Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2013, #8


Every year since 2009 has be "The Year Grunge Returned," so reissues of quintessential 90's albums have been common.  This year was no different.

In April fans were treated to a Deluxe reissue of Mad Season's Above.  The package included three discs. The first of which contains the original album, an acoustic interlude by Mike McCready, three tracks (Locomotive, Black Book of Fear, and Slip Away) that were recorded for the band's never-released second album with vocals added by Mark Lanegan, and a remix of the Lennon cover, I Don't Wanna Be a Soldier, from the 1995 tribute album, Working Class Hero.  A second disc contains the band's performance at Moore Theater in Seattle on April 29, 1995 (featuring an appearance by Mark Lanegan).  The last disc is a DVD of Live at The Moore, remixed and remastered and newly edited by director Duncan Sharp, a full concert of the band's performance from New Years Eve 1995 at RKCNDY in Seattle, and both performances from Self-Pollution Radio (one newly edited).

For Record Store Day, which followed quickly after, Monkeywrench Records released limited 10" singles of River of Deceit/I Don't Know Anything (live) in red or blue vinyl and a double vinyl release of Above (with the Lanegan songs and I Don't Wanna Be A Soldier).  There have also been some white vinyl singles of Locomotive and Black Book of Fear floating around independent record stores.

All in all, there was a full-court press of media and merchandise to keep both Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains fans drooling.

Brad continued the reissue schedule that began last year with Welcome to Discovery Park.  This year in September, they reissued both their debut album, Shame, and their sophomore effort, Interiors.  The two albums make a great example of how albums turn out differently when a band rushes out an album and when they take time to think, compose, and produce.  Both albums are great in their own right.

Both were available remastered digitally, on CD, and on vinyl (the Interiors bonus material, Séance and Heaven Help, included as a 7" single with the purchase of the record).  When the band originally signed up with the Razor and Tie label, they announced that their whole catalog would be reissued.  Could that mean that next year we'll be featuring Brad Vs. Satchel and Best Friends?, the latter of which is only three years old?  Well, we'll see.


This year also saw a reissue of Soundgarden's first album, Screaming Life/Fopp on CD and translucent blue vinyl, and if you have been following Mike McCready since middle school, you probably picked up a reissued single by his first band Shadow (sold out on vinyl).