Album Review: Pearl Jam – Live On Ten Legs

By on Wednesday, 26th January 2011 at 12:00 pm

As with so many established bands, live albums are a good way to remind your fans that you’re still here, even if you’re not in the studio recording new material. Often these are bootlegs which the band have allowed or a special concert which was recorded, however, Pearl Jam have managed to condense 8 years of touring into one album.

Recorded during the band’s 2003-2010 world tours, ‘Live On Ten Legs’ is a collection of 18 classic Pearl Jam tracks on one CD. As it is simply a collection of live tracks the flow of a concert isn’t present, which stifles the listening at times, but the production involved in recording the live sound is fantastic.

Kicking off the live extravaganza is a cover of Joe Strummer‘s ‘Arms Aloft’. Vedder’s voice suits the track perfectly and gets the blood pumping from the word go. You can feel the band’s passion and enjoyment for playing live in his voice, which is a good start as they’re one of the world’s best.

Despite having 8 years to record the live album, there was a definite nod given to Pearl Jam’s 2009 album ‘Backspacer’. ‘Got Some’ created such an atmosphere you become increasingly jealous of the crowd noises on CD. Even though Pearl Jam are recognised for being one of the Seattle grunge bands, they still know how to write huge stadium rock anthems, something this album isn’t short of.

At this point it’s relevant to mention the grungier omissions from ‘Live On Ten Legs’. Only two songs from Pearl Jam’s masterpiece ‘Ten’ make an appearance; couple this with other missing tracks and you’re left underwhelmed. There’s no ‘Even Flow’, ‘Nothingman’ or ‘Once’. However, the inclusion of ‘Rearviewmirror’ and ‘Animal’ really showcases Pearl Jam’s talent.

It’s a clash of satisfaction and annoyance that the best tracks occur at the end of the LP. Arguably the band’s most famous song, ‘Alive’, really demonstrates the quality of Pearl Jam as a live band. The whole crowd can be heard screaming along with Vedder at the top of their lungs, the chorus alone gives you chills. Similarly, ending the album on ‘Yellow Ledbetter’ couldn’t have been better. It’s a pure rock and roll song which has stood the test of time. Even though some other classics have been left out, ‘Live On Ten Legs’ is a more than gentle reminder of why Pearl Jam are considered one of the best bands on and off stage.


Watch the live video of ‘Unknown Thought’ below:[youtube][/youtube]

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