Master Procrastinator

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Remastered Pearl Jam > Original Pearl Jam

Posted by Andrew Zercie on April 10, 2009

I frequent Pearl Jam’s official website every couple of weeks to see if the band is going to tour, put out new material, or do anything else I might find remotely interesting. When I read back in December that they were releasing a remastered version of their classic “Ten,” my initial reaction was, “money grab.”

When I read the original press release about the new “Ten” mentioned four different versions, ranging in price from $15 to nearly $200, I felt like my belief was confirmed. Besides, I already have “Ten” on CD and LP. Why would I possibly need a “remastered” version. I couldn’t imagine a funky-fresh-remix of “Jeremy” anyway.

Well, despite my initial feelings about the new “Ten,” I was swayed to purchase the 2 CD/1 DVD version because it included their MTV Unplugged performance, which had never been released in any form before.

After listening to the remastered “Ten,” I think every album ever made should be remixed for optimal sound. I’m no audiophile by any means, but if an untrained ear like mine can detect significant differences in these classic songs on an unaltered car audio system, imagine what someone who has a great audio system and knows what to listen for can find.

The songs sound fresh, invigorated. Some of the little touches in this remastered edition of “Ten” make these songs really shine. The bonus tracks were demos once upon a time, but with the remixed sound editing, they are seamless fits on the tail end of the new “Ten.” In fact, one of the bonus tracks, “Brother” is on the top 10 of the Modern Rock singles chart, which speaks to how bad the music scene is now, when a former Pearl Jam demo from almost 20 years ago can be a top 10 smash now.

If you like Pearl Jam, but don’t want to plunk down $40 for the CD/DVD combo set, go get the 2 CD set. The remastered CD alone is worth the sticker price. Terrific stuff.

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