The best three albums by my top fifty favorite rock bands, #25 — Pearl Jam

Doug Keating
4 min readMay 16, 2023

I’m identifying the best three albums by my fifty favorite rock bands of all time. This blog is for one of the godfathers of grunge bands #25 — Pearl Jam.

Criteria for selecting the best three albums

First, Greatest Hits albums are allowed. Pearl Jam has a really good one, although it is not on today’s list. Second — no live albums. Third I’m changing it up. I will include an honorable mention album as part of the list. The reason being several of my top 25 bands have extensive catalogs and it can be challenging picking just three. Today’s band falls into this category.

Pearl Jam Albums ranked by ChatGPT

Let’s see what artificial intelligence says about the list. Here are the results from ChatGPT for rank ordering Pearl Jam’s albums. This list is a good starting point but not completely correct.

  1. Ten (1991): “Ten” is Pearl Jam’s debut studio album and is widely considered to be one of the greatest rock albums of all time. The album features several hit songs, including “Alive,” “Even Flow,” and “Jeremy,” and showcases the band’s grunge sound and Eddie Vedder’s distinctive vocals.
  2. Vs. (1993): Released just two years after “Ten,” “Vs.” features a heavier and more aggressive sound than its predecessor. The album tackles themes of social inequality and politics and includes popular songs like “Animal,” “Daughter,” and “Dissident.”
  3. Vitalogy (1994): “Vitalogy” is Pearl Jam’s third studio album and features a more experimental and diverse sound than their previous records. The album includes hits like “Better Man,” “Corduroy,” and “Not for You” and also features acoustic ballads and spoken word tracks.

The third-best album by this band is Yield

The third-best album by Pearl Jam is called Yield. Like most fans, I enjoy Vitality. In fact, it includes my favorite Pearl Jam song of all time “Better Man”. It also has some really strange ones like “Bugs”. In reality, Yield is a better record. The music, sound, and overall quality of the album are simply better.

The second-best album by Pearl Jam

The second-best album by Pearl Jam is Versus, their sophomore release. There was a lot of pressure on the band after their awesome debut album to deliver another great record and boy did they. Versus is a solid album including the hit songs “Daughter” and “Dissident”.

Honorable mention album for this band

It is time for the honorable mention album by Pearl Jam. It is called Gigaton. They released this record in 2020 during the pandemic. A lot of people missed the release and their hardcore fans hated this one. I actually think it’s pretty good, especially the first four or five songs. They experiment a lot with their sound and I dig it. If you have not listened to this record give it a try…you might be pleasantly surprised.

The best album by Pearl Jam

The best album by Pearl Jam is Ten, their debut record. It has a ton of great music. I definitely own this one on vinyl. I recommend you do as well. Listen to this playlist “Even Flow”, “Alive”, “Black” and “Jeremy”. Think about when this was released and the impact it made. Along with Nirvana’s album, those two landmark records brought grunge to the forefront, changing the face of rock and roll. Buy this album, turn up the volume, and enjoy it for the gem that it is.

There you have it — the three best Pearl Jam albums. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

I am Doug Keating and this is my letter to my sons.

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Doug Keating

Leader and learner. husband and father. Novice blogger, www.lettertosons.com, Founder of All The Way Leadership! http://www.allthewayleadership.com/