• The Computer Audiophile
    The Computer Audiophile

    Pearl Jam Music For Computer Audiophiles #PJ4CA

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    Anyone who reads Computer Audiophile likely knows I'm a humongous Pearl Jam fan. I've been known to mention the band or its music in my writings on occasion. It also goes without saying that I'm an equally fanatic audiophile. I care dearly about sound quality. Therein lies the conundrum if you believe that the quality of music is inversely proportional to the quality of the recording. For example, there are countless audiophile recordings of bells, cellos, drums, vocals, violins, etc… that sound spectacular, but you couldn't pay me to listen to them because they don't contain music. Too often great recordings contain sounds without "real" music or emotion. On the other hand, like most Rock bands, Pearl Jam isn't well known for releasing audiophile standards. Much of PJ's music is best heard live with thousands of people singing along and watching the band put on a spectacular show. PJ's albums certainly aren't low-fi, but you'll rarely hear them at a HiFi show or read a product review where the writer used a PJ track for evaluating a component's sonic performance. OK call me a weirdo, but I've often dreamt of ways to connect Grammy winning recording engineer Bill Schnee with the guys from Pearl Jam. I would pay $1,000 for a PJ album recorded live to two-track at 24 bit / 192 kHz like Bill's Bravura Records recordings. I've thought of starting a petition, tweeting, emailing, etc… in an effort to persuade Pearl Jam to create such an audio gem, but I always stop short of clicking the send button. Where am I going with this? To paraphrase the infamously quotable Donald Rumsfeld, you listen to the music you have, not the music you might want or wish to have at a later time. With this in mind, I've created my PJ4CA playlist containing thirty of my favorite sounding Pearl Jam tracks with five honorable mentions. These tracks aren't the most popular, but I believe they have the best balance of music and sound quality. I love being exposed to new music, especially music that sounds good. I hope you enjoy the following tracks and maybe, just maybe get on the Pearl Jam bandwagon (if you aren't already) :~)[PRBREAK][/PRBREAK]

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Top 30

     

    Sometimes -

    | TIDAL | Purchase (Download)

     

     

    Present tense -

    | TIDAL | Purchase (Download)

     

     

    Indifference -

    | TIDAL | Purchase (Download)

     

     

    Crazy Mary -

    | TIDAL | Purchase (Download)

     

     

    Brain of J. -

    | TIDAL | Purchase (Download)

     

     

    Nothing As It Seems (Recorded binaurally using a dummy head) -

    | TIDAL | Purchase (Download)

     

     

    Thumbing My Way -

    | TIDAL | Purchase (Download)

     

     

    All Or None -

    | TIDAL | Purchase (Download)

     

     

    Yellow Ledbetter -

    | TIDAL | Purchase (Download)

     

     

    Footsteps -

    | TIDAL | Purchase (Download)

     

     

    Dead Man Walking -

    | TIDAL | Purchase (Physical)

     

     

    Strangest Tribe -

    | TIDAL | Purchase (Physical)

     

     

    Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town (Acoustic) -

    | TIDAL | Purchase (Download)

     

     

    Gone -

    | TIDAL | Purchase (Download)

     

     

    Inside Job -

    | TIDAL | Purchase (Download)

     

     

    Black -

    | TIDAL | Purchase (Download)

     

     

    Just Breathe -

    | TIDAL (Unavailable) | Purchase (Physical)

     

     

    The End -

    | TIDAL (Unavailable) | Purchase (Physical)

     

     

    4/20/02 (Hidden Track) (4:20 after the song Bee Girl, the track 4/20/02 begins. It's a song honoring Layne Staley of Alice in Chains, who was found dead on that date.) -

    | TIDAL | Purchase (Physical)

     

     

    Pendulum -

    | TIDAL | Purchase (Download)

     

     

    Man Of The Hour -

    | TIDAL | Purchase (Download)

     

     

