Eddie Vedder on Pearl Jam & ‘Ten’Rodney
Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam’s Ten
The legendary album ‘Ten‘ by Pearl Jam turns 30 in August. Eddie Vedder and Mike McCready tell how they felt about their fame to Classic Rock Magazine.
Released on 27th August in 1991. Ten didn’t smash the charts straight away, it took until May 1992 to reach the US top 10. It was when MTV played the video to Jeremy in rotation, it was when Ten began to smash it.
Mike McCready recalls when he realised Pearl Jam were about to hit it. It was during a certain Lollapalooza show.
“We’re playing at four o’clock in the afternoon, going on right after Lush, and there’s thirty thousand people just running toward the stage,” he recalls. “It was a mind-fuck. But it was awesome. It was like my dream coming true in front of my face.”
When Pearl Jam’s second album ‘Vs’ was released in 1993 the album sold over 950,000 copies in just the first week. At that time Ten was still selling and became the eighth best selling album from 1993, which is odd because it came out in 1991. The no.1 best selling album in 1993 was Whitney Houston’s bodyguard soundtrack, this album is the highest selling soundtrack of all time too. Remember that at your next trivia night.
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“The band will probably hate me for saying this,” said Vedder at the time, “but I feel itʼs getting too big too quickly.”
“When Jeremy happened, Sony Music CEO Tommy Mottola was saying: ‘You have to release Black,’” the band’s manager Kelly Curtis said in 2001. “And the band was saying: ‘No. This is big enough.’ We turned down inaugurals, TV specials, stadium tours, every kind of merchandise you can think of. I got a call from Calvin Klein, wanting Eddie to be in an ad. I was proud of the band, proud of their stance.”
Eddie Vedder keeps his heart with the music
“I knew it wasn’t graceful, the way we were handling it,” he says. “At the same time, it’s like being graceful in an alley fight. You’re just trying to get out of there alive. We held tight to each other and held tight to music.”
“The decision to pull back and to not do videos and to slow down interviews, it was all about Jeff and Stone and Ed thinking it was necessary,“ says McCready. “Ed was getting way more scrutiny than anybody. It was probably overwhelming for him. It was for all of us at the time. But I remember not wanting to pull back, saying: ‘This is what we’ve wanted since we were kids. Let’s keep doing this. Let’s do videos, let’s keep going, let’s embrace this.‘ But they weren’t into it. They said: ‘No, we’ve got to, because this is all gonna fall apart if we don’t.’ And I think they were right.”
“I feel like we’re still around today maybe because of that first major decision to try to do it our own way. We made a lot of decisions that were counter to what the record label wanted us to do. So we were lucky, but it was our decision: pull back, five against one…”
Keep an eye out for the Ten anniversary specials, they’ll be deluxe packages coming up.