Pearl Jam: Vs and Vitalogy Box Set


Pearl-Jam-Vs_w288When Pearl Jam said 2011 was going to be a big year for them in celebrating their 20 anniversary as a band, they weren’t kidding.

The year opened with their live record Live on Ten Legs; Jeff Ament and Mike McCready teamed up for the long-awaited super group Tres Mts, and frontman Eddie Vedder released his solo ukele album. And if that wasn’t enough Pearl Jam to put in your Ipods or on your CD shelves, the band recently released the very impressive Vs. and Vitalogy box set.

Coming off one of the biggest debut albums of all time with 10, Pearl Jam – Jeff Ament (bass, vocals); Stone Gossard (guitar, vocals); Mike McCready (guitar); Eddie Vedder (vocals, guitar); and former drummer Dave Abbruzzese kept the momentum rolling with their sophomore releases titled Vs.

Originally released on Oct. 19, 1993 on Epic Records, the album marked the long-time partnership with producer Brendan O’Brien.

There was no “sophomore slump” here. The band rattled off several singles, not to mention long-lasting concert favorites such as 1. “Go,” “Animal,” “Daughter,””Rearviewmirror,” and

“Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town.” Upon its release, Vs. set the record for most copies of an album sold in its first week, a record it held for five years. Vs. occupied the number one spot on the Billboard 200 for five weeks.

The album also saw the band scalling back on their sound in favor of a more raw explosion. Vs. also set the tone for Pearl Jam’s diminished presence in the public eye by a decision not to make any videos for the music channels.

A little over a year after Vs. was issued, the band came back with their third studio album Vitalogy released onDec. 6, 1994, again on Epic Records.

Produced by the band and Brendan O’Brien, Vitalogy was the most diverse album to date by the Seattle rockers. Though the album had many rockers that were among fan favorites – “Not for You,” “Nothingman,” “Corduroy,” and “Better Man,” Vitalogy was associated with experimental tracks. The mainstream were left scratching their heads and saying “what the fuck” to tracks like “Pry, To,” “Aye Davanita,” “Bugs” and the album closer “Hey Foxymophandlemama, That’s Me” (also known as “Stupid Mop”), but that didn’t stop the CD from becoming the second-fastest-selling album in history, behind only Vs.

Much like the 2009 rerelease of Pearl Jam’s legendary debut 10, the Vs./Vitalogy box set was offered in many different formats including vinyl edition, the legacy edition, the Vs./Vitalogy deluxe CD Edition. For those diehard fans (like myself), you can go gangbusters with the super deluxe edition.

Here is a list of what the fans get with this all encompassing super deluxe version:

Three Compact Discs-
Remastered version of  Vs. featuring three bonus tracks
Remastered version of  Vitalogy featuring three bonus tracks
The legendary live show from the Orpheum Theater

Five 180-gram audiophile vinyl LPs-
Remastered single LP version of Vs.
Remastered double LP version of Vitalogy
Double LP version of The Orpheum Theater show

Pearl-Jam-Vitalogy_w288Hour-plus mix tape cassette from the January 1995 Self Pollution Radio Broadcast

80-page Composition Book filled with photos, drawings and artwork by Eddie Vedder and Jeff Ament

A glassine envelope containing a collection of Vs. and Vitalogy- era memorabilia including beautiful lithographs of each band member, postcards, posters and much more.

Whatever edition, there are many memories here from a great time in music in this box set, and that can’t be contained.