Vinyl Vlog 557

Vinyl Vlog 557

Thursday, 23 June 2022

Pearl Jam
Live on Two Legs
Record Store Day Exclusive

Everything critical that can be said about Pearl Jam has already been said. What’s left now are just end stories and personal experiences. The validity of “grunge” as a music genre can be debated (and it should be since it’s complete limited to the bands that came out of a certain part of the earth in a certain point of the 90s), but what is a fact is that Pearl Jam was one of the biggest bands on earth in the 90s, and their skyrocket to fame and success is an interesting one. 

It’s said that most bands reach their peak in their second or third album. That can be true in a lot of cases, and Pearl Jam’s Vs and Vitalogy are certainly favorites full of their most popular songs. For me, the album I was really able to sink my teeth into was Yield, and that is an incredible noteworthy time for Pearl Jam. Not since Ten have they had a radio hit as big as Do the Evolution. I have no idea what it is about the song that made it such a hit, but I think the music video, which tapped into the popularity of the MacFarlane style of animation worked to an unexpected degree. It was stark, compelling, uncomfortable, provocative and just plain well-done. It’s what a good music video does. So, even though they had been releasing great albums for years, Yield tapped into the mainstream once again for this band and reinvigorated the fanbase.

It’s in this environment that Live on Two Legs was released. It’s a curious release at that, because Pearl Jam would, shortly after its release, offer all their subsequent live shows of this tour to fans recorded with professional equipment. But Live on Two legs stands….on its own two legs…by creating a pastiche of their live shows, combining performances into one coherent set. It’s something bands have done for the longest time, even the Clash. On its own, Live on Two Legs tells a better story of the band at this specific period of time, at a new height in popularity, and how that informed their live sets. The tracklist here spans their entire career, is full of favorites (like Corduroy, Black, Daughter, and Evenflow) and has the distinction of also including Yield tracks like MFC, Given to Fly and Do the Evolution.

Sonically, this is as good as live albums come, the songs blend seamlessly into each other and are masterfully performed by a band still at the peak of their craft.

What a treat to get a vinyl release of this album. Pearl Jam have always promoted vinyl in their releases, so this is one entry that fells firmly in place as far as reissues are concerned. The double album comes in beautiful clear vinyl, with a  gatefold sleeve, and has a cool insert featuring the flyers and posters for the show.

Live on Two Legs is the definitive document highlighting a band at the peak of their power. It serves both as a great representation of what Pearl Jam could do live and a best-of compilation of sorts.

Comments are closed.