is an American rock band that formed in Seattle, Washington in 1990. Since its inception, the band's line-up has included Eddie Vedder (lead vocals, guitar), Jeff Ament (bass guitar), Stone Gossard (rhythm guitar), and Mike McCready (lead guitar). The band's current drummer is Matt Cameron, formerly of Soundgarden, who has been with the band since 1998.
Formed after the demise of Ament and Gossard's previous band Mother Love Bone, Pearl Jam broke into the mainstream with its debut album, Ten
. One of the key bands of the grunge movement in the early 1990s, Pearl Jam was criticized early on—most notably by Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain—as being a corporate cash-in on the alternative rock explosion. However, over the course of the band's career its members became noted for their refusal to adhere to traditional music industry practices, including refusing to make music videos and engaging in a much-publicized boycott of Ticketmaster. In 2006, Rolling Stone
described the band as having "spent much of the past decade deliberately tearing apart their own fame." 
Since its inception, the band has sold over thirty million records in the U.S.,  and an estimated sixty million worldwide.   Pearl Jam has outlasted many of its contemporaries from the alternative rock breakthrough of the early 1990s, and is considered one of the most influential bands of the decade.  Allmusic calls Pearl Jam "the most popular American rock & roll band of the '90s." 
PEARL JAM TICKETS
Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament were members of pioneering grunge band Green River
during the mid-1980s. Green River toured and recorded to moderate success but disbanded in 1987 due to a stylistic division between the pair and bandmates Mark Arm
and Steve Turner
In late 1987, Gossard and Ament began playing with Malfunkshun
vocalist Andrew Wood
, eventually organizing the band Mother Love Bone
. In 1988 and 1989, the band recorded and toured to increasing interest and found the support of the PolyGram
record label, which signed the band in early 1989. Mother Love Bone's debut album, Apple
, was released in July 1990, four months after Wood died of a heroin overdose
Ament and Gossard were devastated by the death of Wood and the resulting demise of Mother Love Bone. Gossard spent his time afterwards writing material that was harder-edged than what he had been doing previously. 
After a few months, Gossard started practicing with fellow Seattle guitarist Mike McCready, whose band Shadow had broken up; McCready in turn encouraged Gossard to reconnect with Ament.
After practicing for a while, the trio sent out a five-song demo tape in order to find a singer and a drummer. They gave former Red Hot Chili Peppers
drummer Jack Irons
the demo to see if he would be interested in joining the band and to distribute the demo to anyone he felt might fit the lead vocal position.
Irons passed on the invitation but gave the demo to his basketball buddy, San Diego
singer Eddie Vedder
Vedder was the lead vocalist for a San Diego band, Bad Radio
, and worked part time at a gas station. He listened to the tape shortly before going surfing, where lyrics came to him.
He then recorded the vocals to three of the songs ("Alive
", and "Footsteps") in what he later described as a "mini-opera" entitled Mamasan
Vedder sent the tape with his vocals back to the three Seattle musicians, who were impressed enough to fly Vedder out to Seattle for an audition. Within a week, Vedder had joined the band.
With the addition of Dave Krusen
on drums, the band took the name Mookie Blaylock
, in reference to the then-active All-Star basketball player. The band played its first official show at the Off Ramp Café in Seattle on October 22, 1990, 
and soon signed to Epic Records
. However, concerns about trademark issues necessitated a name change; the band's name became "Pearl Jam".
In an early promotional interview, Vedder said that the name "Pearl Jam" was a reference to his great-grandmother Pearl, who was married to a Native American and had a special recipe for peyote
-laced jam. 
In a 2006 Rolling Stone
cover story however, Vedder admitted that this story was "total bullshit" (even though he indeed had a great-grandma named Pearl). Ament and McCready explained that Ament came up with "pearl", and that the band later settled on "Pearl Jam" after attending a concert by Neil Young
, in which he stretched up his songs as improvisations of 15-20 minutes in length, a practice known as jamming
and the grunge explosion: 1991–1992
Pearl Jam entered Seattle's London Bridge Studio
s in March 1991 to record its debut album, Ten
McCready said that "Ten
was mostly Stone and Jeff; me and Eddie were along for the ride at that time." 
