Re-discovering Binaural

thispureamericanriotthispureamericanriot CaliforniaPosts: 507
edited July 27 in The Porch
Recently got Binaural on vinyl and in hindsight, it shocks me how GREAT this album really is. In some ways could be "the best" album Pearl Jam has recorded. Now, I love those first five 90's albums (Ten-Yield). They are kinda like the "holy grail" of 90's rock for me. I was lukewarm to Binaural when I first got it in 2000. Riot Act was the "difficult" album for me, Avocado was the "stripped down" record, Backspacer had that "new wave" vibe and Lightning Bolt showed the "softer side". All ten PJ albums are great in their own way, but I want to make the case that Binaural could be the band's best. Let's look at all the tracks:

Breakerfall
God's Dice
Evacuation
Light Years
Nothing As It Seems
Thin Air
Insignificance
Of The Girl 
Greviance
Rival
Sleight Of Hand
(Soon Forget)
Parting Ways/(Writer's Block)

The ( ) are what I personally would call the "non-songs" - no offense intended. But let's look at what else was recorded during the Binaural sessions with Tchad Blake. 

Sad
Hitchhiker
In The Moonlight
Education
Fatal
(Sweet Lew)

Can you imagine if all 19 of those songs were released as one album? If PJ had put all those tracks out as an Exile On Main St. type double album, I would argue it might have been their greatest record. Ten era also produced a lot of top-notch songs if you include all the B-sides and the stuff from 1992. But Binaural - just wow!

EDIT - here's my actual copy! (replaces Google stock photo)


Post edited by thispureamericanriot on
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Comments

  • PJNBPJNB New BrunswickPosts: 4,019
    Just put in Fatal and Sad and take out Evacuation and Soon Forget and now we are talking.
    PJ
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    EV
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  • pashapasamanpashapasaman Posts: 470
    if you are a true PJ fan you would really love this album and riot act
    but hipsters from rolling stone and pitchfork will say that Binaural is the downfall of PJ
    PJ 2014: Leeds, Milton Keynes
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  • TJ25487TJ25487 Posts: 1,061
    Now we have a real discussion! Love it. 
  • rummyrummy Ontario, CanadaPosts: 2,223
    For me it's not quite at the same level as the "first five" but a wonderful album, nonetheless - definitely their most underrated.

    I'm usually not a fan of the double album but PJ merited one and adding Sad, Fatal, In the Moonlight, Education, and even Hitchhiker would have made this one even better than it is already.
    Auckland 1998, Toronto 1 2011, London 2013, Buffalo 2013, Toronto 1&2 2016
  • Dr. DelightDr. Delight Posts: 10,939
    My man, you bought a bootleg album.
    And so you see, I have come to doubt
    All that I once held as true
    I stand alone without beliefs
    The only truth I know is you.
  • tbergstbergs Posts: 4,876
    Recently got Binaural on vinyl and in hindsight, it shocks me how GREAT this album really is. In some ways could be "the best" album Pearl Jam record. Now, I love those first five 90's albums (Ten-Yield). They are kinda like the "holy grail" of 90's rock for me. I was lukewarm to Binaural when I first got it in 2000. Riot Act was the "difficult" album for me, Avocado was the "stripped down" record, Backspacer had that "new wave" vibe and Lightning Bolt showed the "softer side". All ten PJ albums are great in their own way, but I want to make the case that Binaural could be the band's best. Let's look at all the tracks:

    Breakerfall
    God's Dice
    Evacuation
    Light Years
    Nothing As It Seems
    This Air
    Insignificance
    Of The Girl 
    Greviance
    Rival
    Sleight Of Hand
    (Soon Forget)
    Parting Ways/(Writer's Block)

    The ( ) are what I personally would call the "non-songs" - no offense intended. But let's look at what else was recorded during the Binaural sessions with Tchad Blake. 

    Sad
    Hitchhiker
    In The Moonlight
    Education
    Fatal
    (Sweet Lew)

    Can you imagine if all 19 of those songs were released as one album? If PJ had put all those tracks out as a Exile On Main St. type double album, I would argue it might have been their greatest record. Ten era also produced a lot of top-notch songs if you include all the B-sides and the stuff from 1992. But Binaural - just wow!


