Pearl Jam was formed by Jeff Ament (bass) and Stone Gossard (rhythm guitar) in Seattle, Washington in the early 90s. After various line-up changes, the band Pearl Jam was formed with the addition of Mike McCready (guitar), Eddi Vedder (vocals) and Dave Krusen (drums). They signed to Epic in 1991, debuting with ‘Ten’, by which time Krusen had left the band and was later replaced by Dave Abbruzzese. The album remained in the US Top 20 a year and a half after its release, an astonishing achievement for band that aided the birth of Grunge music, even though Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain accused them of, ‘Jumping on the band wagon’.
The eagerly awaited ‘V’s’ seemed overtly concerned with re-establishing the band’s grassroots credibility. There were also numerous references to the death of Cobain. Abbruzzese left the band in 1994 and was replaced by Jack Irons. The new lineup appeared on Neil Young’s ‘Mirror Ball’ and then released the semi-acoustic, ‘No Code’. Hailed as a return to their roots, the hard rocking ‘Yield’ was not a great commercial success despite reaching number 2 on the US album chart, with the effects of the band’s long-term feud with Ticketmaster cutting into their fanbase. Irons was replaced later in the year by Matt Cameron.
The band bounced back in the summer of 1999, reaching number 2 in the US singles chart with their cover version of Wayne Cochran’s ‘Last Kiss’. The year 2000 proved to be an extraordinary one for Pearl Jam. In addition to a new studio album, ‘Binaural’, they issued an unprecedented 25 separate double albums of live concerts from their European tour. Unfortunately, during their tour, at the Rokslide Festival in Denmark, nine fans were crushed underfoot and suffocated to death as the crowd rushed to the front. The band stopped playing and tried to calm the crowd when the musicians realized what was happening, but it was already too late. Pearl Jam was initially blamed for the accident, but was later cleared of responsibility.
Pearl Jam are currently headlining a number of tours both in Europe and in North America including, the Virgin Festival, the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival and will be playing five shows in Europe and three in North America. In October 2009, Pearl Jam will be headlining the Austin City Limits Music Festival.
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