Ten Songs Ranked

Ten is the debut studio album by American rock band Pearl Jam, released on August 27, 1991, through Epic Records. Following the dissolution of their previous band Mother Love Bone in 1990, bassist Jeff Ament and guitarist Stone Gossard began rehearsing with guitarist Mike McCready. The group recorded a five-song instrumental demo tape with Matt Cameron on drums. Copies of the demo were eventually given to drummer Dave Krusen and vocalist Eddie Vedder, both of whom were invited to audition for the band in Seattle. Many of the songs on Ten were instrumental jams or reworked Mother Love Bone songs for which Vedder composed new melodies and lyrics. The album produced three hit singles: “Alive”, “Even Flow”, and “Jeremy”. “Jeremy” became one of Pearl Jam’s best-known songs, and received nominations for Best Rock Song and Best Hard Rock Performance at the 35th Grammy Awards. Here are all of Ten songs ranked.

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11. Deep

“There’s still a whole lot going on with this track. A little more peeling back might have been good. The bass sounds raunchy. Fantastic song, but given the awesomeness of the rest of the album, I’m not surprised to find this so low.”

10. Porch

“Drastic improvement, here. This is the low point of Ten for me, but the distinct guitar parts are big improvements. There are parts that can be followed through the song now. Great guitars.”

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9. Release

“The cymbals sound great, as does Eddie’s voice. So much passion. This track is still loaded with reverb, though. Eddie’s voice is unreal in this song.”

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8. Oceans

“This really becomes Eddie’s song with Ament in a strong supporting role. The timpani sound great. This song is very beautiful too bad it’s under 3 minutes long I wish it was much longer.”

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7. Garden

“Hey, Eddie’s actually singing words in the opening. Cool. I always thought he was just mumbling. It’s beginning to become apparent while listening to this is that as a whole it’s a lot like taking your old beater car into the body shop for a paint job and seeing it come out a classic. A fresh coat of paint and Armor-All can go a long, long way.”

6. Why Go

“The cool effects on the bass at the beginning of the song are gone, or at least a lot less prominent. That’s the first strike against the remix so far. I’m not arguing against their removal, I just miss ’em. The open sections are so much better, though.”

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5. Once

“Everything is a lot cleaner. The shiny reverb is mostly gone. The bass is right up in the mix. The instruments are a lot more distinguishable. Yeah, the guitar solo has an honest entrance and exit. The vocals are pushed back a bit. I like that.”

4. Jeremy

“The song evokes such a tortured and crushed soul with a feeling of dissension to oblivion. There seems to be a kind of amethyst mist in the songs, something wrong; well the mix of highly respected influences has certainly struck a cord.”

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3. Even Flow

“All the weird vocal stuff that was heavy in the old mix is downplayed. It’s still there, but it doesn’t saturate the mix like it did before, it accents what’s going on. There’s still layer upon layer of guitars and vocals, I’d like to have seen it stripped back even more. The layers are put to better use here, though. The guitar solos benefit the most from the reworking. There’s a cool spoken part toward the end. It’s nice to not be overwhelmed by the schlock on this track, but it hasn’t been completely removed.”

2. Alive

“Wow. Eddie’s voice sounds amazing on this track. I miss the harmonic guitar part. Still, the guitar parts are so clean now, and the start of the solo is stunning. Fuck, yeah. A lot more respect is being given to the playing of each part. Even the drums (the weak point of the album) come through the mix with more clarity.”

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1. Black

“There was never much space between each track, but now they’re really packed together. I’m missing some of the layered guitars in the first verse, but still the new clarity is worth it, and in the second verse there are some cool little licks that were just lost in the schlock. What’s that? A piano? Huh? Cool. God damn. Every guitar solo has this great entrance now, and each is a continuous part. Love it. So far, the highlight of the remastering.”