Part of the '90s Seattle grunge triumvirate completed by Nirvana and Soundgarden, Pearl Jam debuted with Ten, their most accessible, least self-conscious album. Over time, PJ's rep as a politically correct band just a little too above it all to prostitute its music on MTV has nearly superseded the music. But before that, they were a simply an in-your-face, in-your-head, loud, melodic rock band.
And lead singer Eddie Vedder was known for his possessed stage presence and a primal growl that sounded like it required three vocal chords. The personal, narrative singles "Alive," "Jeremy," and "Even Flow" catapulted the reluctant band into the 10-million-plus-sales division. Subsequent albums are more intricate, subtle, thematically complex, and, in many ways, better than Ten. But the band may never repeat the stampede caused by this debut.