Rick Parashar produced Ten in 1991 and it has sold almost ten million copies, most of which were purchased in an era marked by free file-sharing or single-song platforms such as iTunes. The album is impressive in sheer numbers alone.
I talked about here. The personal impact of Pearl Jam’s Ten is hard to describe because it goes beyond the music. Sure, the vocal stylings of Eddie Vedder have been lampooned and early Pearl Jam spawned a decade of worthless douchebags trying to cash in on it. But before all of that happened, Ten defined a generation. Nirvana gets most of the credit for crystalizing and defining what it means to be part of Generation X, but Pearl Jam did the heavy lifting. Vedder put such emotion into the music that it’s not hard to figure out why Pearl Jam is one of the few bands around that survived that era. His angst and raw delivery was something I could identify with in my early 20s, raging one moment, as in "Why Go", and deeply troubled in another, as in "Jeremy". Being about the same age, I felt like I was friends with Vedder through the music and related to his often cryptic and dark lyrics. Parashar brought an ethereal quality to the recordings which you can hear if you listen closely. The reverb on Dave Krusen’s floor toms is spectacular while Stone Gossard’s combination of Strat and Wah nod to Hendrix in a way that is respectful rather than imitative. Jeff Ament’s bass holds it all together with Mike McCready’s textures floating throughout.
I hope you have your own Pearl Jam Ten, a recording that makes you smile, warms your heart, and tugs at your core, reminding you why music matters.