Hey all, I rarely write about music in this space. Lucky you, I am granting myself an exemption. Normally, I publish my music stuff here.
So, the new release of Pearl Jam’s classic ‘Ten’ came out this week. It is the 20 year anniversary of the breakthrough masterpiece. So, the band celebrated by releasing a box set sort of thing. You can get 2 cds, and a DVD of the aired but never released ‘Unplugged’ set which is just phenomenal. Take a peak at some of the bootlegged footage here.
I mean, it’s really really good. It showcases not just how good the music is, but how capable the band members are. All acoustics, one take, no overdubs, and the music is as solid as the studio release… and even more passionate. Way more passionate.
That isn’t what I am here to talk about, though. As mentioned above, the set comes with 2 cds. Specfically, it is two versions of the exact same album. The first is the original, mixed by Rick Parashar. The second is a newly remastered and remixed version by long time PJ friend Brendan O’Brien. O’Brien just fucking rules. He has made so much great music it makes me puke. Not just his work with PJ, either. He made Springsteen’s ‘the Rising’. He made Stone Temple Pilots ‘Purple’ and ‘Tiny Music’ too. He has lots, but those really deserved to be mentioned. So, I am most definitely in the pro-O’Brien camp.
Still, though, that isn’t why I am writing. I am writing on behalf of Rick Parashar. I don’t know who he is, or if he is even alive. Probably is, and he is probably more than a little ‘butt-hurt’. Is this not a slap in the face of Parashar? Did you know that ‘Ten’ outsold Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’? It truly is a masterpiece, every rock fan will tell you. So, why redo it?
I mean, remember when they remixed ‘Born to Run’ or ‘Siamese Dream’? Did you get that remix of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumors’? No, because no one would dare touch those. I have heard the re-mix, and I do think it is better. Still, though, it is a pretty serious slap in the face to Parashar for making one of the top five albums in the history of rock and then having the band outsource you as thanks.
I guess my next question is, after this hoopla ends… Ten will go on to exist. So, if you walk into your local mega merchant and pick up a fresh CD of ‘Ten’… which version will you get? The color of the CDs is a little different, but the rest is the same.
I did some googling on Parashar. I owe him that at least. Turns out the name is most associated with is Nickelback. Ew. I now understand why that nearly renders ‘Ten’ as historically moot. It’s like when we found out that Hitler’s favorite painter was Kincaid… or that Hitler’s favorite actor is David Caruso. Kind of taints the whole experience.