How Pearl Jam Survived ‘Ten’

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Welcome to The Celebration Rock Podcast, a weekly talk show hosted by Steven Hyden about the past, present, and future of rock music.

Next month, Pearl Jam will be inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. To mark this momentous occasion, we’re excited to launch Vitalogy-alogy, our seven-part series on the history of one of America’s biggest and most fascinating bands.

Our purpose is to answer one question: How did Pearl Jam survive? In the early ’90s, Eddie Vedder was the biggest young rock star in the world — in the wake of Ten‘s success, he was even more popular than his erstwhile rival, Kurt Cobain. And it practically happened overnight — when the video for “Jeremy” debuted on MTV in the fall of 1992, sending Ten into the stratosphere, it was barely two years after Pearl Jam’s first rehearsal. The way that Pearl Jam reacted to that sudden fame informs the narrative of the band’s entire career. Decades before they were feted by the Rock Hall, Pearl Jam had to figure out what kind of band they wanted to be as millions of people watched their every move.

For our episode on Ten, we spoke with journalist Brian Hiatt of Rolling Stone, who got to know the band while profiling them for a 2006 cover story and over many subsequent interviews. We also spoke with Mark Pellington, one of the greatest music-video directors ever, about his experience making the iconic video for “Jeremy.”

If you like what you hear, please subscribe to Celebration Rock on iTunes, Audioboom, or Stitcher, and listen below.

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