Today Is The 25th Anniversary Of Pearl Jam’s MTV Unplugged Recording And Goddamn Do I Feel Old
In just a few weeks, Pearl Jam will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In their 25+ years of existence, the band has released 10 studio albums, countless live bootlegs and they have played hundreds of live shows (maybe a thousands at this point). And although their live shows feature unpredictable set lists and consistently last three hours, it’s one 30 minute performance that hooked me the first time I saw it. That performance was recorded 25 years ago today. on March 16, 1992, Pearl Jam took the stage and delivered one of the top 3 MTV Unplugged performances of all time (the other two that seem to be in the running are Nirvana and Alice in Chains).
Eddie Vedder’s voice has taken a beating throughout the years and his singing style has changed slightly, but he was peak Vedder during this performance. The moment they kicked off the show with a powerfully raw performance of “Oceans,” a song that a singer can’t exactly hide in, you knew the show was going to be something special. And 25 years later, it is still the song I go back to from their Ten album. Well, that and “Release,” a song that they should have included in this performance, because it is fucking awesome.
MTV aired seven songs from the taping (“Oceans” “State of Love and Trust” “Alive” “Black” “Jeremy” “Even Flow” “Porch”), but Pearl Jam actually ended the show with a cover of Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World.” You can see that performance below.