    Yes! Binaural became my favorite PJ album because of its vast styles of music. It took a few years, but right around Backspacer it reached #1 for me especially when you listen to the live performances of it from the '00 tour. Amazing. Glad you have re-discovered the gem that it is.

    Now, if you only had the official pressing....
    It's a hopeless situation...
  • PJNBPJNB New BrunswickPosts: 4,019
    I think that is just a stock image from google and not theres. 

    I would like to talk about the greatness of Parting Ways some more. It is easily my white whale for songs I have yet to hear. It is a song that just builds and builds and the payoff at the end is amazing. What a perfect song to end an album on. It is not the best of the closers that they have to offer due to the stiff competition there but I would argue that it is the best as a closer. Also I lost count how many times that damn typewriter came on and scared the shit out of me after I fell asleep listening to this album. Thanks for that I guess lol. 
    PJ
    2013 Worcester 1 & 2
    2016 Quebec, Toronto 2, Fenway 1&2, Wrigley 2
    2018 Prague, Krakow, Berlin, Seattle 2, Wrigley 2, Fenway 1&2 

    EV
    2017 Firenze, Taormina 1 & 2
  • mcgruff10mcgruff10 New JerseyPosts: 16,173
    PJNB said:
    I think that is just a stock image from google and not theres. 

    I would like to talk about the greatness of Parting Ways some more. It is easily my white whale for songs I have yet to hear. It is a song that just builds and builds and the payoff at the end is amazing. What a perfect song to end an album on. It is not the best of the closers that they have to offer due to the stiff competition there but I would argue that it is the best as a closer. Also I lost count how many times that damn typewriter came on and scared the shit out of me after I fell asleep listening to this album. Thanks for that I guess lol. 
    Start a thread to play parting ways at Wrigley 2!
    I'll ride the wave where it takes me......
  • PJNBPJNB New BrunswickPosts: 4,019
    mcgruff10 said:
    PJNB said:
    I think that is just a stock image from google and not theres. 

    I would like to talk about the greatness of Parting Ways some more. It is easily my white whale for songs I have yet to hear. It is a song that just builds and builds and the payoff at the end is amazing. What a perfect song to end an album on. It is not the best of the closers that they have to offer due to the stiff competition there but I would argue that it is the best as a closer. Also I lost count how many times that damn typewriter came on and scared the shit out of me after I fell asleep listening to this album. Thanks for that I guess lol. 
    Start a thread to play parting ways at Wrigley 2!
    Haha one request is enough for this guy. Trying to put my wife's needs ahead of mine for once with Hard to Imagine! You start one and I will bump the shit out of it lol. Parting Ways --> Long Road ---> Hard to Imagine --> Against the 70's to start the first encore would be sick. 


    PJ
    2013 Worcester 1 & 2
    2016 Quebec, Toronto 2, Fenway 1&2, Wrigley 2
    2018 Prague, Krakow, Berlin, Seattle 2, Wrigley 2, Fenway 1&2 

    EV
    2017 Firenze, Taormina 1 & 2
  • mcgruff10mcgruff10 New JerseyPosts: 16,173
    PJNB said:
    mcgruff10 said:
    PJNB said:
    I think that is just a stock image from google and not theres. 

    I would like to talk about the greatness of Parting Ways some more. It is easily my white whale for songs I have yet to hear. It is a song that just builds and builds and the payoff at the end is amazing. What a perfect song to end an album on. It is not the best of the closers that they have to offer due to the stiff competition there but I would argue that it is the best as a closer. Also I lost count how many times that damn typewriter came on and scared the shit out of me after I fell asleep listening to this album. Thanks for that I guess lol. 
    Start a thread to play parting ways at Wrigley 2!
    Haha one request is enough for this guy. Trying to put my wife's needs ahead of mine for once with Hard to Imagine! You start one and I will bump the shit out of it lol. Parting Ways --> Long Road ---> Hard to Imagine --> Against the 70's to start the first encore would be sick. 


