Pearl Jam: Ranking Their Albums From Worst To Best

26 years, 32 million records, but what was Pearl Jam's finest hour?

Despite becoming one of the best-selling bands of all time, Pearl Jam still remain something of a paradox. They're not really a mainstream rock band, but their rabid fanbase shouldn't be misconstrued as a "cult following," either. Dating back to their prominence in the early 90s, Eddie Vedder was never "the guy." He was cast into the often mythical shadow of Kurt Cobain, who was generally considered the figurehead of the burgeoning grunge movement. They coexisted, sure, but ask any diehard fan of the genre, and they'll tell you there were definitive sides to be taken: As it was with the Beatles and Stones decades earlier, you were either a Nirvana person or you were a Pearl Jam person. Pearl Jam now plays their brand of arena rock to a more condensed audience, but make no mistake, they've been putting out consistently solid albums even as they've stayed away from the spotlight. Their fans are devoted, and with good reason: Eddie Vedder and his crew haven't made a truly "bad" record in the last 25 years. Sure, a few have failed to live up to the lofty expectations set in place by the monster success of Ten, which happens to any band who comes out of the gate that strong. And there have certainly been a few dips in quality, particularly around the middle portion of their career (the experimental changes to their sound didn't always go well). But judged on their own merit rather than on legacy, you'd be hard-pressed to find a stinker in the bunch.
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Jacob is a part-time contributor for WhatCulture, specializing in music, movies, and really, really dumb humor. You can follow him on Twitter @JakeTrowbridge.