Vs. is the second and one of the most successful albums by Pearl Jam through Epic Records. The album was released in October 19, 1993 releasing only in ten days, 1.300.000 copies and held the number one on the Billboard 200 for five weeks. For five years, Vs. also held the record of most copies sold in a week.
Following the success of 1992, when Pearl Jam was performing on festivals, small clubs, MTV and the band was everywhere, the band started recording Vs. during Ten Tour. Going further into the wave of their peak of popularity, Vedder didn't enjoy the place they were recording, Nicasio, California, and according to Jeff Ament, he had a lot of pressure of finishing the songs. It was the first time Brendan O' Brien worked with the band. Drummer Dave Abbruzzese replaced Matt Chamberlain who left the band in 1992.
Vs. is poetically an extension of Ten, rage, family abuse, the youth role on the society, autority abuse, loneliness were themes of the new album. The song "Blood" was the first sign of discomfort with fame and the dynamics of mainstream musical industry to be transfered to their music. Also, "Indifference" was already an evidence of exile, as the songs talks about someone who won't change direction on their ideals cause the world outside makes no difference.
The album was a success and sold, in one week, 950.378 copies, a reflex of the great peak of fame that occurred in 1992. Vs. was extremely well accepted, putting Pearl Jam in a position of one of the biggest revelations of rock, specially among the bands that were rising in the 90's. Nominated for several prizes and its songs selected on high positions of several charts, there is no doubt that this album was the work that confirmed the talent of a group of five young guys who were, among others, showing a new style of rock.
The album is title was changed to Vs., but the first project was for the work to be called Five Against One. This one was already a hint of the five members being against something, maybe fame or maybe themselves as once was stated by Stone Gossard. The current title was chosen due the amount of conflicts on the songs, most of them are violent relations between a protagonist and a nemesis. The artwork is a picture of a sheep, taken by bassist Jeff Ament, always art lover, who stated that the band felt like slaves, just like sheeps trapped.
- Glorified G
- Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town
- Dave Abbruzzese – drums
- Jeff Ament – bass guitar
- Stone Gossard – rhythm guitar
- Mike McCready – lead guitar
- Eddie Vedder – vocals, rhythm guitar on Rearviewmirror and Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town
- Ames – artwork, black-and-white photography
- Nick DiDia – recording
- Adam Kasper, Kevin Scott – assistance
- Lance Mercer – inside color photography
- Brendan O'Brien, Pearl Jam – production
- Joel Zimmerman – art direction