Pearl Jam hits today's top ten with a song from 1991


When this week’s Billboard charts came out, some here at Music Mix headquarters were shocked to see Pearl Jam’s “Brother” in the top ten of both rock lists — #4 on Modern, #8 on Mainstream (where, thank god, Nickelback’s “Something in Your Mouth” still reigns supreme). Your Aunt Whittlz, on the other hand, was not shocked in the least: Pearl Jam has always sounded great on the radio, and “Brother” is vintage brew, the first song released from the upcoming Ten reissue.

The track is an outtake from those long-ago sessions, until now available only as a bootleg or in instrumental form on 2003’s Lost Dogs. But as of March 24, the fancy Brendan O’Brien remixed version can be yours, along with other bonus remixes like “State of Love and Trust” and the band’s never-before-officially-ownable MTV Unplugged show. Those wishing to get a jump on things can stream “Brother” and more on the PJ MySpace page, or play this very angry-making online game to unlock additional content. My Super Deluxe version is apparently waiting for me back in LA, because I am a very lucky girl. I have never wanted SXSW to end so quickly.

We’re trying to get a band member on the horn to discuss all this for ya, but meanwhile — what do you think, Mixers? Surprised at PJ’s newest chart success? Do you think all that airplay is more a testament to the quality of the track or the power of Eddie et. al.’s enduring sound? Might this old-school radio success equal old-school sales success for the reissue, too? And can you think of any other remixed outtakes that have hit the top ten?

More on Pearl Jam
Pearl Jam to remaster, remix, and reissue ‘Ten’
Pearl Jam at Bonnaroo 2008
Eddie Vedder on his solo soundtrack work
It’s a Pearl Jamily Affair
2006 interviews with all five band members

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Comments (20 total) Add your comment
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  • Long Ago Fan

    As someone who was obsessed with the Ten album when it came out I can totally see why they cut this tune. It’s mediocre at best, grating at worst and doesn’t have a single hook in it. Even as a curiosity I find pretty dull.

  • Tim

    They’ve always been overrated. Stadium rock version of grunge. Dull.

  • 2

    I agree. “Ten” is one of my fave albums, but everything after that… ehh. With “Brother”., I feel it only placed like it did on the sharts due to Pearl Jam’s ‘status’. The song is ok at best, but since it’s coming out as ‘vintage’ stuff, it’s getting that nostalgic kick up the charts. In Philly, Pearl Jam is so overplayed with the same couple songs, over and over again.

  • Henry

    Tim, or shall I call you Kurt, go listen to the whiny nihilism of Nirvana if you don’t like it.

  • L*

    I find the fact that Nickleback is considered rock more shocking than a 1991 song. Seriously, why? Please explain the Nickleback phenomenon. They are low-rate fakes at best, and Hannah Montana rawk at worst.

  • Tim

    Henry – Nirvana was the original. The rest were sad reproductions at best. Sorry, just the reality. Pearl Jam? – 3rd generation grunge. Frat rock. Nickelback/Creed – 10th generation grunge. All cut from the same cloth after the originator. Same sound, same vocal tics, same tempos, same solos, same lyrical misery. No wonder Kurt put the gun in his mouth.

  • Dutch

    Tim…oh please! You’re just another sorry old victim of the media hype that surrounds the sorry old legacy of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana. Sure, Nirvana were great…but damn to say they were the “originators” is narrow minded. I won’t stoop and display my own narrow mindedness an say that Nirvana were over rated hacks who could barely play their instruments…now that would’nt be right, would it?

  • Timothy

    Tim — Take it from another Tim – If you really want to get into an argument about “original grunge” you should probably get your facts straight (or at the very least, look on Wikipedia). Most agree that the “first grunge band” – if you want to go with such a nebulous term – is indeed Green River. That’s right, Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament’s pre-precursor to Pearl Jam.
    Nirvana’s great of course, but to suggest Pearl Jam is somehow a redheaded stepchild of St. Kurt is ridiculous.

  • Justin

    Both Ten and Pearl Jam rule. Nickleback is one of the worst bands to come along since Rock and Roll was invented.

  • Tim2

    Who dares soil the name of Pearl Jam? They are one of the greatest. So were Nirvana. Where’s the dispute? Just because you like Nirvana doesn’t mean that you should hate PJ – this ain’t 1993 kids. I think PJ have dislpayed an equal amount of angst and originality as Nirvana did.

  • rerun

    Yeah, the PJ/Nirvana debate is more like a Stones/Beatles debate. Both good and both different with certain similarities.

  • Tim

    I guess we’ll just agree to disagree then, because I find no difference from Pearl Jam to Seven Mary Three to Nickelback to Creed – except religious proclivity. And yes, Green River is absolutely the predecessor (Soundgarden predated the ‘grunge’ craze as well). Please listen and enjoy the lot, I just don’t understand the worship of Pearl Jam.

  • ossie

    I think it’s a strong track, heard it on the radio and hoped it was new. Everything after Yield just, I dunno, hookless. I understand they wanted to run some of the fans off but what’s wrong with good hooks? Awesome live band.

  • matt

    Pearl Jam is a legendary band, and Ten is a landmark album. I can’t wait for the reissue.

  • Greg

    Butch Vig made Nirvana the success they were. Listen to Bleach, then listen to Nevermind. Steve Albini’s production also made In Utero the success it was. Without those producers, Nirvana would have been just as commercially successful as Mudhoney. Ever heard Nirvana live? Garage rock, and they sound it. But those studio albums…they sound flawless. Admittedly, I love those albums, but production made them what they are.
    Ever listened to Pearl Jam live? Compare that to the rawness of Ten and Vs., even Vitalogy. That is an amazing group of musicians. As much as I love the demo version of Brother from the Ten recordings, and the instrumental version released on Lost Dogs, this re-issue version just lacks something for me. I enjoy it, but I don’t love it.

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