Deep Album Cuts Vol. 83: Pearl Jam

This week The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced the nominees for its 2017 inductees, and the most prominent and unsurprising name in the list was Pearl Jam, who will almost certainly be inducted in their first eligible year. They were my first favorite band, and they still mean a lot to me, so it's easy for me to pick favorite songs or talk about them.

Pearl Jam Deep Album Cuts (Spotify playlist): 

1. Porch
2. Deep
3. Why Go
4. Rearviewmirror
5. Rats
6. Blood
7. Satan's Bed
8. Whipping
9. Last Exit
10. In My Tree
11. Mankind
12. Present Tense
13. MFC
14. Brain Of J
15. Insignificance
16. Grievance
17. You Are
18. Get Right
19. Come Back
20. Supersonic
21. Infallible

Tracks 1, 2 and 3 from Ten (1991)
Tracks 4, 5 and 6 from Vs. (1993)
Tracks 7, 8 and 9 from Vitalogy (1994)
Tracks 10, 11 and 12 from No Code (1996)
Tracks 13 and 14 from Yield (1998)
Tracks 15 and 16 from Binaural (2000)
Tracks 17 and 18 from Riot Act (2002)
Track 19 from Pearl Jam (2006)
Track 20 from Backspacer (2009)
Track 21 from Lightning Bolt (2013)

I decided to avoid the many album tracks never released as singles that nonetheless became huge famous hits ("Better Man," "Black," etc.). But really the band was so huge in the '90s that I probably heard every song from Ten and Vs. on the radio at one point or another. I previously did a "box set" of four playlists representing the band's work with the four drummers they've recorded albums with.

I could practically pick these songs in my sleep, at least for the earlier part of their career that I know by heart. The last three albums I never really revisited much after they were new, so I had to refresh my memory a bit. Pearl Jam will probably always be their weakest album to me, the last two were a little better, "Infallible" is probably their best studio work with Boom Gaspar, the organ/piano player who's toured with the band since 2002.

I was 10 when I bought Ten, and "Porch" was pretty quickly my favorite of the songs I hadn't heard on MTV, and remains for me one of the band's key songs. At this point my favorite albums by the band are probably Vitalogy and No Code, a couple of anguished experimental records from when they were such huge stars that they could get away with it. It's tempting to include some of those albums' weirder experiments like "Bugs" or "I'm Open." But I stuck with the genuinely great songs that have some unique cachet, including "Mankind," the only Stone Gossard lead vocal performance in the Pearl Jam catalog, and "Satan's Bed," the only song on which a drum machine takes the place of a drummer who was taking a sick day.

Previous playlists in the Deep Album Cuts series:
Vol. 1: Brandy
Vol. 2: Whitney Houston
Vol. 3: Madonna
Vol. 4: My Chemical Romance
Vol. 5: Brad Paisley
Vol. 6: George Jones
Vol. 7: The Doors
Vol. 8: Jay-Z
Vol. 9: Robin Thicke
Vol. 10: R. Kelly
Vol. 11: Fall Out Boy
Vol. 12: TLC
Vol. 13: Pink
Vol. 14: Queen
Vol. 15: Steely Dan
Vol. 16: Trick Daddy
Vol. 17: Paramore
Vol. 18: Elton John
Vol. 19: Missy Elliott
Vol. 20: Mariah Carey
Vol. 21: The Pretenders
Vol. 22: "Weird Al" Yankovic
Vol. 23: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Vol. 24: Foo Fighters
Vol. 25: Counting Crows
Vol. 26: T.I.
Vol. 27: Jackson Browne
Vol. 28: Usher
Vol. 29: Mary J. Blige
Vol. 30: The Black Crowes
Vol. 31: Ne-Yo
Vol. 32: Blink-182
Vol. 33: One Direction
Vol. 34: Kelly Clarkson
Vol. 35: The B-52's
Vol. 36: Ludacris
Vol. 37: They Might Be Giants
Vol. 38: T-Pain
Vol. 39: Snoop Dogg
Vol. 40: Ciara
Vol. 41: Creedence Clearwater Revival
Vol. 42: Dwight Yoakam
Vol. 43: Demi Lovato
Vol. 44: Prince
Vol. 45: Duran Duran
Vol. 46: Rihanna
Vol. 47: Janet Jackson
Vol. 48: Sara Bareilles
Vol. 49: Motley Crue
Vol. 50: The Who
Vol. 51: Coldplay
Vol. 52: Alicia Keys
Vol. 53: Stone Temple Pilots
Vol. 54: David Bowie
Vol. 55: The Eagles
Vol. 56: The Beatles
Vol. 57: Beyonce
Vol. 58: Beanie Sigel
Vol. 59: A Tribe Called Quest
Vol. 60: Cheap Trick
Vol. 61: Guns N' Roses
Vol. 62: The Posies
Vol. 63: The Time
Vol. 64: Gucci Mane
Vol. 65: Violent Femmes
Vol. 66: Red Hot Chili Peppers
Vol. 67: Maxwell
Vol. 68: Parliament-Funkadelic
Vol. 69: Chevelle
Vol. 70: Ray Parker Jr. and Raydio
Vol. 71: Fantasia
Vol. 72: Heart
Vol. 73: Pitbull
Vol. 74: Nas
Vol. 75: Monica
Vol. 76: The Cars
Vol. 77: 112
Vol. 78: 2Pac
Vol. 79: Nelly
Vol. 80: Meat Loaf
Vol. 81: AC/DC
Vol. 82: Bruce Springsteen
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