Ten (Deluxe Edition)
For those who grew up during the grunge era, Ten was an integral part of the musical catalogue. Even now, listening to the disc is more than just a walk down memory lane—many of the songs are still as good today as they were in their heyday. Well, the band has done us one better with the release of this double-disc special edition. The first CD is the album as we remember it. The second is all the same songs, reimagined by the band’s longtime producer, Brendan O’Brien, with the addition of six songs—some of them outtakes from Ten, as recorded in the early 1990s. The most noticeable difference to our favorites is the additional rawness of each track, with the guitars amped up, adding to the garage-rock vibe of the day. But the gems are the outtakes. Some of the tunes have been released as B-sides or on rarities albums—“State of Love and Trust” and “Brother” (minus vocals) to name two—but even these versions are closer to their original design. As an insane Pearl Jam fan back in the day, I got a copy of a tape—yes, tape—called Mookie Blaylock Demos. It was actually Pearl Jam, and included the rocking “Brother,” slower “Breath and a Scream” (then just called “Breath”), and “Just a Girl.” The liner notes on this “redux” album note that these songs are actually those exact versions, remastered. Apparently this is just the first in a series of re-releases, so stay tuned for Vs.