Friday on My Mind: Pearl Jam’s Ten

It’s time for Friday on My Mind. This is the weekly collaboration between KEXP and King 5 News where we look at videos centered around a common theme. Today’s theme is Pearl Jam’s Ten.

Boeing, coffee, Nirvana, the Space Needle, Jimi Hendrix, rain, Rainer… the list could on and on about what and who people think of when they think Seattle. For many, Seattle is synonymous with Pearl Jam. Pearl Jam remain such a vibrant and important part of our city and its history not just because of what they’ve done in the past, but for what they do now, and for what they are capable of accomplishing in the future. Pearl Jam sum up who we are as a city… non-conformist, forward thinking, creative, involved in their community, and overall just being good people. In all the craziness and hype around this town and grunge 20 years ago, some bands burned out fast, others remained strong such as Pearl Jam who took on a life of their own. One of many things you can say about the band, they’ve earned everything they’ve achieved.

Pearl Jam’s debut, Ten was released on August 27th, 1991, which makes the album 21 years old. Nirvana’s Nevermind was released almost exactly a month later that same year. Ten was recorded at London Bridge Studios here in Seattle. To date, Ten has reached 9,963,000 in sales and has gone 13 times platinum. I hope they plan something nice for that kid who buys the 10 millionth copy who probably wasn’t even born when the album was brand new. Ten received the deluxe reissue treatment back in 2009. Last year, they released the Cameron Crowe directed Pearl Jam 20 documentary to commemorate its 20 year anniversary. This album represents a particular a time for a lot of us and many will always appreciate its place in music history. Today, we focus in on the first singles and videos from the album, which are all from a time before the band refused to be in videos.


The first single from Ten. The video footage is of the band performing at RKCNDY in August of 1991 right when the album was coming out. For many people this was the first time they were hearing the band and what a great introduction. In the beginning, “Alive” was not as popular as the singles that followed, but over time has become an anthem for many and a staple at their live shows.

“Even Flow”

The video for the second single from the album, “Even Flow,” gave those who didn’t live in this city the chance to experience that energy from their very own living rooms. The footage from this video was filmed on January 31, 1992, at the Moore Theatre. ANYONE, including myself, who had the chance to see Eddie swinging from the rafters and jumping into the crowd, knew that Seattle was where you needed to be. The song was written from the perspective of a man who appears to have mental issues and who has become homeless. This was the second video which contained footage of the band performing live, although that was not their original intention. The band filmed an entire video at a zoo with a director and all, but scrapped the whole thing since they didn’t like the end results.


The third single off of the album, “Jeremy” is based on a true incident that took place in Richardson, Texas, in 1991. This was the first and last “traditional” video that the band released. The whole process of making music videos with lip synching and staging was not enjoyed by the band and felt that it took away from the actual music. Hard to argue, but still a great video.

Honorable Mention:


Fourth single from the album, “Oceans” was never officially released as a video in the US but is featured on a DVD that they released in 2000. It shows footage of the band in Hawaii.

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One Comment

  1. captain underpants
    Posted August 24, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    what a great post jon. i especially love this part: “Pearl Jam sum up who we are as a city… non-conformist, forward thinking, creative, involved in their community, and overall just being good people.” really the whole first (long) paragraph. my tastes have moved on a lot and while i don’t listen to PJ a ton these days, those first four records are still great and i’m very happy they’re still alive (huh huh) and kicking. what a special band.

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