Music + Book Pairings – Edition #5

Pear Jam

We haven’t done a music and book pairing in a little while, so we thought today would be a good time to do another one. As we all know, it’s a special day today…Pearl Jam is playing the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa. For all you lucky people who get to go to tonight’s show, we suggest pairing the book Pearl Jam Twenty with Pearl Jam Vs. on vinyl.

Published in celebration of Pearl Jam’s twentieth anniversary and in conjunction with Cameron Crowe’s definitive documentary film and soundtrack of the same name, Pearl Jam Twenty is an aesthetically stunning and definitive chronicle of their two decades as a band—by the band itself.

In 1991, Pearl Jam’s debut album, Ten catapulted the little-known Seattle-based band into superstardom. Then, at the height of their popularity, the band shunned the spotlight, refusing to shoot videos or do interviews. Even as Pearl Jam’s studio albums continued to be critically acclaimed and commercially successful, selling over sixty million albums worldwide, the inner workings of the band—their day-to-day routines, influences, and motivations—remained unknown even to their diehard fans.

Twenty years later, this is their story. Pearl Jam Twenty is a treasure trove of behind-the-scenes anecdotes, rare archival memorabilia, and the band’s personal photos, tour notes, and drawings. Told with wit and insight in the band members’ own words, and assembled by veteran music writer Jonathan Cohen with Mark Wilkerson—and including a foreword by Cameron Crowe along with original interviews with legends and contemporaries like Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, and Dave Grohl—this intimate work provides an in-depth look at a group of musicians who through defying convention established themselves as “the greatest American rock band ever” (USA TODAY Readers’ Poll 2005).

Vs. is the band’s second studio album. Upon its release, Vs. set the record for most copies of an album sold in its first week, a record it held for five years. Vs. occupied the number one spot on the Billboard 200 chart for five weeks, the longest duration for a Pearl Jam album.
Alternate pairings include Vitalogy or Ten. We also recommend pairing any of these with unwashed hair and your favourite plaid.
Fun Fact: They were originally named after a basketball player. Before they settled on Pearl Jam, the group was calling itself Mookie Blaylock, named after the New Jersey Nets All-Star. The band’s debut album Ten was titled after Blaylock’s jersey number.

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