Thursday, November 01, 2007

Review: Pearl Jam "Single Video Theory" (1998)

Pearl Jam's 1998 album Yield is my favorite album by one of my favorite bands of all time. I haven't had the opportunity to watch the making-of music documentary Single Video Theory (The Yield Sessions) - released a few months later in August of 1998 - until yesterday.

I now have a deeper appreciation of the collaborative process of a fantastic album. Also, I finally got to see former PJ drummer Jack Irons' garbage can lid cymbal (which is exactly that) in action. It's very awesome! Since the sessions happened in 1997, the band (except maybe Stone Gossard) looks 10 years younger and dressed like I did when I was in high school. Ah, the 1990s...

While I liked the video overall, here are a few minor gripes:

1. There are no chapters or main menu, but that's understandable since the video was released in 1998.

2. I wish the band practice performances were complete songs, but for the most part, they either segue from an interview/actuality sequence/montage in progress and/or fade out to the next interview/actuality sequence/montage.

3. It's only 45 minutes, almost like the record company intended to broadcast it on TV with room for commercials or something. Pearl Jam's subsequent DVD releases are far superior, which is a good thing: It's better to go uphill than downhill.

On the plus side, however, the aesthetic of shooting on film (which was used somewhat for this year's Immagine in Cornice) makes it look like a music documentary from the 1970s, which is way cool.

If Yield were to be re-released (10 years later as opposed to Zeitgeist's 3 months later), it would be logical to package the album with this making-of video. For good measure, Live on Two Legs (a tour compilation CD from the Yield tour) would complete the Yield trilogy. As I haven't checked out that live album (yet another anomaly from a big Pearl Jam fan), I will have to do so ASAP.

This is the track listing for Single Video Theory:

1. "All Those Yesterdays"
2. "Faithfull"
3. "Brain of J."
4. "Given to Fly"
5. "No Way"
6. "MFC"
7. "Wishlist"
8. "In Hiding"
9. "Low Light"
10. "Do the Evolution"

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