Least to Most: Pearl Jam – Let the Records Play

Here we are at the end of another (my third to date) Least to Most series.

What’s been learned:

That when I tackle this series on an album by album basis this is a pretty consuming mission when combined with that other thing called ‘life’. And yet I already find myself looking at my shelves and wondering who’s next (it’s not Bob Dylan, that’s for sure).

Pearl Jam are fucking awesome. But then that shouldn’t be a lesson to anyone.

For my money, these blokes were at their finest between 1993-1998.

I still think they have at least one great album in them despite recent evidence.

For those playing along at home, the Least to Most favourite list broke down like this:

10. Backspacer
9. Binaural
8. Lightning Bolt
7. Riot Act
6. Pearl Jam
5. Ten
4. Yield
3. No Code
2. Vs.
1. Vitalogy

That’s today. Well, that’s how I eventually settled the list (after five drafts). Ask me again in a few months that might change. Ask me again when the next studio album eventually drops and it may be all change again.

For my money, if you want a good single, cover-all bases Pearl Jam album you’ll struggle with just one disc but if you get your hands on the Vs. & Vitalogy re-release box you’ll get two of their best and Live at the Orhpeum Theatre which is a fierce, powerful live disc that captured the band live between the two albums and is packed with cuts from Ten and a few rarities too.

Still, for more of what I’d recommend, and as a tip of the hat to Jim over at Music Enthusiast whose playlists are the stuff of curator envy, here’s my Pearl Jam ‘essentials’ playlist wherein I try and cherry pick the best of the band’s ten studio (and one rarities) albums and still end up with sixty tunes. Play in order or play in random but, hopefully, enjoy:

10 thoughts on “Least to Most: Pearl Jam – Let the Records Play

  1. Thanks for the kudos, and again, fine series. I’m working on one now and yeah, they tend to be all-consuming. I’ll be driving hither and yon tomorrow and look forward to all four hours and 13 minutes of both the Pearl and the Jam.

  2. I’m not familiar enough with the last two, but my least to most otherwise is:
    Vs. (not big on this one – feels like a whole lot of riffs looking for songs)
    Pearl Jam
    Riot Act
    No Code

    • It’s a strong list. I’m not gonna argue with it as mine could easily move to a similar state… Vs. I love because of the energy and force behind those songs, killer tunes live too

  3. Thoroughly enjoyed this Least to Most. Some differences in The order, but I agreed with much of what you wrote about each album. My order (today): Vs., No Code, Vitalogy, Yield, Binaural, Riot Act, self titled, Ten, Backspacer and Lightning Bolt.

    I too reckon they’ve got another great album in there somewhere, though I like Can’t Deny Me more than you do.

  4. I played this list partway through and had to keep searching for it. So I said the hell with it and just recreated your playlist over on my Spotify. So thanks for that. It was good exercise as it gave me a chance to add songs that you unconscionably overlooked like ‘Even Flow’ and ‘Elderly Woman.’

    • Ah it was always gonna be hard to whittle that playlist down. Even Flow doesn’t do it big for me as much as the rest of the album and I can’t believe I left (“longest title in the Pearl Jam catalogue”) Elderly off, I’ll have to remedy that

  5. Pingback: Thursday now, that’s such a crazy, lazy day…. current spins | Mumbling About…

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