15 Best Pearl Jam Tracks

The greatest songs from Washington's finest.

FILE - In this June 14, 2008 file photo, Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder performs at the Bonnaroo music festival in Manchester, Tenn. Filmmaker Cameron Crowe's new film,
Mark Humphrey/AP

Pearl Jam were formed in Seattle, Washington in 1990. One of the best selling grunge bands during its explosion in popularity, along with Nirvana, Soundgarden and Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam have to date, released 10 studio albums. Choosing the best 15 from them albums is no easy task, especially with one of the strongest and most passionate community of fans whereby each one has their favourite track for a million different reasons.

While the other main grunge bands having all but faded away and with grunge declared 'dead' with Kurt Cobain's death in 1994, Pearl Jam carried on and branched out into other sounds, yet still managing to keep their signature sound. Whether it be delicate acoustic ballads, punk or the grungy alt-rock they were known for, Pearl Jam allowed their influences and ideas to create their albums. They would not be confined by genre.

Each member of the band is gifted in their own way too. Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament are a great rhythm section with serious songwriting chops, Matt Cameron (their current and best drummer) is a machine, Mike McCready cranks out Hendrix like solos with ease and Eddie Vedder... well, just listen to that voice. 

There's no band quite like Pearl Jam, but what song is the best they've ever put out?

15. Present Tense


The first song on the list comes from 1996's No Code. Starting off a list about a 'heavy rock' band like Pearl Jam with a song like "Present Tense" seems odd. But, it's for this reason why it's such a great song from the band. Delicate, understated and minimal, it shows a different side to the group.

For three minutes, very few distorted notes are played. It is mostly two clean guitars, sparingly playing a few key pieces. But, the song begins to build and build and it's not until the four minute mark that the whole band comes in. 

Even when it sounds like the song will explode into the grunge outro you expect, the band holds back before returning to the slow, methodical style it was before - it's that subtlety throughout that gives it so much power.

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