Krusen left the band in May 1991 after checking himself into rehabilitation; 
he was replaced by Matt Chamberlain
, who had previously played with Edie Brickell & New Bohemians
. After playing only a handful of shows, one of which was filmed for the "Alive" video, Chamberlain left to join the Saturday Night Live
Chamberlain suggested Dave Abbruzzese
as his replacement. Abbruzzese joined the group and played the rest of Pearl Jam's live shows supporting Ten
Released on August 27, 1991, Ten
(named after Mookie Blaylock's jersey number)
contained eleven tracks dealing with dark subjects like depression, suicide, loneliness, and murder. Ten
s musical style, influenced by classic rock, combined an "expansive harmonic vocabulary" with an anthemic sound. 
The album was slow to sell, but by the second half of 1992 it became a breakthrough success, being certified gold and reaching number two on the Billboard
produced the hit singles "Alive
", "Even Flow
", and "Jeremy
". Originally interpreted as an anthem by many,
Vedder later revealed that "Alive" tells the semi-biographical tale of a son discovering that his father is actually his stepfather, while his mother’s grief turns her to sexually embrace her son, who strongly resembles the biological father.
The song "Jeremy" (sample
) and its accompanying video were inspired by a true story in which a high school student shot himself in front of his classmates.  Ten
stayed on the Billboard
charts for more than two years, and has gone on to become one of the highest-selling rock records ever, going thirteen times platinum
With the success of Ten
, Pearl Jam became a key member of the Seattle grunge explosion, along with Alice in Chains
, and Soundgarden
. The band was criticized in the music press; British
music magazine NME
said that Pearl Jam was "trying to steal money from young alternative kids' pockets." 
Nirvana's Kurt Cobain
angrily attacked Pearl Jam, claiming the band were commercial sellouts
and argued Ten
was not a true alternative album because it had so many prominent guitar leads.
Cobain later reconciled with Vedder, and they reportedly were on amicable terms before Cobain's death in 1994.
Pearl Jam toured
relentlessly in support of Ten
. Ament stated that "essentially Ten
was just an excuse to tour," adding, "We told the record company, 'We know we can be a great band, so let's just get the opportunity to get out and play.'" 
The band's manager, Kelly Curtis, stated, "Once people came and saw them live, this lightbulb would go on. Doing their first tour, you kind of knew it was happening and there was no stopping it."
Early on in Pearl Jam's career, the band became known for its intense live performances. Looking back at this time, Vedder said that "playing music and then getting a shot at making a record and at having an audience and stuff, it's just like an untamed force...But it didn't come from jock mentality. It came from just being let out of the gates." 
In 1992, Pearl Jam made television appearances on Saturday Night Live
and MTV Unplugged
and took a slot on that summer's Lollapalooza
tour with the Red Hot Chili Peppers
, and Ministry
, among others. The band contributed two songs to the soundtrack
of the 1992 Cameron Crowe
: "State of Love and Trust
" and "Breath
". Ament, Gossard and Vedder appeared in Singles
under the name "Citizen Dick"; their parts were filmed when Pearl Jam was known as Mookie Blaylock.
Dealing with success: 1993–1995
The band members grew uncomfortable with their success, with much of the burden of Pearl Jam's popularity falling on frontman Vedder.
While Pearl Jam received four awards at the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards
for its video for "Jeremy", including Video of the Year
and Best Group Video
, the band refused to make a video for "Black
" in spite of pressure by the label. This action began a trend of the band refusing to make videos for its songs. "Ten years from now," Ament said, "I don't want people to remember our songs as videos."
Pearl Jam headed into the studio in early 1993 facing the challenge of following up the commercial success of its debut. McCready said, "The band was blown up pretty big and everything was pretty crazy." 
Released on October 19, 1993, Pearl Jam's second album, Vs.
, sold a record 950,378 copies in its first week of release and outperformed all other entries in the Billboard
top ten that week combined.  Vs.
included the singles "Go
", and "Dissident
". Paul Evans of Rolling Stone
said, "Few American bands have arrived more clearly talented than this one did with Ten
; and Vs.
tops even that debut." He added, "Like Jim Morrison
and Pete Townshend
, Vedder makes a forte of his psychological-mythic explorations...As guitarists Stone Gossard and Mike McCready paint dense and slashing backdrops, he invites us into a drama of experiment and strife." 
