Personally, I consider PJ to be the greatest living and still united American band, period. Sure you could make valid arguments for other bands, but for me there is just something different about Ed and the guys that set them apart.
What is that something? Maybe it was the Saturday Night Live performance of Alive back in 1992 which introduced me to the band, and had such a profound impact on the way I would view music for the next two decades. Or perhaps it was their wild concert that same year at The Gorge in George, Washington which I made the trek to with 3 of my buddies that cemented that status in my mind.
Then again, it could have been the concert of theirs I attended a couple of years later with my hot new girlfriend at Seattle's Mercer Arena (a truly amazing concert experience) where we shimmied our way to near the front of the jam packed crowd before she smiled at me and announced "I'm going up", then disappeared - crowd surfing off during a blistering set. I knew right there Mrs. LIAYF was unlike anyone I had ever dated before. And it was she who, a couple of years later had partial lyrics to the song Smile engraved into my wedding band, further endearing me to my favorite group, and her of course.
Pearl Jam, the band who had an awesome cameo as the group Citizen Dick in Cameron Crowe's classic movie Singles, turns 20 this year.
There are a lot things planned to commemorate the anniversary including a Summer festival, a new studio album, and a documentary about the band by Crowe. I thought I would add my own small commemoration to this 20th Anniversary lineup with a post listing my choice for the 20 best Pearl Jam songs.
Some of you might feel inclined to comment, telling me why you don't like the band. Don't bother. I know their music is not for everybody, and if you are one of those people...this is Not for You.
But, if you ARE a fan, leave a comment telling me what some of your favorites are. Here are mine:
3. Just Breath
4. Yellow Ledbetter
6. Not for You
8. State of Love and Trust
9. Life Wasted
11. Crazy Mary
12. Better Man
13. Man of the Hour
14. Given to Fly
17. Bee Girl
18. Amongst the Waves