    Love Boat captain (The Molo Sessions featuring The Walmer High School Choir) -

    | TIDAL (Unavailable) | Purchase (Physical)

     

     

    Broken Heart -

    | TIDAL | Purchase (Download)

     

     

    Longing To Belong -

    | TIDAL | Purchase (Download)

     

     

    Long Nights -

    | TIDAL | Purchase (Download)

     

     

    Society -

    | TIDAL | Purchase (Download)

     

     

    Guaranteed -

    | TIDAL | Purchase (Download)

     

     

    You've Got To Hide Your love Away -

    | TIDAL (Unavailable) | Purchase (Physical)

     

     

    The Long Road - Eddie vedder and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan -

    | TIDAL | Purchase (Download)

     

     

    Release -

    | TIDAL | Purchase (Download)

     

     

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    Honorable Mention

     

    Last Exit -

    | TIDAL | Purchase (Download)

     

     

    Nothingman -

    | TIDAL | Purchase (Download)

     

     

    Corduroy -

    | TIDAL | Purchase (Download)

     

     

    Better Man -

    | TIDAL | Purchase (Download)

     

     

    Daughter -

    | TIDAL | Purchase (Download)

     

     

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    TIDAL Playlist

     

    Here is a TIDAL playlist with most of these tracks and a few different versions for tracks unavailable through the streaming service.

     

    PJ4CA on TIDAL

     

     

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    Great list, Chris.

     

    Occasionally reading of their fondness of spinning the black circles, I'm curious if anyone can comment on if the SQ of any of their vinyl pressings are superior to the digital versions? If so, perhaps chase them down for some needledrop versions.

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    Great list, Chris.

     

    Occasionally reading of their fondness of spinning the black circles, I'm curious if anyone can comment on if the SQ of any of their vinyl pressings are superior to the digital versions? If so, perhaps chase them down for some needledrop versions.

    Hi Kenreau - I have tons of PJ vinyl as well :~)

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    This is a great list. Thanks, Chris. This'll definitely get some airtime in my house. The sound quality from their MTV Unplugged session is also great, but the only findable CD quality of it came from a DVD-A rip from their first box set (I think). Black Unplugged, however, is on the PJ 20 album, which IS on TIDAL. That might be the best of the bunch in fact.

     

    Also, it's just Eddie, but the 24/96 (download) sound quality on Satellite, from the West of Memphis soundtrack album is phenomenal. Gorgeous harmonies.

     

    I have a bunch of their vinyl as well ... everything on Vitalogy and No Code sounds way better than their digital brethren. I have two copies of Yield, but both are on par with the CD. I bet Binaural would sound great on Vinyl, but its price on discogs is crazy. Unfortunately, I haven't gotten into the vinyl ripping game yet, so I can't share anything.

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    Thanks for the playlist. I like Pearl Jam quite a bit, but rarely stray out of my comfort zone so this helps.

     

    Also, is there a way to open a Tidal Playlist link in the native Mac app? It always wants to open in the browser and I have to login, favorite the playlist and then go to the native app and play it from there.

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    Thanks so much for posting this. Your timing is awesome as I am nearing the end of going through the catalogue at the moment. This is a band that I have always enjoyed around the fringes but a couple of weeks ago I just said to myself, you really need to know their catalogue. So that is exactly what I am doing. Really enjoying the ride, the band is without question a modern treasure in Rock.

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    Hi Kenreau - I have tons of PJ vinyl as well :~)

     

    And.....do you find one format sounds better that the other?

     

    Kenreau

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    As a long time PJ fan I must let you all know they have been offering hi resolution downloads of live shows for the past few years.

     

    May I recommend this one...

     

    PEARL JAM VIENNA 6/25/2014 VIENNA BOOTLEG DIGITAL DOWNLOAD

     

    Available in ALAC, ALAC-HD (24 bit/96KHz), MP3(256 kbit/s VBR), FLAC and FLAC-HD (24 bit/96KHz).

