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.

Mastered for iTunes

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.

Mastered for iTunes
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Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
92 Ratings
92 Ratings
thewizzahd ,

One of the greatest albums of all time by my favorite band of all time

Pearl Jam was the most popular band in the world by the end of '94, but Vitalogy was a conscious effort to shun the spotlight. The truth is if they didn't release an album like this they probably wouldn't be a band today. They're still going strong, with no end in sight. Neil Young, one of the band's idols, said It's better to burn out than fade away. This album is proof you don't have to do either.

almi1701 ,

Crowd Favourite

'Vitalogy' is definitely the most important record that Pearl Jam cut after "Ten.' 'Corduroy' is actually the most played song live that ISN'T on Ten, which says a lot about what the crowd and band think of it. 'Last Exit' is a great thrash at the arc of a rockstar's career, how it's better to burn out than wash away. 'Not for You' cynically chastises the fans themselves (or maybe record labels?) for claiming to own or participate in the music. 'Betterman' also became a crowd fave – sometimes they don't even bother singing the lyrics at the live concerts, since the crowd does it for them.
To understand the path that PJ took through the late '90s, start here. You won't be disappointed.

jjrivera ,

Soulful Grunge

Pearl Jam, what can you say about the band that hasn't been repeated a million times. This album came out during their transitional confusion between going main stream and still holding their original musical souls. Great songs great album

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