Welcome to TURN IT UP TUESDAY! Read on or watch the video above about this weeks album pick.

A year after forming, Pearl Jam released their debut album, 1991’s TEN.

The name comes from NBA player Baron Oshay Blaylock. Or “Mookie Blaylock” which was the bands name, before they changed it to Pearl Jam after signing with Epic Records.

The album stayed on the billboard 200 for nearly five years. In that time it went 9x platinum in the US. And has sold 15 million worldwide to date.

The band started with, Stone Gossard, Jeff Arment, and Mike McCready. The three created an instrumental demo and sent it out, in search for a drummer and singer. The demo made it’s way from Seattle to California, and by way of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Jack Irons, it found its way into the hands of Eddie Vedder in San Diego. He came up with the lyrics to three songs while surfing. Most notablably ALIVE and ONCE. As well as Footsteps, which ended up as a B-Side. Vedder thinks of these three songs as a trilogy.

After sending the demo back to Seattle with the lyrics. Vedder was invited up to Seattle, where he joined the band, along with drummer Dave Krusen.

Ten was recorded from March 27 – April 26 1991. The outlier being the first single Alive, which was recorded as a demo in January of that year. That version ending up on the album.

Alive itself was released as the first single in July of 1991, before the album dropped in late August. The original instrumentation that was sent to Vedder was called “Dollar Short”. The song is part fact and part fiction. Vedder taking inspiration from his own childhood, when he found out the man he thought was his father was in fact his step father. His biological one being dead. Vedder has talked about how the song has changed for him over the years. From being a curse, to something more. This was due to how he saw the audience react to the song in a positive light. It became an inpriational anthem to them. Allowing the curse to be lifted from the song. 

On August 27th, Ten dropped. Sales were slow at first. Reaching Gold status midway through 1992. But it had legs and continued to find its audience. Which it still is continuing to find today. 

The band released three singles in ’92. The first of the year and second single overall was “Even Flow”. The band unanimously believes it’s the worst recorded song on the album. Believing they were never really able to nail it the way the song deserved. 
Ament stating: “It was the best song we got the worst take of on the album.”
The music video for the song is not the original one shot. Gossard had invited friend Jeff Taft out to a show and take video. Luckily so, because the band hated the original one that the studio wanted to put out. But instead they put together footage shot by Taft.
According to Nielsen Music. The song was the 5th most played from 2010-2019.
It wasn’t until 2018 that Vedder talked about the meaning of the song. It was written about a homeless vet he’d become friends with, named Eddie. The man dying while the band was touring Europe. He never heard or knew he was a part of the song. 

Next up was Jeremy. The song was written about a boy Vedder read about in the Dallas Morning News, named Jeremy Wade Delle, who shot himself in the middle of class. 
MTV told the band they had to take the ending out where the Jeremy from the video put the gun in his mouth and pulls the trigger. Because of this the song took on a new meaning with the audience. Leading many to believe it was about a school shooter. So much so that in 1996 there was a school shooting at Frontier Middle School, and the shooters lawyers argued that the shooter was inspired by the video. Stating, “This boy is Jeremy”. 

The final single to come from the album was Oceans. On MTV’s Unplugged Vedder said, “This song is a love song I wrote about my surfboard, no, actually about a person I’ll hopefully see tomorrow, named Beth.” The two were eventually married from ’96-2000.
Vedder wrote the song while locked out of the studio when the band was recording. Two unusual instruments were used on the song. A pepper shaker and a fire extinguisher. Both were played by mixer, Tim Palmer. Who stated. “The reason I used those items was purely because we were so far from a music rental shot and necessity became the mother of invention.”

While  the album was a grunge and alternative rock anthem to many. The band was criticized as sellouts. Kurt Cobain himself calling them such. Even so, ten has become one of the most inflential albums of it’s time, and making many appeances on best ever lists. Topping Rolling Stones 2013 Readers Poll of best debut album of all time. So put on you flannel, grab it off your shelf or open your favourite music app, and turn up this weeks album. TEN.

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                                                      — Jade Dempsey  

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