     

    Pearl Jam

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    Thanks for the Pearl Jam reference. There are three PJ releases that I know of that are available as hi-res downloads. Here's hoping more of the best rockers will release in hi-res.

    The gold standard for rock musicians who care about hi-res is Steven Wilson. His recording and format selection is of the highest standard. Recommend Hand.Cannot.Erase. and The Raven That Refused to Sing as the rock multichannel hi-res standard. He has also remastered vintage recordings such as Aqualung and King Crimson, which are recommended. Also available as 2 channel downloads on HDTracks, etc. Please tolerate the hyperbole, but SW is the best!

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    The Vienna set list is great. Good recommendation. How do they sound? I saw them 6 times in 2013 and by the last show in Seattle Eddie was sounding a little tired.

     

    I think they've been offering 24/96 downloads for all of their shows since 2012 and CD quality downloads (or just CDs, though sometimes hard to find now) for the years before that.

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    Please tolerate the hyperbole, but SW is the best!

     

    There is no hyperbole there, in my opinion... humble or not! LOL His work on the Yes and Tull material is without peer. As good and maybe even better than some of Steve Hoffman's works. SW is the guy PJ should hook up with! He's doing the Roxy Music catalog next. Burning Shed offers his work (Tull and Yes) and I've just seen that the SW remastered Tull albums are also being pressed in Japan, now.

     

    Sorry to hijack the PJ thread for the SW rave! Back on topic....

     

    I think the 96/24 Vitalogy is pretty good.

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    The long road and dead man walking are 2 of my favourite Eddie Vedder songs of all time. Great movie as well

     

    Thanks for sharing this Chris!

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    As i am something new to this audiophile thing i sometimes suffer in the lack of emotions in music.

    This statement i love most in your article:

    "For example, there are countless audiophile recordings of bells, cellos, drums, vocals, violins, etc… that sound spectacular, but you couldn't pay me to listen to them because they don't contain music. Too often great recordings contain sounds without "real" music or emotion."

    I didn't expect Pearl Jam here but now i am feeling like home...

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    As i am something new to this audiophile thing i sometimes suffer in the lack of emotions in music.

    This statement i love most in your article:

    "For example, there are countless audiophile recordings of bells, cellos, drums, vocals, violins, etc… that sound spectacular, but you couldn't pay me to listen to them because they don't contain music. Too often great recordings contain sounds without "real" music or emotion."

    I didn't expect Pearl Jam here but now i am feeling like home...

    Happy you are here Ice :~)

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    "Too often great recordings contain sounds without "real" music or emotion."

    I didn't expect Pearl Jam here but now i am feeling like home...

     

    Don't worry, we'll find a link to Tuvan throat singers for you. :)

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    Don't worry, we'll find a link to Tuvan throat singers for you. :)

     

    This is my favorite:

     

    R-1217213-1201439679.jpeg.jpg

     

    It even has the Richard Feynman song.

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    Fellow Pearl Jam nut here, great playlist Chris!

     

    Being also a Head-Fier, i personally would love for the band to record with David Chesky; they already have a Binaural album, so why not a HiRes one to boot!

     

    When it comes to sound quality, i have always felt PJ to hit rock bottom on both Riot Act and the Avocado album. Love Boat Captain and Comatose with my Grado RS1s are almost unlistenable, which is a shame since they are great songs! The rest are fine IMHO. Eddie's voice in Yield's Given To Fly is awesome.

     

    Ohh by the way, the 24/96 downloads are great.

    Lightning Bolt (tittle track) from the Milan 2014 show gets me jumping and singing every time. What a song!

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    Thanks for the PJ Tidal list. Since getting into my hi-fi a few months ago now, many of my stand by rock standards are disappointing SQ wise to the extant I don't really listen to them any more (U2 for example), while others are better than ever (Mark Knopfler for example. I am enjoying this PJ playlist...

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