The band decided, beginning with the release of Vs.
, to scale back its commercial efforts. 
The members declined to produce any more music videos after the massive success of "Jeremy" and opted for fewer interviews and television appearances. Industry insiders compared Pearl Jam's tour that year to the touring habits of Led Zeppelin
, in that the band "ignored the press and took its music directly to the fans." 
During the Vs. Tour
, the band set a cap on ticket prices in an attempt to thwart scalpers
By 1994, Pearl Jam was "fighting on all fronts", as its manager described the band at the time. 
Pearl Jam was outraged when, after it played a pair of shows in Chicago
, it discovered that ticket vendor Ticketmaster
had added a service charge to the tickets. The United States Department of Justice
was investigating the company's practices at the time and asked the band to create a memorandum of its experiences with the company. Gossard and Ament soon testified at a subcommittee investigation in Washington, D.C. 
The band eventually canceled its 1994 summer tour in protest. 
After the Justice Department dropped the case, Pearl Jam continued to boycott Ticketmaster, refusing to play venues that had contracts with the company. 
Music critic Jim DeRogatis
noted that along with the Ticketmaster debacle, "the band has refused to release singles or make videos; it has demanded that its albums be released on vinyl
; and it wants to be more like its '60s heroes, The Who
, releasing two or three albums a year." He also stated that sources said that most of the band's third album Vitalogy
was completed by early 1994, but that either a forced delay by Epic or the battle with Ticketmaster were to blame for the delay.
Pearl Jam wrote and recorded while touring behind Vs.
and the majority of the tracks for its next album, Vitalogy
, were recorded during breaks on the tour. Tensions within the band had dramatically increased by this time. Producer Brendan O'Brien
was a little strained. I'm being polite—there was some imploding going on."
After Pearl Jam finished the recording of Vitalogy
, drummer Dave Abbruzzese was fired. The band cited political differences between Abbruzzese and the other members; for example, Abbruzzese disagreed with the Ticketmaster boycott.
He was replaced by Jack Irons, a close friend of Vedder and the former and original drummer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers
. Irons made his debut with the band at Neil Young's 1994 Bridge School Benefit
, but he was not officially announced as the band's new drummer until its 1995 Self-Pollution
satellite radio broadcast, a four-and-a-half hour long pirate broadcast out of Seattle which was available to any radio stations that wanted to carry it. 
was released first on November 22, 1994 on vinyl and then two weeks later on December 6, 1994 on CD and cassette. The CD became the second-fastest-selling in history, with more than 877,000 units sold in its first week.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine
said that "thanks to its stripped-down, lean production, Vitalogy
stands as Pearl Jam's most original and uncompromising album." 
Many of the songs on the album appear to be based around the pressures of fame. 
The song "Spin the Black Circle
", a homage to vinyl records, won a Grammy Award
in 1996 for Best Hard Rock Performance
also included the songs "Not for You
", "Better Man
", and "Immortality
". "Better Man" (sample
), a song originally written and performed by Vedder while in Bad Radio, reached number one on the Billboard
Mainstream Rock chart, spending a total of eight weeks there. Considered a "blatantly great pop song" by producer Brendan O'Brien, Pearl Jam was reluctant to record it and had initially rejected it from Vs.
due to its accessibility.
The band continued its boycott against Ticketmaster during its 1995 tour
, but was surprised that virtually no other bands joined in. 
Pearl Jam's initiative to play only at non-Ticketmaster venues effectively, with a few exceptions, prevented it from playing shows in the United States for the next three years. 
Ament later said, "We were so hardheaded about the 1995 tour. Had to prove we could tour on our own, and it pretty much killed us, killed our career."
In the same year Pearl Jam backed Neil Young
, whom the band had noted as an influence, on his album Mirror Ball
. Contractual obligations prevented the use of the band's name anywhere on the album, but the members were all credited individually in the album's liner notes.
