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"I ADMIT IT... WHAT'S TO SAY... I RELIVE IT... WITHOUT PAIN"
on 24 September 2006
1991- Nothing but a glut of Guns `n' Roses generic rip-offs that the kids are listening to on the radio and MTV. At the time I was 15 years old and I was listening to U2 and R.E.M. that I loved and still do but then the skies cleared and like manna from heaven Pearl Jam's `Ten' appeared. I bought this album, listened to it, and my musical universe expanded.
If you are not familiar with `Ten' then all I will say is that it sounds like a blend of seventies rock with heart of punk in particular post-punk bands of the American Underground in the eighties. Bands like Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Doors, Kiss, Husker Du, Minor Threat, Fugazi, Black Flag, X, Mission of Burma as well as artists like U2, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young and Jethro Tull all went into the making of `Ten'. This album was a result of music being able to grow and develop without the snobbery that often pervades many underground scenes. That snobbery is the reason why Pearl Jam came in for some unjustified criticism from certain quarters.
`Ten' is the biggest selling record of the grunge scene and it's no secret as to why it was so successful. Here was a record that spoke directly and honestly to every disenfranchised kid who was struggling to be heard by parents, teachers and even peers without being nihilistic or preachy. In a post-modern age where there is nothing really to believe in except nothing, `Ten' instilled in me the belief that music is the only thing that really matters and can feel a part of while still being completely alone. This album got me into the many, many other bands that may be greater, but `Ten' was the portal through which I passed and for a brief period in the early nineties we had our 1967 or 1976 and I only hope that today's new music fans will have theirs.
This album is the reason why I have since then spent a fortune on records. I have bought 2500 records since `Ten' in the hope that I would find another that would move me like this did and I've not been disappointed.