An essay on Chris Cornell, untimely death, and the act of communal release.
In October, a Pearl Jam fan named Andrew, known as @theboytemps on Twitter, asked his Twitter followers to rank their favorite Pearl Jam albums. Due to strong interest, he set up another poll to ask the “#PJFam” to rank their ten favorite songs by the band. “I did this one because people asked me to and took time out to submit lists of their favourite Pearl Jam songs,” Andrew said. “‘Black’ and ‘Release’ were undoubtedly going to be favourites but it was interesting to see such diversity in people’s other choices, which proved that Pearl Jam’s music reaches people on so many different levels.”
Tallying votes was easier for Andrew this time around with the implementation of Twitter’s new polling feature. Previously, votes had to be counted by hand as each individual reply came in. Here are the results in order from least favorite to most favorite:
*Full disclosure: I participated in the voting.
It’s become increasingly popular for bands with large discographies to have their albums ranked from “best to worst” or “worst to best” by popular music magazines and websites. Pearl Jam is no exception, with Diffuser, Rolling Stone, Stereogum, and other sites contributing their own lists. However, one Pearl Jam fan was unhappy with these rankings, so he took to Twitter to get a different opinion – but this time, directly from fans. “I was irked by Rolling Stone’s readers’ poll that put Ten, Vitalogy, & Vs. at 1, 2, and 3 respectively, as if they [Pearl Jam] never improved after that initial period, when we know that to be far from the truth,” Andrew said.
Over the course of several weeks and 45 rounds of voting, Andrew, known as @theboytemps on Twitter, asked the “#PJFam” (a Twitter hashtag used by many Pearl Jam fans) to rank their favorite Pearl Jam albums. He presented two albums per round and fans voted for their favorites until the top ten emerged based on the number of votes received.
Here are the albums from least to most favorite, as ranked in Andrew’s poll:
Lately, I’ve been listening quite a bit to Pearl Jam’s Binaural (2000). I feel it’s their most underappreciated album, and this week I’ve chosen my favorite track, “Parting Ways.” Several songs on the album use binaural recording techniques, which is the use of two microphones to create a “3D” sound. The band employed producer Tchad Blake to help create that sound and feel for Binaural. I’m really interested in binaural recording and every time I listen to this album, I uncover new sounds. Although “Parting Ways” does not use the binaural technique, it’s no less of a treat to listen to. Make sure you’ve got a good set of headphones for this one. It makes all the difference.
Stone Gossard is a founding member and guitarist of Pearl Jam. He has released two solo albums, Bayleaf (2001) and Moonlander (2013), both of which I feel are highly underappreciated. Although the studio version of […]
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Gene Simmons may have said that rock music is dead, but Lullwater, an alternative rock band from Athens, GA, is intent on keeping the genre very much alive. Lullwater formed in 2007 and has performed with their current lineup since 2012, consisting of John Strickland (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), Brett Strickland (lead guitar/vocals), Roy “Ray” Beatty (bass guitar/backing vocals), and Joe Wilson (drums). Lullwater’s self-titled album, released on September 17, 2013, pays homage to the grunge bands of the early 1990s who influenced their sound. Recorded on tape at London Bridge Studios in Seattle, WA and produced by Jonathan Plum, the album contains thirteen raw, energetic tracks that showcase Lullwater as a definite act to watch.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Lullwater before their October 11, 2014 show at The Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, NC while on tour with Flyleaf and Ryan White.