Two songs from the sessions were left off Mirror Ball
: "I Got Id
" and "Long Road". These two tracks were released separately by Pearl Jam in the form of the 1995 EP, Merkin Ball
Following the round of touring for Vitalogy
, the band went into the studio to record its follow-up, No Code
. Vedder said, "Making No Code
was all about gaining perspective." 
Released on August 27, 1996, No Code
was seen as a deliberate break from the band's sound since Ten
favoring experimental ballads and noisy garage rockers. David Browne of Entertainment Weekly
stated that "No Code
displays a wider range of moods and instrumentation than on any previous Pearl Jam album." 
The lyrical themes on the album deal with issues of self-examination, 
with Ament stating, "In some ways, it's like the band's story. It's about growing up."
Although the album debuted at number one on the Billboard
charts, it quickly fell down the charts. No Code
included the singles "Who You Are
), "Hail, Hail
", and "Off He Goes
". As with Vitalogy
, very little touring was done to promote No Code
because of the band's refusal to play in Ticketmaster's venue areas. A European tour
took place in the fall of 1996. Gossard stated that there was "a lot of stress associated with trying to tour at that time" and that "it was growing more and more difficult to be excited about being part of the band."
Following the short tour for No Code
, the band went into the studio in 1997 to record its follow-up. The sessions for the band's fifth album represented more of a team effort between all members of the group, with Ament stating that "everybody really got a little bit of their say on the record...because of that, everybody feels like they're an integral part of the band." 
On February 3, 1998, Pearl Jam released its fifth album, Yield
. The album was cited as a return to the band's early, straightforward rock sound. 
Tom Sinclair of Entertainment Weekly
stated that the band has "turned in an intermittently affecting album that veers between fiery garage rock
and rootsy, acoustic
-based ruminations. Perhaps mindful of their position as the last alt-rock ambassadors with any degree of clout, they've come up with their most cohesive album since their 1991 debut, Ten
continued with the more contemplative type of writing found on No Code
with Vedder saying, "What was rage in the past has become reflection."  Yield
debuted at number two on the Billboard
charts, but like No Code
soon began dropping down the charts. 
It included the singles "Given to Fly
" and "Wishlist
". The band hired comic book artist Todd McFarlane
to create an animated video for the song "Do the Evolution
" from the album, its first music video since 1992. 
A documentary detailing the making of Yield
, Single Video Theory
, was released on VHS and DVD later that year.
In April 1998, Pearl Jam once again changed drummers. Jack Irons left the band due to dissatisfaction with touring and was replaced with former Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron
on an initially temporary basis, 
but he soon became a permanent replacement for Irons. Pearl Jam's 1998 Yield Tour
in North America marked the band’s return to full-scale touring. The band's anti-trust
lawsuit against Ticketmaster had proven to be unsuccessful and hindered live tours. Many fans had complained about the difficulty in obtaining tickets and the use of non-Ticketmaster venues, which were judged to be out-of-the-way and impersonal. For this tour and future tours, Pearl Jam once again began using Ticketmaster in order to "better accommodate concertgoers." 
The 1998 summer tour was a big success, 
and after it was completed the band released Live on Two Legs
, a live album which featured select performances from the tour.
In 1998, Pearl Jam recorded "Last Kiss
", a cover of a 1960s ballad made famous by J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers
. It was recorded during a soundcheck and released on the band's 1998 fan club
Christmas single. The following year, the cover was put into heavy rotation across the country. By popular demand, the cover was released to the public as a single in 1999, with all of the proceeds going to the aid of refugees of the Kosovo War
The band also decided to include the song on the 1999 charity compilation album, No Boundaries: A Benefit for the Kosovar Refugees
. "Last Kiss" peaked at number two on the Billboard
charts and became the band's highest-charting single.
and the Roskilde tragedy: 2000–2001
Following its full-scale tour in support of Yield
, the band took a short break, but then reconvened toward the end of 1999 and commenced work on a new album. On May 16, 2000, Pearl Jam released its sixth studio album, Binaural
. It was drummer Matt Cameron's studio recording debut with the band. The title is a reference to the binaural recording
techniques that were utilized on several tracks by producer Tchad Blake
, known for his use of the technique.  Binaural
was the first album since the band's debut not produced by Brendan O'Brien, although O'Brien was called in later to remix several tracks. Gossard stated that the band "were ready for a change."
of Rolling Stone
said, "Apparently as tired of grunge as everyone except Creed fans, Pearl Jam delve elsewhere." He added, "The album reflects both Pearl Jam's longstanding curse of self-importance and a renewed willingness to be experimental or just plain odd." 
