The Greatest American Rock Band Of All Time

Here are 5 reasons supporting the idea that Pearl Jam is the Greatest American Rock Band Of All Time.

1. LONGEVITY. The band formed in 1990, and released it’s debut album the very next year in 1991. Here we are 30 years later, and they’re still trucking along, selling out massive tours in support of their 11th studio album.

2. CREATIVE VITALITY. When a band is as successful as Pearl Jam was early on, it’s pretty easy to coast for the majority of your career, relying on those hits to pay the bills. Why bother making new albums when everyone really just wants to hear those 3 great songs you recorded 20 years ago? Well, not Pearl Jam. When they make a new album (which they do on an average of every 2.7 years or so), they tour in support of that album and they play the majority of the songs from that new album. And Pearl Jam fans LOVE that, because those new songs are consistently good. And let’s face it, we’ll all live if we don’t get to hear “Jeremy” today. Although, it’s an all-time great song.

3. LIVE PERFORMANCE. As dedicated fans know, this band plays a different set list at each and every show. And with 11 studio albums, a deep collection of B-sides, and an arsenal of cover songs at their disposal, there is more than enough to choose from. Not only is the set list different each night, but when Pearl Jam takes the stage they’re in it for the long haul. It’s rare to see them play for anything less than 2 and a half hours. Many shows push 3 hours or more. Their longest show to date was nearly 3 and a half hours. You can leave as early as you want, but you can’t ever say you didn’t get your money’s worth.

4. EXPERIMENTATION / RISK TAKING. Older bands like AC/DC and Black Sabbath rely completely on nostalgia in the rare case that they do make a new album. They churn out watered down versions of the same album over and over again in fear of losing the winning formula. Pearl Jam has consistently evolved over the years, to the point of alienating large portions of their fan base. Some weirdness was under way on the third album; ‘Vitalogy’, but when they released ‘No Code’ in 1996 all bets were off. This was Pearl Jam not giving even one single solitary fuck. Let’s not forget about the band’s anti trust lawsuit against Ticketmaster, which also happened around the release of ‘No Code’. Pearl Jam have balls, and new songs like “Dance of the Clairvoyants” are a perfect example of this.

5. GREAT MUSIC. Let’s not leave out the most obvious one. As subjective as any art can be, it would be hard for even the most casual music-listener to deny Pearl Jams strength in songwriting. The secret weapon is the fact that they have 5 guys who are all capable songwriters contributing to the process. Not a single one of these 11 studio albums have gone by without at least a couple of show-stopping, classic songs. Any band in the world would be lucky to have any one of them, and Pearl Jam gives birth to these timeless musical gems on the regular.

One could go on and on about the bands charity, activism, control over their career, etc. I love a good music debate, so if you think another band truly qualifies of Greatest American Rock Band Of All Time, bring forth ye argument.



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