I have a confession to make, no matter how relevant, good, or melodic (or not) they may be, I still find myself loyally purchasing albums from the bands I used to listen to in the 90’s. Maybe it’s a case of nostalgia, or maybe I’m just slightly out of touch when it comes to music. But I don’t think I’m alone in this because I’m seeing many 90s bands on tour and releasing new material and that must mean people are buying.
For example, watch THE AVENGERS and you’ll hear the first new Soundgarden song in over 15 years,”Live To Rise”. You guessed it, bought that track on iTunes. Today, the first new SMASHING PUMPKINS album in 7 years was released, Oceaina. This one I even made a trip to Best Buy to buy it. I also almost bought the new Fiona Apple album, her first since 2005.
In the next few months I’m hearing there will be new albums from Green Day( they are releasing 3 actually, Pearl Jam, and a full length album from Soundgarden.
So what do you think? Do I have a problem or am I justified in supporting my 90s heroes?
I remember once going to a family function now over 20 years ago. I was searching through my cousins cassettetapes and CDs and just saw the “Jam” of the Pearl Jam Ten album. I asked him if this was the new Michael Jackson single “Jam”. After he laughed for like 10 minuets, he explained to me who it was and he played me “Even Flow”. It was at that very moment that everything I knew about music up to that point changed, it sounded like nothing I had ever heard before and I was hooked. I then became interested in a bunch of other bands that sounded just like them: Nirvana, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden. But as with many things in life, you always remember and embrace your firsts, and Pearl Jam has remained my favorite band since that first time I’ve heard them long ago.
When I heard Cameron Crowe was making a documentary about the band, I was excited because he has a long history of rock and roll journalism dating back to Led Zeppelin. Then I started getting worried, that I had made my expectations too much, but it is with relief that I can report PEARL JAM TWENTY, is as good as I had hoped.
Following chronologically the early days of the band, when most of the members were in Mother Love Bone, it flows quite nicely and features some outstanding archival footage and in depth interviews with the band, and also features alternative takes and versions of their songs. Notoriously, the band members are private and here they appear at ease with Crowe. Vedder, whom with has been reported to be a bad interview seems very charming here.
One of the most talked about segments features footage of Vedder and Kurt Cobain dancing behind the scenes of the MTV Video Music Awards, taken not too long before he committed suicide.
Yes perhaps at times at the end the film does run a little long, but if you are a fan of the band or even if you aren’t, I feel there is enough here to like to entertain fans and non fans. I have a feeling that many people will be tuning into PBS when it plays next month. I caught it at the Cedar Lee Theatre in Cleveland, and the crowd was pretty enthusiastic. Some people were singing along to some of the songs, and one fan was taking pictures of the screen itself…wonder how those turned out haha.