    That would be sickest four songs in a row in the history of the band.
    Pearl Jam if you are reading this, please rock our worlds with the following four songs in a row:

    parting ways
    long road
    hard to imagine 
    against the 70's
    I'll ride the wave where it takes me......
  • ZodZod Posts: 5,842
    I love Soon Forget, surprised there's not a lot of love for it.  Reminds me of the Binaural tour.  Loved it when they busted it out at Vancouver '13. 
  • thispureamericanriotthispureamericanriot CaliforniaPosts: 507
    My man, you bought a bootleg album.
    Haha...no, I was just too lazy to get out my LP and unbox it. It's just a stock image from Google! ;)
  • ledveddermanledvedderman Posts: 7,488
    I will go to my grave saying that the Binaural album had the overall best sessions of any album in the band’s history. 
  • thispureamericanriotthispureamericanriot CaliforniaPosts: 507
    I will go to my grave saying that the Binaural album had the overall best sessions of any album in the band’s history. 
    +1
  • hrd2imgnhrd2imgn Southwest Burbs of ChicagoPosts: 3,995
    I know they had reasons,  but omitting sad is their biggest error on album choices.  
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  • thispureamericanriotthispureamericanriot CaliforniaPosts: 507
    hrd2imgn said:
    I know they had reasons,  but omitting sad is their biggest error on album choices.  
    Probably could say the same with Down not being on Riot Act. However, Down would've sounded very out-of-place on Riot Act, whereas Sad would've fit right in on Binaural. :(
  • PeArLgOoNeRPeArLgOoNeR Posts: 904
    It's a fantastic album! One that I never get tired of.
    Wish the band liked it more

    Hamburg 2000, Berlin 2006, Copenhagen 2007, Berlin 2009, Berlin 2010, Berlin 1+2 2012, Copenhagen 2012, Amsterdam 1+2 2014, Vienna 2014, Berlin 2014, Prague 2018, Krakow 2018
  • deftonesdeftones Athens, GreecePosts: 2,427
    Binaural is my number 1 along with Ten. I wish they were playing it more live. 
    ATHENS / 30-9-2006, MANCHESTER / 20-6-2012, MANCHESTER / 21-6-2012, AMSTERDAM / 16-6-2014, AMSTERDAM / 17-6-2014, AMSTERDAM / 12-6-2018, AMSTERDAM / 13-6-2018, PRAGUE / 1-7-2018, KRAKOW / 3-7-2018, BERLIN / 5-7-2018
  • eboweddieeboweddie Posts: 309
    The binaural tour was amazing.  They were so tight.  I must have 50 of them bootlegs.  I love the production of this lp.zero polish like the last 2
     Very underrated lp. Didnt Eddie say he had to prune the other tracks from the finished version.  As it sounded top poppy!! You have to respect that.  And yes parting ways is the best song on the lp

    i wish i wish i wish i wish, i guess it never stops
  • eboweddieeboweddie Posts: 309
    Several songs were rejected from the album that eventually found their way on to the 2003 Lost Dogs collection of rarities. These include "Sad", "Hitchhiker", "In the Moonlight", "Education", "Fatal", and "Sweet Lew".[14] "Sad", originally called "Letter to the Dead", was called "a great pop song" by Ament, but he said the song did not fit the album because the band does not "really [write] very many pop records."[15] "Sweet Lew", about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,[14] was cut from Binaural because it did not fit the album according to Ament.[15] "Fatal" was producer Tchad Blake's favorite song to come out of the recording sessions.[14] "Strangest Tribe" and "Drifting" were also recorded around the time of the album's recording sessions, and both songs were released on the band's 1999 fan club Christmas single as well as Lost Dogs.[14][16]

    i wish i wish i wish i wish, i guess it never stops
  • eboweddieeboweddie Posts: 309
    It's such a binaural song. Very lucky to hear it in London last week. 

