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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam
Samir Hussein, Getty Images

You probably know that members of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden got together as Temple of the Dog to make a tribute album to one of their Seattle friends.

But did you know that Kurt Cobain really, really hated everything Pearl Jam stood for? It’s one of the 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Pearl Jam.

Mudhoney Superfuzz Bigmuff

Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard were in a band with Mudhoney’s founders



In the mid-’80s, Pearl Jam’s founding bassist and guitarist were in Green River — one of Seattle’s first grunge bands — with Mark Arm and Steve Turner, who went on to form Mudhoney.


Hulton Archive, Getty Images
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

The first three songs Eddie Vedder recorded for Pearl Jam were part of a mini-opera



After Eddie Vedder was given a tape of the band’s demos, he wrote a handful of songs and recorded vocals for three of them — including ‘Alive’ — which he referred to as the ‘Momma-Son’ mini-opera.


Tom Hauck, Getty Images
Tom Hauck, Getty Images

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.


Ethan Miller, Getty Images
Ethan Miller, Getty Images

They’d gone through three drummers between the recording and release of ‘Ten’



Pearl Jam’s debut album was recorded in March and April 1991. Before it was released in August, they had already had three drummers: Dave Krusen, Matt Chamerblain and Dave Abbruzzese.


Frank Micelotta, Hulton Archive, Getty Images
Frank Micelotta, Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Kurt Cobain despised them



After ‘Ten’ became a hit, Nirvana‘s frontman called Pearl Jam sellouts, claiming that it wasn’t a real indie-rock record because of all the guitar solos that were on it. Cobain and Vedder eventually became friends.



They played a fictional version of themselves in a movie



In Cameron Crowe’s 1992 movie ‘Singles’ — a romantic comedy set among Seattle’s burgeoning music scene — pre-fame Ament, Gossard and Vedder played a band named Citizen Dick.


Pearl Jam Vitalogy

‘Vitalogy’ was released on vinyl two weeks before it came out on CD



The band’s crucial third album came out on old-fashioned vinyl on Nov. 22, 1994. Two weeks later, it was released on the more popular CD and cassette formats. Spin the black circle, indeed.


Larry Busacca, Getty Images
Larry Busacca, Getty Images

They backed Neil Young on an album but didn’t get credit



Pearl Jam were Neil Young‘s backing band on his 1995 album ‘Mirror Ball.’ But because of legal reasons, they couldn’t be identified as such and settled for individual credits in the album’s sleeve notes.


Last Kiss

Their highest-charting song is a cover originally issued to their fan club



In 1998, the group recorded a cover of J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers’ 1964 No. 2 hit ‘Last Kiss’ for its annual Christmas fan-club single. Eventually released to the public, it ended up reaching No. 2.


Christopher Polk, Getty Images
Christopher Polk, Getty Images

They released 72 live albums in 2000 and 2001



Pearl Jam recorded and released every concert they played in support of 2000’s ‘Binaural.’ By 2001, there were 72 of them. Several hit the chart, with the band’s Nov. 6, 2001, gig in Seattle making it to No. 98.


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