Pearl Jam is an American rock band formed in 1990 in Seattle, Washington. The band’s lineup consists of founding members Jeff Ament on bass guitar, Stone Gossard on rhythm guitar, Mike McCready on lead guitar, and Eddie Vedder, lead vocals and guitar, as well as Matt Cameron on drums, who joined in 1998. Keyboardist Boom Gaspar has also been a touring and session member with the band since 2002. Drummers Jack Irons, Dave Krusen, Matt Chamberlain, and Dave Abbruzzese are former members of the band. Pearl Jam outsold many of its contemporary alternative rock bands from the early 1990s, and is considered one of the most influential bands of the decade, being dubbed as “the most popular American rock and roll band of the ’90s”.
Formed after the demise of Gossard and Ament’s previous band, Mother Love Bone, Pearl Jam broke into the mainstream with its debut album, Ten, in 1991. Ten stayed on the Billboard 200 chart for nearly five years, and has gone on to become one of the highest-selling rock records ever, going thirteen-times platinum in the United States. Released in 1993, Pearl Jam’s second album, Vs., sold nearly one million copies in its first week of release, setting the record for most copies of an album sold in its first week of release at the time. Their third album, Vitalogy, released in 1994, became the second-fastest-selling CD in history at the time, with more than eight hundred thousand units sold in its first week.
One of the key bands in the grunge movement of the early 1990s, Pearl Jam’s members often shunned popular music industry practices such as making music videos or participating in interviews. The band also sued Ticketmaster, claiming it had monopolised the concert-ticket market. In 2006, Rolling Stone described the band as having “spent much of the past decade deliberately tearing apart their own fame.”
Pearl Jam had sold more than eighty-five million albums worldwide by 2018, including nearly thirty-two million albums in the United States by 2012, making them one of the best-selling bands of all time. Pearl Jam was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017 in its first year of eligibility. They were ranked eighth in a reader poll by Rolling Stone magazine in its “Top Ten Live Acts of All Time” issue.