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Pearl Jam pulls out all the stops as they prepare to re-issue their classic debut.

Pearl Jam Announce 2009 Release Date for Deluxe Edition of Ten

Pearl Jam seems the least likely candidate to churn their catalog, but the band announced today that beginning in 2009 they will do just that beginning with the March 24, 2009 expansion and re-release of their classic debut record Ten in four different packages. Ten has sold more than 12 million copies since its 1991 release and launched the band to worldwide superstardom along with other Seattle-based bands like Nirvana, Alice in Chains, and Soundgarden, who together formed the so-called “grunge” movement of the early '90s.

I've grown ambivalent about the churn process. On the one hand, it's a way for labels and bands to cash in on music that has already been released at the fans' expense. On the other, there have been some great packages assembled that upgraded the sound of classic albums and gave fans access to some really great music and video footage. If ever there was a band who could walk the line between greed and real fan-friendly value, it is Pearl Jam.

The standard edition of the re-issue will be a two-disc set. The first disc will be the original album in its entirety, remastered. The second disc will feature the album remixed and remastered by longtime friend, producer, and collaborator Brendan O'Brien. There will also be six bonus tracks. Six bonus tracks is a little skimpy on a re-release, but Pearl Jam released Lost Dogs a 2-CD rarities collection in 2003 and that effectively emptied much of their vault. “2,000 Mile Blues” and “Evil Little Goat” are among those that have not been previously released. In addition, the packaging has also been updated and changed.

“The original concept was about really being together as a group and entering into the world of music as a true band…a sort of all-for-one deal,” said Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament. “There were some elements of the original Ten artwork that didn't turn out the way we had hoped, due to time constraints. With this reissue, we’ve been able to take our time and invest resources into making the design the way we had originally intended.”

The deluxe edition includes all of the above and throws in a bonus DVD of Pearl Jam's 1992 appearance on MTV's Unplugged. The Unplugged performance gets a fresh 5.1 audio remix and includes the previously never before seen bonus performance of the Ten track “Oceans.”

Fans willing to lay out some serious money will get an incredible bounty on the collectors' edition Super Deluxe package. The Super Deluxe set includes both CDs and the DVD and includes vinyl editions of both mixes of Ten. It also includes a live show recorded in 1992, presented exclusively on vinyl in this set. Fans will also get a cassette replica of “Momma-Son,” the demo cassette from which future band classics would spring. Also included is an Eddie Vedder replica notebook, filled with handwritten notes and vintage photographs and more.

I can't believe how excited about this I am, but I really, really am. Like millions of people – particularly those around my own age – Ten is a defining album in my life and is one of the great debut records in rock and roll history. It's time to give it a fresh coat of sonic paint and I'm even excited about hearing O'Brien's “take” on the record.

“The band loved the original mix of Ten, but were also interested in what it would sound like if I were to deconstruct and remix it,” said O’Brien.

“The original Ten sound is what millions of people bought, dug and loved, so I was initially hesitant to mess around with that. After years of persistent nudging from the band, I was able to wrap my head around the idea of offering it as a companion piece to the original – giving a fresh take on it, a more direct sound.”

My only fear is that “direct” might equate to louder and more compressed, but I'm going to choose to be optimistic. Albums recorded in 1991 were already exhibiting the scars of The Loudness Wars, so I'm not sure there is as much to lose with modern albums as there is with some of the classics recorded on vintage analog equipment.

The only real question for me is which package to buy. I know I have to get one that includes the DVD because I distinctly remember that show. I remember watching a young Eddie Vedder scrawling the words “pro-choice” on his arm as the band performed. I have to see this and experience this again. Am I going to get the Deluxe or the Super Deluxe? I do have a turntable, but it's not fully operational quite yet. I have until March to get that rectified and this is a pretty great package (even at the super deluxe price of $140). I've got a little time to think about it, which is good and bad. The good news is I have time to come up with the money and to get my turntable situation rectified. The bad news is I'm really excited about this and don't want to wait four months!

Today's announcement not only allows fans to begin pre-ordering the Super Deluxe set from the band's web page, but also alerts fans that over the next two years the band will further update their catalog to coincide with their 2011 20th Anniversary as a band.

Legacy Edition

• Disc 1: original Ten tracklisting digitally remastered (original mix)

• Disc 2: original Ten tracklisting digitally remastered and remixed by Brendan O’Brien, plus six bonus tracks: “Brother,” “Just a Girl,” “State of Love and Trust,” “Breath and a Scream,” “2,000 Mile Blues” and “Evil Little Goat”

• Re-designed packaging

 

Deluxe Edition

• Disc 1: original Ten tracklisting digitally remastered (original mix)

• Disc 2: original Ten tracklisting digitally remastered and remixed by Brendan O’Brien, plus six bonus tracks: “Brother,” “Just a Girl,” “State of Love and Trust,” “Breath and a Scream,” “2,000 Mile Blues” and “Evil Little Goat”

• DVD of Pearl Jam’s previously unreleased 1992 MTV Unplugged performance including never before seen bonus performance of “Oceans” with 5.1 surround sound audio remix

 

Vinyl Collection

• LP 1: original Ten tracklisting remastered for vinyl

• LP 2: original Ten tracklisting remastered for vinyl and remixed by Brendan O’Brien

 

Super Deluxe Edition

• Disc 1: original Ten tracklisting digitally remastered (original mix)

• Disc 2: original Ten tracklisting digitally remastered and remixed by Brendan O’Brien, plus six bonus tracks: “Brother,” “Just a Girl,” “State of Love and Trust,” “Breath and a Scream,” “2,000 Mile Blues” and “Evil Little Goat”

• DVD of Pearl Jam’s previously unreleased 1992 MTV Unplugged performance including never before seen bonus performance of “Oceans” with 5.1 surround sound audio remix

• LP 1: original Ten tracklisting remastered for vinyl

• LP 2: original Ten tracklisting remastered for vinyl and remixed by Brendan O’Brien

• LP 3 & 4: Drop in the Park – Live at Magnuson Park in Seattle on September 20, 1992 (audio mixed by Brendan O’Brien)

• Cassette: replica of original “Momma-Son” Pearl Jam demo cassette featuring “Alive,” “Once” and “Footsteps”

• Package also includes an Eddie Vedder-style composition notebook filled with replica personal notes, images and mementos from the collections of Eddie Vedder and Jeff Ament, a vellum envelope with replicated era-specific ephemera from Pearl Jam’s early work and a two-sided print commemorating the Drop in the Park concert.

About Josh Hathaway

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