By: Ron Hart
Whether you rejoice it for bringing a renewed sense of intelligence and passion back to the arena rock fold in the fallout of hair metal or revile it for inspiring the likes of Candlebox, Creed and Nickelback, you cannot deny the place of Pearl Jam's Ten as one of the most auspicious debuts in rock history. In celebration of the Seattle superstars' upcoming 20th anniversary in 2011, Sony's Legacy Recordings kicks off a promising two-year reissue campaign with four different versions of Ten, the root of which contains the original mix of the 11-track LP plus a bonus disc containing a far-superior remixed version of the album by longtime producer Brendan O'Brien (Bruce Springsteen, AC/DC) along with a small wealth of Ten-era rarities, including material from their pre-PJ days as Mookie Blaylock, in the form of six tracks: "Brother," "Just a Girl," "State of Love and Trust," "Breath and a Scream," "2,000 Mile Blues" and "Evil Little Goat."
The 'Vinyl Collection' edition of this reissue, unfortunately, will not contain the bonus cuts, but the ‘Deluxe Edition' will include both discs and a DVD containing the long-awaited commercial debut of the band's legendary performance on MTV Unplugged, including a version of "Oceans" that was never aired on the original broadcast in 1992. Hardcore Pearl Jam fans, however, will most certainly want to burn those newly-minted Stimulus Plan dollars on the 'Super Deluxe Edition,' a mammoth clamshell box featuring everything mentioned above including the vinyl plus a bonus two-record live album chronicling a concert in Seattle's Magnuson Park on September 20, 1992 called Drop In The Park, plus a replica of the group's original "Momma-Son" demo cassette containing early versions of Ten tracks "Alive," "Once" and the b-side "Footsteps" and a replica of one of Eddie Vedder's composition notebooks from the making of Ten. We can only hope so much emphasis is placed on their massively under-appreciated 1996 masterpiece No Code upon its time to get kicked down the Legacy Edition chute.
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