|Released August 27, 1991 on Epic|
Most of the records I've blogged about prior to today remind me of my time in the fifth grade. Pearl Jam's "Ten", however, has sixth grade written all over it.
I remember standing at the bus stop one morning with a girl who had just recently purchased Pearl Jam's debut album. She yapped and yapped about it with such passion, convinced that it was the greatest music ever recorded. I was a bit skeptical, but this girl was way cooler than I was and the fact that she was speaking to me about anything was a pretty big deal, so I listened.
Eventually I did buy the tape.* And in no time I was totally on board with the rest of the world. In the beginning, there was some question within the music community about whether or not PJ should be considered true "grunge." I wasn't aware of any of this at the time, so it had no effect on me, but had I been, there's a good chance I'd have a different opinion about it today.**
"Ten" eventually fell out of my regular rotation as I got more and more new music. About three years ago I found a copy on CD in the dollar bin and picked it up to replace the one I'd lost fifteen years prior. And you know what? I couldn't tell you where that CD is today. I think I bought it purely for sentimental reasons, but the reality is I'd moved on.
The only other Pearl Jam record I ever owned was "Vs." I listened to it once and hated it immediately. The next day I gave it to my younger friend who lived down the street. I regret my behavior that day. I'm a lot better about giving music an honest, fair chance, ESPECIALLY music from an already established band/artist. I know now that music can take hold and grow if given a shot. And yet, I never did listen to "Vs." again.
* I say "bought", but odds are it was given to me as a birthday or Christmas gift. Oh, and I'm 90% certain it was on cassette tape and not CD.
**Just to be clear, I think this is a fantastic record.