The album is lyrically darker than the band's previous album Yield
, with Gossard describing the lyrics as "pretty sombre."
included the singles "Nothing as It Seems
), one of the songs featuring binaural recording, and "Light Years
". The album sold just over 700,000 copies and became the first Pearl Jam studio album to fail to reach platinum status. 
Pearl Jam decided to record every show on its 2000 Binaural Tour
professionally, after noting the desire of fans to own a copy of the shows they attended and the popularity of bootleg recording
s. The band had been open in the past about allowing fans to make amateur recordings, 
and these "official bootlegs"
were an attempt to provide a more affordable and better quality product for fans. 
Pearl Jam originally intended to release them to only fan club members, but the band's record contract prevented it from doing so. Pearl Jam released all of the albums in record stores as well as through its fan club. The band released 72 live albums in 2000 and 2001, and set a record for most albums to debut in the Billboard
200 at the same time. 
Pearl Jam's 2000 European tour ended in tragedy on June 30, with an accident at the Roskilde Festival
. 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. The two remaining dates of the tour were canceled, and the band seriously considered retiring after this event. 
Pearl Jam was initially blamed for the accident, but was later cleared of responsibility. 
A month after the European tour concluded, the band embarked on its two-leg 2000 North American tour. On performing after the Roskilde tragedy, Vedder said that "playing, facing crowds, being together—it enabled us to start processing it."
On October 22, 2000, the band played the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, celebrating the tenth anniversary of its first live performance as a band. Vedder took the opportunity to thank the many people who had helped the band come together and make it to ten years. He noted that "I would never do this accepting a Grammy or something." 
The song "Alive" was purposely omitted from all shows on this tour until the final night
in Seattle. The band performed that night for over three hours, playing most of its hits along with covers such as "The Kids Are Alright
" and "Baba O'Riley
" by The Who
. After concluding the Binaural Tour, the band released Touring Band 2000
the following year. The DVD featured select performances from the North American legs of the tour.
Following the events of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks
, Vedder and McCready were joined by Neil Young
to perform the song "Long Road" from the Merkin Ball
EP at the America: A Tribute to Heroes
benefit concert. The concert, which aired on September 21, 2001, raised money for the victims and their families.
Pearl Jam commenced work on a new album following a year-long break after its full-scale tour in support of Binaural
. McCready described the recording environment as "a pretty positive one" and "very intense and spiritual." 
Regarding the time period when the lyrics were being written, Vedder said, "There's been a lot of mortality...It's a weird time to be writing. Roskilde changed the shape of us as people, and our filter for seeing the world changed." 
Pearl Jam released its seventh album, Riot Act
, on November 12, 2002. It included the singles "I Am Mine
" and "Save You
". The album featured a much more folk
-based and experimental sound, evident in the presence of B3
organist Boom Gaspar
on songs such as "Love Boat Captain
". Stephen Thomas Erlewine
said "Riot Act
is the album that Pearl Jam has been wanting to make since Vitalogy
—a muscular art rock
record, one that still hits hard but that is filled with ragged edges and odd detours." 
The track entitled "Arc" was recorded as a vocal tribute to the nine people who died at the Roskilde Festival in June 2000. Vedder only performed this song nine times on the 2003 tour, and the band left the track off all released bootlegs. 
