Just before the soundtrack to the movie Into the Wild came out I became involved in a conversation over band front men releasing solo albums. The brother-in-law was pontificating that it was quite unusual for a band as prominent and long-running as Pearl Jam to not be having solo albums from their lead singer.
We ran through famous front men that have put out solo albums: Mick Jagger, Robert Plant, Jerry Garcia, David Lee Roth, Ozzy Osbourne, Phil Collins, Don Henley and then began to think that maybe it wasn't such a bad idea for Eddie to stick with the band.
That led naturally to lead singers who had not formed solo projects and quickly realized that brother-in-law was wrong, it had happened lots. The exercise quickly became pointless, but ongoing (Does it count if they go solo after the band breaks up? What if it is labeled as a solo album, but most of the band actually played on the record? Does Into the Wild even count as it is a movie soundtrack and not a true solo record?)
Into the Wild actually turned out to be a better record than it was a movie, though it was neglected by the Academy Awards. It is also, in my opinion better than a number of Pearl Jam records. Truth be told though, I mostly gave up on them some years ago.
Oh there was a time when I was very much a fan. I can remember seeing "Evenflow" on the MTV and freaking out at how brilliant it was. When I got the album, I listened to it over, and over, and over...til my ears bled. Well, maybe not that much but it got a lot of playtime. I once even mimicked Eddie's MTV Unplugged performance of writing "Pro-Choice" on my arm while in the church van on our way to a devotional (being the good boy back then I did change the wording to read "Pro-Life" but the passion was just the same.)
In the decade since those days I've found I like some of their songs, and can dig their ability to hang around with good talent, but I am no where near a worshipful fan. I even tried to give Pearl Jam the old Bootleg Country try, but I could never make it. I listened to a couple of a shows a couple of times, but each time I could never really grab on. I like their energy, and many of their songs, but somehow live they just don't click for me.