It was 30 years ago today (August 27th, 1991) that Pearl Jam released its debut album, Ten, which peaked at Number Two on the Billboard 200, and has sold over 13 million copies in the U.S. alone. The album's key tracks, “Alive,” “Even Flow,” and “Jeremy,” helped redefine rock radio — along with those by fellow Seattle bands Nirvana and Soundgarden — which laid waste to the dying days of hair metal and ushered in the grunge era.
At the time of Ten's release, frontman Eddie Vedder spoke about the connection all the Seattle bands had to each other — both musically and personally: “Probably a coincidence , too — there's some really brilliant musical minds, too. Chris Cornell, the guy's writing and the way — he writes music and lyrics and all these people, like I said, just coincidence. . . Y'know, somebody like Kurt (Cobain) from Nirvana.”
Bassist Jeff Ament told us that the Pearl Jam's initial goals when they started out were decidedly modest: “Y'know, I think we all thought, like, if we sold 50, 60,000 records, that would allow us to make a new record and, y'know, I think mostly we wanted to get out and play. Y'know, I think we wanted to be a touring band and we wanted to be better musicians and we wanted to be more powerful and tighter. And we knew in that process we'd be better songwriters, and so I think for us, y'know, at the time the focus was just to be a better band.”