In 2003, the band embarked on its Riot Act Tour
, which included tours in Australia and North America. The band continued its official bootleg program, making every concert from the tour available in CD form through its official website. A total of six bootlegs were made available in record stores: Perth
, State College
, two shows from Madison Square Garden
, and Mansfield
. At many shows during the 2003 North American tour, Vedder performed Riot Act
s "Bu$hleaguer", a commentary on President George W. Bush
, with a rubber mask of Bush, wearing it at the beginning of the song and then hanging it on a mic stand to allow him to sing. The band made news when it was reported that several fans left after Vedder had "impaled" the Bush mask on his mic stand at the band's Denver
In June 2003, Pearl Jam announced it was officially leaving Epic Records following the end of its contract with the label. The band stated it had "no interest" in signing with another label. 
The band's first release without a label was the single for "Man of the Hour
", in partnership with Amazon.com
Director Tim Burton
approached Pearl Jam to request an original song for the soundtrack of his new film, Big Fish
. After screening an early print of the film, Pearl Jam recorded the song for him. "Man of the Hour", which was later nominated for a Golden Globe Award
, can be heard in the closing credits of Big Fish
The band released Lost Dogs
, a two-disc collection of rarities and B-side
s, and Live at the Garden
, a DVD featuring the band's July 8, 2003 concert
at Madison Square Garden
through Epic Records in November 2003. In 2004, Pearl Jam released the live album, Live at Benaroya Hall
, through a one-album deal with BMG
2004 marked the first time that Pearl Jam licensed a song for usage in a television show; a snippet of the song "Yellow Ledbetter
" was used in the final episode
of the television series Friends
Later that year, Epic released rearviewmirror (Greatest Hits 1991–2003)
, a Pearl Jam greatest hits collection spanning 1991 to 2003. This release marked the end of Pearl Jam's contractual agreement with Epic Records. 
Pearl Jam played a show at Easy Street Records in Seattle in April 2005; recordings from the show were compiled for the Live at Easy Street
album and released exclusively to independent record stores in June 2006. The band embarked on a Canadian cross-country tour
in September 2005, kicking off the tour with a fundraising concert in Missoula, Montana for Democratic politician Jon Tester
, then playing the Gorge Amphitheater
before crossing into Canada. After touring Canada, Pearl Jam proceeded to open a Rolling Stones
concert in Pittsburgh, then played two shows at the Borgata
casino in Atlantic City
, New Jersey
, before closing the tour with a concert in Philadelphia
. The official bootlegs for the band's 2005 shows were distributed via Pearl Jam's official website in MP3
form. Pearl Jam also played a benefit concert
to raise money for Hurricane Katrina
relief on October 5, 2005, at the House of Blues
. On November 22, 2005, Pearl Jam began its first Latin American tour. 
Move to J Records: 2006–2008
The work for Pearl Jam's follow-up to Riot Act
began after its appearance on the 2004 Vote for Change
tour. The time period between the two albums was the longest gap between Pearl Jam's studio albums to date and the new album was its first release for a new label. Clive Davis
announced in February 2006 that Pearl Jam had signed with his label, J Records
, which like Epic, is part of the Sony BMG
The band's eighth studio album, Pearl Jam
, was released on May 2, 2006. A number of critics cited Pearl Jam
as a return to the band's early sound,  
and McCready compared the new material to Vs.
in a 2005 interview. 
Ament said, "The band playing in a room—that came across. There’s a kind of immediacy to the record, and that’s what we were going for." 
Chris Willman of Entertainment Weekly
said that "in a world full of boys sent to do a man's job of rocking, Pearl Jam can still pull off gravitas." 
Current socio-political issues in the United States are addressed on the album. "World Wide Suicide
", a song criticizing the Iraq War
and U.S. foreign policy, was released as a single and topped the Billboard
chart; it was Pearl Jam's first number one on that chart since "Who You Are
" in 1996, and first number one on any chart in the United States since 1998 when "Given to Fly
" reached number one on the Mainstream Rock
chart. Pearl Jam
also included the singles "Life Wasted
" and "Gone
To support Pearl Jam
, the band embarked on its 2006 world tour
. It toured North America, Australia and notably Europe; Pearl Jam had not toured the continent for six years. The North American tour included three two-night stands opening for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
The band served as the headliners for the Leeds
festivals, despite having vowed to never play at a festival again after Roskilde
. Vedder started both concerts with an emotional plea to the crowd to look after each other. He commented during the Leeds set that the band's decision to play a festival for the first time after Roskilde had nothing to do with "guts" but with trust in the audience. 
