PEARL JAM - Vs. (30th Anniversary)

November 14, 2023, 6 months ago

(Legacy Recordings)

Greg Prato

Rating: 10.0

review hard rock pearl jam rarities

PEARL JAM - Vs. (30th Anniversary)

As a college student in the fall of 1993 and living on campus in a dormitory, there was unquestionably one rock band that you could not escape hearing blasting from an open window while scurrying to and from your classes – Pearl Jam. 'Pearl Jam mania' ran rampant circa 1992/1993, and just may have reached its peak in the fall of '93, when they issued their highly anticipated sophomore effort, the Brendan O'Brien-produced Vs. 

And to mark 30 years since its original release, several new configurations of the album have been issued – different vinyl colors, a cassette, and for audiophiles, a new 'Atmos Spatial Audio Mix.'

Similarly with Nirvana issuing a rawer album (In Utero) in response to their more produced previous smash hit (Nevermind), Pearl Jam found themselves also presenting a more in-your-face offering when compared to their blockbuster debut, Ten. And the move worked – some of Pearl Jam's hardest rocking tunes ever reside here – the simply explosive album-opening “Go,” “Animal,” “Blood,” etc. But on the other side of the stylistic coin, there are quite a few reflective moments to break up all the rage – “Daughter,” “Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town,” “Indifference”, etc. 

Is Vs. Pearl Jam's finest hour? The new audio mix may finally be the deciding factor.

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