In this major biography, Martin Clarke investigates one of the most popular and influential bands of our time, painting a detailed portrait of its enigmatic leader, Eddie Vedder. Pearl Jam exploded onto the world stage in 1991, captivating a generation with their inspirational live shows and being hailed as the kings of grunge’. Their first album, Ten, went multi-platinum and won four MTV awards.
Yet this massive popularity brought problems. In a rivalry fanned by the media, Kurt Cobain condemned Pearl Jam’s popularization of grunge, calling them a corporate’ group. He later apologized, but the remark damaged the band’s reputation. They won it back with multi-million sales and critical acclaim. Vs. became the fastest-selling American album of all time and its follow-up, Vitalogy, was equally successful. By this stage, however, the pressures of fame on the band, and on the fragile Vedder in particular, began to take their toll. Band tensions, personnel changes and substance abuse reared their ugly heads before Pearl Jam returned with the lauded album No Code. It proved to be a turning point, with subsequent albums Yield, Binaural, Riot Act, Pearl Jam and Backspacer placing Pearl Jam at the forefront of alternative rock.
In Pearl Jam and Eddie Vedder: None Too Fragile, Martin Clarke brings to life the band’s tumultuous history; from their beginnings amidst Seattle’s grunge underground, through the excesses and pressures of superstardom, to their current incarnation as mature rock heavyweights.
Martin Clarke is a British music biographer who specializes in books about alternative rock bands. He lives in London, UK.