In 2007, Pearl Jam recorded a cover of The Who
's "Love, Reign o'er Me
" for the Mike Binder
film, Reign Over Me
; it was later made available as a music download
on the iTunes Music Store
The band embarked on a 13-date European tour
, and headlined Lollapalooza
in Grant Park
, on August 5, 2007. 
The band released a CD box set in June 2007, entitled Live at the Gorge 05/06
, that documents its shows at The Gorge Amphitheatre
and in September 2007 a concert DVD, entitled Immagine in Cornice
, which documents the band's Italian shows from its 2006 tour was released. 
In June 2008, Pearl Jam performed as the headline act at the Bonnaroo Music Festival
The Bonnaroo appearance took place amidst a twelve-date tour
in the Eastern United States. 
In July 2008, the band performed at the VH1
tribute to The Who alongside Foo Fighters
and The Flaming Lips
In the days prior to Election Day 2008
, Pearl Jam digitally released through its official website a free documentary film, entitled Vote for Change? 2004
, which follows the band's time spent on the 2004 Vote for Change tour. 
Reissues and Backspacer
On March 24, 2009, Pearl Jam's debut album, Ten
, was reissued in four editions, featuring such extras as a remastering and remix of the entire album by Brendan O'Brien, a DVD of the band's 1992 appearance on MTV Unplugged
, and an LP of its September 20, 1992 concert at Magnuson Park
in Seattle. 
It is the first reissue in a planned re-release of Pearl Jam's entire catalogue that will lead up to the band's 20th anniversary in 2011.
A Pearl Jam retrospective movie directed by Cameron Crowe is also planned to coincide with the anniversary. 
Pearl Jam began work for the follow-up to Pearl Jam
in early 2008. 
In 2009, the band began to build on instrumental and demo tracks written during 2008. 
The band's ninth studio album, Backspacer
, will be released on September 20, 2009. 
The new album is the group's first album to be produced by Brendan O'Brien since Yield
McCready said, "I like the sparseness of the songs and the way that Brendan pulled us together and made us play as good as we could." 
The music on the record features a sound influenced by pop
and New Wave
Regarding the lyrics, Vedder said, "I've tried, over the years, to be hopeful in the lyrics, and I think that's going to be easier now." 
" was chosen as the album's first single. 
Pearl Jam did not re-sign its record deal with J Records, and the band will be releasing the album without a label in the United States and through Universal Music Group
internationally. Pearl Jam has reached a deal with Target
to be the exclusive big-box store
retailer for the album in the United States. The album will also see release through the band's official website, independent record stores, and iTunes
.  
In an interview with San Diego radio station KBZT
, McCready revealed that Pearl Jam may release an EP in 2010 consisting of songs that didn't make the final cut of Backspacer
On June 1, 2009, Pearl Jam played a new song from Backspacer
called "Got Some" on the first episode of The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien
In August 2009, Pearl Jam headlined the Virgin Festival
the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival
and played five shows in Europe and three in North America.   
In October 2009, Pearl Jam will be headlining the Austin City Limits Music Festival
The Austin City Limits appearance will take place amidst the fourteen-date North American leg of the band's Backspacer Tour
An additional leg consisting of a tour of Oceania will take place afterward.
Tour dates for 2010 are still in the planning stages.
Buy Pearl Jam Tickets
Musical style and influences
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bands of the early 1990s, Pearl Jam’s style is noticeably less heavy and harkens back to the
music of the 1970s.
Pearl Jam’s success has been attributed to its sound, which fuses "the riff-heavy stadium rock of the '70s with the grit and anger of '80s post-punk, without ever neglecting hooks and choruses."
Pearl Jam has broadened its musical range with subsequent releases. As he had more influence on the band's sound, Vedder sought to make the band's musical output less
. He said, "I felt that with more popularity, we were going to be crushed, our heads were going to pop like grapes."
, the band began to incorporate more punk influences into its music.
