Live In Atlanta
Okay, so this isn’t Ten-era stuff but I don’t think anyone will care. Dissident was a pretty big hit when it came out, and there were a ton of different singles, each with different live cuts serving as the B-sides. The live cuts were all taken from the same concert and when combined formed a nearly complete concert. Later on all of the singles were compiled into a massive three-EP set called Dissident/Live In Atlanta. This EP is an entire concert (minus three tracks from Vitalogy) and must have been an amazing deal when it first came out, it was an even bigger deal for me when I bought it used for seven bucks. You can find the tracklist here. I’m not including the studio version of “Dissident” because well, what’s the point?

5 Responses to “Grunged 4: Angry man behind the desk in a medium-sized town”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Blimey, it’s the first time ever that I think I’ve got all of these tracks already!

    Doesn’t stop them from being awesome though, especially the ‘single’ version of Even Flow and the original of Footsteps.

    Might just download them now to hear them at work anyway.

    Thanks and Happy Easter!


  2. Neil Cake says:

    “Pearl Jam proves time and time again that you can succeed on your own terms, and that if you have the talent, desire and determination the people will come around to you and not the other way around.”

    Sure, you could use Pearl Jam as an example of that. Or you could point out that they are the exception to the rule that dictates that even if you do have the talent, desire and determination it still probably won’t happen for you.

    I think Pearl Jam made nearly everyone who’s ever been in a band think that way at some point. But so many of them never got anywhere.

  3. Marianna says:

    This is just great! Never heard of some of those PJ versions before!



  4. Anonymous says:

    Hey dude,
    Thanks for the PJ, ALice and Devo. Truly inspired stuff.

  5. JT says:

    Pearl Jam never really moved beyond their sound though- sure they kept on rocking..but to the same tune.

    As you could probably tell, yes I was in the STP camp.

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