Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Underrated Classic - Pearl Jam "Yield"

Prior to last years acclaimed self titled release, and the Record of the Year--I might add, Pearl Jam had released two compilations, two studio albums and hundreds of authorized live bootlegs in the course of a decade and yet still no one, aside from fans, seemed to care. Yet in 1998, all ears where on the Seattle five-pieces fifth record Yield. Yield, showed the band at their best, opening with the punk inspired "Brain of J," and closing with the somber and delightful "All those Yesterdays," Yield was a full on decrescendo, yet still showed no signs of stopping the legendary grunge Kings. To much of Pearl Jam's respect they still are the only surviving and successful grunge band that has not broken up and formed a super group and are quickly becoming this generations Grateful Dead. Yet, Yield was the record that would prove and test the bands fate. While releasing three successful back-to-back early records (Ten, Vs., and Vitology), their fourth release No Code, a stripped down folk record seemed to show the band at thier weakest and people began to wonder is this it for Vedder and Co.? Yield was the make or break album, it would boast the band three successful radio singles ("Given to Fly," "Wishlist," and "Do The Evolution") and got them back on the road, opening the tour in Hawaii in '98 and closing almost two years later. I will always have a bias for Yield, prior to this recording I had always really enjoyed Pearl Jam as a band, but for some reason this record put them over the top for me and I discovered a new found respect for the group. It is an album full of great hooks, lyrics and the album art itself is just worth the price of purchase. For those that have heard Yield, know what I am talking about, it was the last solid release prior to last years return to rock Self-Titled release. Yield proved a turning point in closing one chapter in the bands ongoing history and beginning anew.