. The songs on the album featured elements of
, which was somewhat of a return to the straightforward rock approach of the band's early work,
. The band’s 2006 album,
, was cited as a return to the band’s early sound.
said, "With his hard-hitting and often confessional lyrical style and Jim Morrison-esque baritone, Vedder also became one of the most copied lead singers in all of rock."
Vedder's lyrical topics range from personal ("Alive", "Better Man") to social and political concerns ("Even Flow", "World Wide Suicide"). His lyrics have often invoked the use of
, and sympathy for troubled individuals.
When the band started, Gossard and McCready were clearly designated as rhythm and lead guitarists, respectively. The dynamic began to change when Vedder started to play more rhythm guitar during the
era. McCready said in 2006, "Even though there are three guitars, I think there's maybe more room now. Stone will pull back and play a two-note line and Ed will do a
and became "the most popular American rock & roll band of the '90s" according to
radio's most influential stylists – the workmanlike midtempo chug of songs like "Alive" and "Even Flow" just melodic enough to get
Pearl Jam has been praised for its rejection of rock star excess and its insistence on backing causes it believes in. Music critic
said in the aftermath of the band's battle with Ticketmaster that it "proved that a rock band which isn't comprised of greed heads can play stadiums and not milk the audience for every last dime... it indicated that idealism in rock 'n' roll is not the sole province of those '60s bands enshrined in the
said in 2001, "The group that was once accused of being synthetic grunge now seem as organic and principled a rock band as exists."
reader's poll, Pearl Jam was voted the greatest American rock band of all time.
Rolling Stone'' magazine stating that Pearl Jam "toured incessantly and became one of rock's great arena acts, attracting a fanatical, Grateful Dead-like cult following with marathon, true-believer shows in the vanishing spirit of Bruce Springsteen, the Who and U2."
When asked about Pearl Jam's legacy in a 2000 interview, Vedder said, "I think at some point along the way we began feeling we wanted to give people something to believe in because we all had bands that gave that to us when we needed something to believe in. That was the big challenge for us after the first record and the response to it. The goal immediately became how do we continue to be musicians and grow and survive in view of all this... The answers weren’t always easy, but I think we found a way."
Throughout its career, Pearl Jam has promoted wider social and political issues, from
. Vedder acts as the band's spokesman on these issues. The band has promoted an array of causes, including awareness of
venue monopolization and the environment and wildlife protection, among others.
Guitarist Stone Gossard has been active in environmental pursuits, and has been an advocate of Pearl Jam's
policy, offsetting the band's environmental impact.
, a member of the three, shares a writing credit for the song "Army Reserve" (from
The band publicizes such causes via its official website and includes links to alternative news sources.
The band, and especially frontman Eddie Vedder, have been vocal supporters of the pro-choice movement. In 1992,
printed an article by Vedder, entitled "Reclamation", which detailed his views on abortion.
concert the same year, Vedder stood on a stool and wrote "PRO-CHOICE!" on his arm in protest when the band performed the song "Porch".
and Voters for Choice.
. Vedder was outspoken in support of
and Pearl Jam played a series of concerts on the Vote for Change tour in October 2004, supporting the candidacy of
. In a
feature showcasing the Vote for Change tour's performers, Vedder told the magazine, "I supported Ralph Nader in 2000, but it's a time of crisis. We have to get a new administration in."
Vedder usually comments on politics between songs, often to criticize U.S. foreign policy, and a number of his songs, including "Bu$hleaguer" and "
. At Lollapalooza 2007, Vedder spoke out against
and at the end of "Daughter", he sang the lyrics "George Bush leave this world alone/George Bush find yourself another home". In the beginning of the second encore Vedder invited Iraq war veteran Tomas Young, the subject of the documentary
, onto the stage to urge an end to the war. Young in turn introduced
, who contributed vocals to "No More" and "Rockin' in the Free World".
The band has since discovered that some of the Bush-related lyrics were excised from the
webcast of the event, and are questioning whether that constitutes censorship.
Pearl Jam has performed numerous benefit concerts in aid of charities. For example, the band headlined a Seattle concert in 2001 to support the
' efforts to combat world hunger.
The band added a date at the Chicago House of Blues to its 2005 tour to help the victims of
and the Jazz Foundation of America.