Would it have been better if Pearl Jam had not gotten so HUGE?

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  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 27,579
    edited January 21
    ceska said:
    "Lesser bands" may still be cranking out new albums... but their new albums are of their own "Lightning Bolt" caliber, not of early years caliber. That goes for plenty of other bands I follow, from PJ contemporaries such as Wilco and Old 97s, to older bands such as Los Lobos and Richard Thompson. They still tour a lot, and they still put out records every couple of years, but they have plateaued for me. Being smaller and "hungrier" doesn't mean that those bands are still making all-time classic albums this late into their careers. So, no, I don't think PJ would necessarily be any different or better f they hadn't "gotten big."

    As for them "getting big again," yes there is the smaller number of shows and the older fan base who can afford to travel, and a new generation of fans too. As for PJ filling up a baseball stadium for a show, why not? People pay much more money to watch sportsball teams fill stadiums on a regular basis, so I can see that people will easily pay +$100/ticket to see PJ in a stadium every couple years.
    Assuming you would agree Dinosaur Jr is less popular and less well known than Pearl Jam, I would not at all compare Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not:


    to Lightning Bolt:

    No offense to our fan band here, but the Dinosaur Jr album is far superior and they have been around longer.

    "Hate your job, love your stuff
    If you think that's living, you are
    Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong"
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    ***********
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  • KN219077KN219077 MontanaPosts: 418
    I wasn’t even alive for most of those, but man Jimi must have been great. 
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 27,579
    KN219077 said:
    I wasn’t even alive for most of those, but man Jimi must have been great. 
    Yes, absolutely!  Even just standing in line outside Winterland listening to Jimi sound check blew my mind.  His playing and stage presence were unbelievable. 
    "Hate your job, love your stuff
    If you think that's living, you are
    Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong"
    -Juliana Hatfield
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.







  • RYMERYME Wisconsin Posts: 1,508
    KN219077 said:
    PJ isn’t more popular now, not by a long shot. They’re playing 7 shows in the US...it’s easy to draw all the fans in to guarantee a sell out that way. If they threw up 25 dates there would be plenty of tickets. 
    Bingo, you nailed it.
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 27,579
    edited January 21
    RYME said:
    KN219077 said:
    PJ isn’t more popular now, not by a long shot. They’re playing 7 shows in the US...it’s easy to draw all the fans in to guarantee a sell out that way. If they threw up 25 dates there would be plenty of tickets. 
    Bingo, you nailed it.
    Yes, could be.

    But my thinking is that if they had stayed a medium sized band, playing medium sized gigs, maybe they would be more driven still today, and would not have made mediocre albums like the last three or so, and would be creating rather than riding the same old wave.  Who knows?  I'm just speculating. 

    And I don't mean to totally dis Pearl Jam.  I know what  they can be.  I've seen it.  Right up there with those other bands I've mentioned.  But as far as I can see, just not for some years now.
    Post edited by brianlux on
    "Hate your job, love your stuff
    If you think that's living, you are
    Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong"
    -Juliana Hatfield
    ***********
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  • cp3iversoncp3iverson Posts: 5,192
    For the diehards it might be better but theres already only like five rock bands left who could headline a festival.  I wouldnt want to lose one.  
  • igotid88igotid88 Posts: 16,466
    edited January 21
    Do you wish Ten wasn't as big or only that be their big album? Most of us older fans got into them in 1992. They could have been even huger had they not stop making videos. Releasing singles for Better Man. Even changing their sound on each album. They tried to slow things down. And succeeded to a point of not being too big. 
    Post edited by igotid88 on
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  • bbiggsbbiggs Posts: 3,376
    igotid88 said:
    Do you wish Ten wasn't as big or only that be their big album? Most of us older fans got into them in 1992. They could have been even huger had they not stop making videos releasing singles for Better Man. Even changing their sound on each album. They tried to slow things down. And succeeded to a point of not being too big. 
    That’s a good point. They intentionally avoided much of the commercial success they could have had. It still happened because they’re that good, but they could have blown up to a different level if they chose to. I’m personally glad they didn’t. 
  • pjhawkspjhawks Posts: 9,553
    KN219077 said:
    PJ isn’t more popular now, not by a long shot. They’re playing 7 shows in the US...it’s easy to draw all the fans in to guarantee a sell out that way. If they threw up 25 dates there would be plenty of tickets. 
    totally disagree. i think they are bigger now. why? because they have become a legacy legendary band.  for a long time there were a band that the PJ fans went to see. they've now moved into the category of a band that is a must see at least once in your lifetime. so people who didn't  have interest in seeing them in 2003 all of a sudden have interest in seeing them. 
  • goldrushgoldrush everybody knows this is nowherePosts: 4,553
    I can see both sides, but I can't make up my mind on which I prefer.