    i wish i wish i wish i wish, i guess it never stops
  • OlivavuOlivavu EnglandPosts: 1,574
    eboweddie said:
    It's such a binaural song. Very lucky to hear it in London last week. 
    Was the second time for me. They played it in Leeds in 2014. Great song.
  • KICK7071KICK7071 In My Tree, ONPosts: 368
    Gained a much greater appreciation after hearing it live in Toronto 16,  Nothing As It Seems takes you to another solar system...and Of The Girl.... that low rumbling bass line just takes hold of you.
    Toronto 10-05-2000 / Toronto 06-28-2003 / Toronto 09-19-2005 / Toronto 05-09-2006 / Buffalo 05-10-2010 / Toronto 09-11-2011 /
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  • TJ25487TJ25487 Posts: 1,061
    eboweddie said:
    Several songs were rejected from the album that eventually found their way on to the 2003 Lost Dogs collection of rarities. These include "Sad", "Hitchhiker", "In the Moonlight", "Education", "Fatal", and "Sweet Lew".[14] "Sad", originally called "Letter to the Dead", was called "a great pop song" by Ament, but he said the song did not fit the album because the band does not "really [write] very many pop records."[15] "Sweet Lew", about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,[14] was cut from Binaural because it did not fit the album according to Ament.[15] "Fatal" was producer Tchad Blake's favorite song to come out of the recording sessions.[14] "Strangest Tribe" and "Drifting" were also recorded around the time of the album's recording sessions, and both songs were released on the band's 1999 fan club Christmas single as well as Lost Dogs.[14][16]
    I agree that Sad didn't quite fit the narrative of the album similar to Down not fitting on Riot Act. Fatal is a no brainer as it should have made the album in place of Soon Forget. I would also like to have seen Strangest Tribe on there as well but not sure where it would fit? Binaural feels very much like No Code as it is a musical masterpiece rather than a commercial hit. Just like No Code it took me years to appreciate Binaural. 
  • tbergstbergs Posts: 4,876
    edited July 27
    This thread finally inspired me to throw together a deluxe edition of Binaural on my Google Playlist. I am trying out this re-tracking order first to see how I like it. My thought with Sweet Lew is that it becomes the new hidden track, but I don't know. It's such a goofy song that I'd prefer to just cut it and leave writer's block on there.

    It's a hopeless situation...
  • tbergstbergs Posts: 4,876
    TJ25487 said:
    eboweddie said:
    Several songs were rejected from the album that eventually found their way on to the 2003 Lost Dogs collection of rarities. These include "Sad", "Hitchhiker", "In the Moonlight", "Education", "Fatal", and "Sweet Lew".[14] "Sad", originally called "Letter to the Dead", was called "a great pop song" by Ament, but he said the song did not fit the album because the band does not "really [write] very many pop records."[15] "Sweet Lew", about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,[14] was cut from Binaural because it did not fit the album according to Ament.[15] "Fatal" was producer Tchad Blake's favorite song to come out of the recording sessions.[14] "Strangest Tribe" and "Drifting" were also recorded around the time of the album's recording sessions, and both songs were released on the band's 1999 fan club Christmas single as well as Lost Dogs.[14][16]
    I agree that Sad didn't quite fit the narrative of the album similar to Down not fitting on Riot Act. Fatal is a no brainer as it should have made the album in place of Soon Forget. I would also like to have seen Strangest Tribe on there as well but not sure where it would fit? Binaural feels very much like No Code as it is a musical masterpiece rather than a commercial hit. Just like No Code it took me years to appreciate Binaural. 
    I 100% agree with this. No Code and Binaural are art. Never meant to appeal to the masses, but creative and musical masterpieces. For me, Binaural, along with the outtakes, is Pearl Jam at their peak. 
    It's a hopeless situation...
  • bobby dazzlersbobby dazzlers Posts: 1,703
    It's a hopeless... situation
    And I'm starting to believe
  • nicknyr15nicknyr15 Posts: 2,247
    It's a fantastic album! One that I never get tired of.
    Wish the band liked it more
    Really? I think they like it a lot actually. It did get the live in full treatment also which says a lot 
  • jdizzle8291jdizzle8291 Erie, PAPosts: 46
    hrd2imgn said:
    I know they had reasons,  but omitting sad is their biggest error on album choices.  
    I totally agree. I think about that every time I hear it.
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