10 Records in 10 Days: Day Nine

19 Feb

Welcome back to 10 Records in 10 Days. A Facebook chain-turned 10 day blog series. The concept is simple. ”Post an album a day covering your 10 all time favourite albums. What really made an impact and is still on your rotation list, even if only now and then? Post the cover, no need to explain, and nominate a person each day to do the same”.

We’ve been nominated but rather than post without explanation, we thought it would be more fun to provide a little context. That is just the first of the rules we plan to break in this series. We are also not nominating anyone else (if you want to join in, you are more than welcome to do so) and we are also not adhering to any of the other implied rules either.

For the purpose of this series, we’ll be posting in the first person.

Day nine brings me to an album that really, I could have posted tomorrow.

Pearl Jam – Ten

There are many things I can and cannot do. One that I most definitely cannot do is sing. Listening to Ten, I not only think I can sing, I think I can sing like Eddie Vedder. So I do. Loudly.

It is another of my flat out favourites. It was a vast album at the time of release and it still sounds massive now. Even though the subject matter is heavy (homelessness, depression, loneliness and suicide, for example) each of the songs is absolutely huge.

There is definitely an element of nostalgia in my love for Ten. It was part of my musical sponge period where I soaked up everything, it was a massive hit with all my friends (as it was for so many others – 20 million copies sold) and would remain so long into our later teens and driving years. We would drive along and sing (loudly) to each track.

Despite being released before Nirvana’s seminal breakthrough, it is often derided and accused of riding Nevermind’s coattails. Yet Ten actually serves as a bridge from what went before to the harder, more impenetrable sound of Nevermind. It’s more melodic, more accessible and (whisper it) probably better. Certainly I would argue that, having not had the critical acclaim or hysteria that Nevermind did, the vast majority of Ten’s 20 million sales came from people who liked and wanted to own it. Rather than people who think they should own it.

There’s a reason Pearl Jam were considered one of the biggest bands in the world, and it wasn’t just because of the grunge explosion. Ten is full to bursting with incredible, epic songs. Like most of the albums featured in this series, it has aged well and I don’t think that is just the nostalgia talking.

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