December 9, 2021

New Fury Media

Music. Film. Media.

This Day In Music History: August 27th, 1991 – Pearl Jam help bring grunge to the mainstream with debut album, ‘Ten’

Eventually selling over 13 million copies in the USA alone, Pearl Jam’s 1991 debut album Ten was one of the biggest albums of 1991 – in any genre. Alongside Nirvana’s Nevermind (released in September 1991) and Soundgarden’s Badmotorfinger, Ten helped bring grunge and alt-rock to the forefront of the music industry. Led by the powerful voice of Eddie Vedder, Pearl Jam formed from the ashes of Mother Love Bone, another promising Seattle band whose vocalist Andrew Wood passed away the year before.

Just a year after that came Ten, and boy did it shake up the music industry. While interestingly it wasn’t an immediate massive success, Ten eventually became one of the biggest alt-rock albums in history. Led by singles like live staples “Jeremy” (which depicts a junior high student committing suicide in front of his classmates – its uncensored video was banned on MTV), “Alive”, and “Even Flow”, the record was a smash hit. It was discernibly dark lyrical fare, but still appealed to a wide variety of people. By the time Nirvana’s Nevermind started become the anthem of Generation X, it propelled many of the grunge and alt-rock bands upward – including Pearl Jam. With an emphasis on channeling the classic rock bands of yore in a new way, it’s not a surprise Pearl Jam hit the big time almost right away.

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