March 23, 2009


I've got a quick update to a recent post.

The Pearl Jam Unplugged DVD being released tomorrow has achieved a very disappointing trifecta--the set is edited, rearranged, and incomplete. I will most likely not be shelling out any money for that bullshit.

Here is the original set list:

01. Oceans
02. State of Love and Trust
03. Alive
04. Black
05. Jeremy
06. Porch
07. Even Flow
08. Rockin' in the Free World

Of that set, only "Alive," "Black," "Jeremy," and "Porch" made it to the original cable broadcast. "Even Flow" had also been aired a handful of times, but always separate from MTV's half-hour Unplugged broadcast. The remaining rare tracks and in-between stage banter have been passed around on the internet for years, complete with the exciting time code on the bottom of the screen.

From what I've gathered on message boards and press releases, "Oceans" and "State of Love and Trust" have been added to the DVD. "Rockin' in the Free World" has not. Also, "Even Flow" shows up out of order. It will appear super-obviously out of order as the end of "Porch" features Eddie Vedder standing up on his stool and writing "PRO-CHOICE!!!" on his arm in black marker. Now, you'll see it written on his arm earlier in the set, before he actually writes it there. I know it sounds like a ridiculous thing to get hung up on. Just bear with me, I am about to get more insane.

At the end of "Oceans," the vocals have been altered from the original recording (I would have preferred to underline the predicate to show my outrage, but alas, Blogger has decided that underlining is not such an important tool, and I don't feel like typing out the code the old school way... so you get italics instead). Eddie Vedder has a tendency to alter his own lyrics in concert, and towards the end of the MTV version of "Oceans" he amended "Ohhhhh, ohhhhhh" to "Ohhhhh, Beth," a tribute to his girlfriend at the time. Apparently on the DVD, the references to Beth are removed and replaced with a "grunt" of some sort. No edit is made to the visual portion.

I'm assuming they thought no one would notice, but someone did, and they pointed it out on the Pearl Jam Ten Club message board. To be honest, I have not heard the unplugged version of "Oceans" that many times and would probably not have noticed myself, but now that I know, I think it's lametarded. While I am 100% on board with them remixing Ten and changing the audio, they fully disclose this on the packaging and in press releases. People are going to be buying this Ten re-release expressly for the purpose of hearing an altered version of the album. There was never any mention of the Unplugged set being altered.

They should have taken a page from Alice in Chains and Nirvana, who released (as far as I know) complete versions of their Unplugged sessions. Those packages wisely included the fuck-ups and false starts. That's the shit I love, man! The charm of live sets is realism and spontaneity. Eddie Vedder screws up the lyrics to "Black" and they kept that in there (as far as I know). Why would they change anything else? Yeah, I know it's your fucking song and you can do whatever you want with it, but it's just tacky to try to change history. I sort of embarrassed by how bothered I am by this. It just doesn't seem very Rock n' Roll to me. I can't figure out the reasoning behind this. Was her name that painful to hear? Did Beth threaten to sue? Did the band complain? I just don't get it. People, stop editing shit! GO TAKE THE FUCKING HARMONICA OUT OF FOOTSTEPS AND THROW BETH BACK IN THE OCEAN!

Keep on Rocking* in the Free World, fuckers.

(* The extra g is for Greedo Shoots First.)

In other quick news, I had a dream the other night that Sean Penn died, so I apologize to his family if The Curse of The RoBeast kills him in the next few weeks. As for Natasha Richardson, I never mentioned her name here before, but I think something must have rubbed off of Liam Neeson. Sorry.


100monkeys said...

Nirvana and AiC both have dead members and probably get more reverential treatment to their original material as such. Pearl Jam members are all still alive to stroke their own members all over their work, not unlike George Lucas (to bring the blog full circle).

Ro-Beast Rollie said...

If any Beauty and the RoBeast fans happen to kill a member of Pearl Jam in order to get a more complete version of this DVD, I now know who to blame.

100monkeys said...

Blame the new Greedo edit, he shot first.

Lisa said...

When it first screened in NZ in 1995 the order was SOLAT, Alive, Black, Jeremy, Even Flow (complete with glaringly obvious writing on his hand) and then Porch... so the order isn't any different from that. n0t sure which "version" we got, but the order on the dvd doesn't bother me because it's no different. the addition of oceans and the removal of beth references are the only changes from the version we've always had..