On this day in music history: August 27, 1991 – “Ten”, the debut album by Pearl Jam is released. Produced by Rick Parashar and Pearl Jam, it is recorded at London Bridge Studios in Seattle, WA from March 27 – April 26, 1991. Formed out of the ashes of bassist Jeff Ament and guitarist Stone Gossards’ former band Mother Love Bone, the new band record their first album in just one month, Initially, the album gets off to a very slow start, languishing in record stores for many months until they pick up support from college radio and from touring relentlessly in support of it. It eventually spins off a total of five singles including “Alive” (#16 Mainstream Rock), “Evenflow” (#3 Mainstream Rock) and “Jeremy” (#5 Mainstream Rock). The success of the album establishes them among the most high profile of the grunge rock movement spearheaded by bands such as Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Alice In Chains. In 2009, “Ten” is reissued in four different editions including a remastered version of the original album, Deluxe, Vinyl and Super Deluxe edition with a bonus DVD of the band’s MTV Unplugged performance from 1992. It is remastered and reissued as a double vinyl LP set in 2014 (featuring the original and remixed versions of the album) on coke bottle green clear vinyl limited to 2,000 copies, as an exclusive through Pearl Jam’s fan club, and retailer Newbury Comics. “Ten” spends four weeks at number two (non-consecutive) on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 13x Platinum in the US by the RIAA, earning a Diamond Certification.
On this day in music history: September 10, 1975 – “Alive!”, the fourth album by KISS is released. Produced by Eddie Kramer, it is recorded at Cobo Hall in Detroit, MI, Convention Center in Wildwood, NJ, Music Hall in Cleveland, OH, The Orpheum Theater in Davenport, IA, and Electric Lady Studios in New York City from March – August 1975. Recorded during the tour in support of their third studio album “Dressed To Kill”, it comes at a time when both the band and their record label Casablanca are teetering on the brink of financial collapse. By mid 1975, none of KISS’ studio albums have sold over 100,000 copies, and the band are basically living on their manager Bill Aucoin’s American Express card. In spite of their low record sales, KISS is a top draw as a live touring act. Gambling on their reputation as a live act, they decide to record several shows on their current tour for an album. Working with veteran producer/engineer Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin), they do just that. The release of the sixteen song double live LP becomes KISS’s long awaited breakthrough, quickly going Gold, then Platinum and Multi-Platinum, spending 110 weeks on the Top 200 album chart. In later years, rumors circulate among fans that extensive overdubbing and re-recording of the tracks were done in the studio prior to the final mixing. According to the band and producer Eddie Kramer, other than a few minor fixes, the rumors are not true. Considering Casablanca Records perilous financial state at the time, budget constraints do not permit the amount of post-production work that had been alleged. The original vinyl LP release comes packaged in a gate fold jacket with a eight page full color booklet, featuring photos of the band. First remastered and reissued on CD in 1997, “Alive!” is remastered and reissued on double 180 gram vinyl in 2014, replicating the original album package including the booklet. “Alive!” peaks at number nine on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.