    It's clear that PJ headed away from the mainstream as much as they could in the 90s (no music videos, no big commercial singles etc) - they could arguably be a lot bigger than they are today if they'd just become 'radio friendly unit shifters'. For the longest time, mentioning Pearl Jam would be met by the same "are the still together" response. I always kind of liked having a band that was mine when my friends had moved on to other interests. That being said, PJ are the only band I have travelled internationally to see, and that may not have happened if they had been smaller shows.

    As for the point about PJ staying hungry, I think it's fair to say that the side projects that the guys have been involved with over the years have shown more hunger than the last 2 PJ records...

    When I think of someone from the same scene who has managed longevity whilst always following his muse, my first thought is Mark Lanegan. I love that Mark is still putting out top quality albums without compromise, and he's been doing it since the mid-80s with Screaming Trees. He is respected enough to be a coveted collaborator across many genres, but also 'under the radar' enough that tickets, vinyl etc aren't too insane to get hold of. To me, his shows can sometimes feel a bit like a best kept secret. You know you are in the room with people that genuinely want to be there for the music, and not industry types or famous faces.

    Of the PJ guys, Mike is probably the closest to Mark, followed by Jeff. They both seem to enjoy collaborating with other musicians for the love of the music. Ed will always be someone that other artists want to collaborate with, but it will always attract more attention than the others.
    “Do not postpone happiness”
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  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 27,579
    igotid88 said:
    Do you wish Ten wasn't as big or only that be their big album? Most of us older fans got into them in 1992. They could have been even huger had they not stop making videos. Releasing singles for Better Man. Even changing their sound on each album. They tried to slow things down. And succeeded to a point of not being too big. 
    To be honest, I'm not sure why Ten is considered their best album.  Biggest selling maybe, but best?  I think there's a good argument for there are at least two, maybe three others that are better.
    bbiggs said:
    igotid88 said:
    Do you wish Ten wasn't as big or only that be their big album? Most of us older fans got into them in 1992. They could have been even huger had they not stop making videos releasing singles for Better Man. Even changing their sound on each album. They tried to slow things down. And succeeded to a point of not being too big. 
    That’s a good point. They intentionally avoided much of the commercial success they could have had. It still happened because they’re that good, but they could have blown up to a different level if they chose to. I’m personally glad they didn’t. 
    By the time Pearl Jam started slowing down, they already had achieved huge commercial success, so they could afford to "slow down".  True, a certain amount of commercial success is necessary to survive, and yes, I would want any good band to succeed that way... at least to a point.  But hopefully that isn't the main thing that makes a band great. I think the greatest kind of success is in being creative and pushing on. 

    I don't want to get into comparing Pearl Jam with other bands or sound like I'm putting them down.  Their best records and live shows already make them, in my mind, a great band.   It's just that some artists keep pushing themselves and others don't.  They get to choose.  But if they coast, I loose interest.

    goldrush said:
    I can see both sides, but I can't make up my mind on which I prefer.

    It's clear that PJ headed away from the mainstream as much as they could in the 90s (no music videos, no big commercial singles etc) - they could arguably be a lot bigger than they are today if they'd just become 'radio friendly unit shifters'. For the longest time, mentioning Pearl Jam would be met by the same "are the still together" response. I always kind of liked having a band that was mine when my friends had moved on to other interests. That being said, PJ are the only band I have travelled internationally to see, and that may not have happened if they had been smaller shows.

    As for the point about PJ staying hungry, I think it's fair to say that the side projects that the guys have been involved with over the years have shown more hunger than the last 2 PJ records...

    When I think of someone from the same scene who has managed longevity whilst always following his muse, my first thought is Mark Lanegan. I love that Mark is still putting out top quality albums without compromise, and he's been doing it since the mid-80s with Screaming Trees. He is respected enough to be a coveted collaborator across many genres, but also 'under the radar' enough that tickets, vinyl etc aren't too insane to get hold of. To me, his shows can sometimes feel a bit like a best kept secret. You know you are in the room with people that genuinely want to be there for the music, and not industry types or famous faces.

    Of the PJ guys, Mike is probably the closest to Mark, followed by Jeff. They both seem to enjoy collaborating with other musicians for the love of the music. Ed will always be someone that other artists want to collaborate with, but it will always attract more attention than the others.
    I should probably check out some of those side projects more than I have.  I would probably find them more interesting and inspiring than the core band these days.
    "Hate your job, love your stuff
    If you think that's living, you are
    Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong"
    -Juliana Hatfield
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.







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