Sometime in 1993 or so, I was telling my mom about this great new band that was really tearing it up with a couple of great albums. She brushed off my enthusiasm, saying something along the lines of, “yeah, well see if anyone remembers who they are ten years from now”. The band was Pearl Jam and yeah, I think they’re still remembered.
Earlier this summer, Alex Chadwick of the Chicago Music Exchange posted a video to YouTube of a brief history of rock n’ roll in 100 guitar licks. The video is outstanding and it quickly went viral, with nearly 3.3 million views to date. Make yourself 12 minutes to spare and check it out, because it’s fantastic:
I might have a few quibbles with the song choice, but the one that really stands out is the choice of Pearl Jam’s “Evenflow” instead of “Alive”. To me, the opening riff from “Alive” is pretty much the guitar lick that defined the grunge era. Sure, Nirvana was right there too. Both bands were great and nowadays I might take the bulk of Nevermind over most of Ten, but “Alive” made its statement right off the bat and went out on a ferocious guitar solo. Yeah, if I had to pick, this might be my song of the 90’s. It was (is!) pretty sweet.
Alive – Pearl Jam