17 Songs, 1 Hour 8 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Released at the end of 1994, the year of Kurt Cobain’s suicide, Vitalogy can be heard in part as a tribute to the fallen Nirvana singer. “Last Exit,” “Not For You” and “Immortality” all could be read arguably as Pearl Jam acknowledging his difficult life and all are among the album’s most affecting tunes. In any case, this is emotionally charged music — rawer than their previous releases — split between charged rockers (“Spin the Black Circle,” “Tremor Christ,” “Corduroy”) that continue to highlight the group’s live performances, and bizarre, experimental pieces that find the group challenging its audience (the accordion-based “Bugs,” the bargain-basement funk “Aye Davanita,” the music concrete “Hey Foxymophandlemama, That’s Me”). It’s here the group come closest to the punk ends of their roots. Vedder has less of the messianic urge in his vocals and the guitarists mostly eschew classic rock guitar solos and influences for a raw, brittle sound. Throw in “Nothingman” and “Better Man,” two more of the group’s champion brooders, and Vitalogy is nothing short of a full-spectrum look at a modern hard rock group growing up. This is the 2011 edition of Pearl Jam’s 1994 studio album, its third Vitalogy. This expanded set features three additional bonus tracks: a 1993 demo version of “Nothingman” featuring Richard Stuverad on drums, an alternate take of “Corduroy,” and a special mix of “Better Man” featuring guitar, organ, and vocals.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Released at the end of 1994, the year of Kurt Cobain’s suicide, Vitalogy can be heard in part as a tribute to the fallen Nirvana singer. “Last Exit,” “Not For You” and “Immortality” all could be read arguably as Pearl Jam acknowledging his difficult life and all are among the album’s most affecting tunes. In any case, this is emotionally charged music — rawer than their previous releases — split between charged rockers (“Spin the Black Circle,” “Tremor Christ,” “Corduroy”) that continue to highlight the group’s live performances, and bizarre, experimental pieces that find the group challenging its audience (the accordion-based “Bugs,” the bargain-basement funk “Aye Davanita,” the music concrete “Hey Foxymophandlemama, That’s Me”). It’s here the group come closest to the punk ends of their roots. Vedder has less of the messianic urge in his vocals and the guitarists mostly eschew classic rock guitar solos and influences for a raw, brittle sound. Throw in “Nothingman” and “Better Man,” two more of the group’s champion brooders, and Vitalogy is nothing short of a full-spectrum look at a modern hard rock group growing up. This is the 2011 edition of Pearl Jam’s 1994 studio album, its third Vitalogy. This expanded set features three additional bonus tracks: a 1993 demo version of “Nothingman” featuring Richard Stuverad on drums, an alternate take of “Corduroy,” and a special mix of “Better Man” featuring guitar, organ, and vocals.

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