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 Post subject: What is each albums major flaw? Part 3: VITALOGY
PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 6:07 pm 
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This is a multi-part series for each album. We'll move on to the next album when it seems like it's been discussed enough. I'd like to reiterate that the aim of these discussions is to hear opinions on what you think is the single most significant flaw for the album being discussed. We're not looking for general album bashing, but rather a critical look at the single biggest weakness for each record.

Example of a poor post:
There are so many things that suck on this album. Track 4, 8 and 9 are terrible and the lyrics for such and such a song a really bad. Not only that, but the cover is stupid.

Like I said, we're not looking for general album bashing. What I suggest is to go give a listen to the album being discussed. For some of us, it's been a while listening to these older albums all the way through, and it helps you think and take that critical view before you post. Try and be insightful and give good reasons why you believe the flaw you're pointing out is the biggest flaw of the album.

You can also still participate in the previous album discussions.

Previous album discussions:
Ten
VS


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 6:08 pm 
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Out of all the albums Pearl Jam has released, Vitalogy has remained my personal favorite. It came out during the height of Pearl Jam's popularity. Ten of course being a mega-success, followed up by VS, which broke all sorts of records for album sales during it's first week of release. There was a lot of anticipation and expectation for their next album, and they did not disappoint.

I remember hearing people say that this release was a collection of outstanding songs on a really bad album. It's kind of a funny way to put it, but basically it's saying that the album as a whole doesnt cohere very well. There are some studio wankery songs mixed in all over the album. One of the most acclaimed pearl jam songs of all time, Corduroy, is sandwiched between Pry, To and Bugs. Some of the most oddball songs on the album. And the album finally closes with Hey Foxymophandlemama, That's Me. A Jack Irons beat mixed with some "I'm not quite right in the head" overdub....that goes on for almost 8 minutes.
Wankery, folks. Pure wankery.
At times I listen to the album and think it's kind of fun to hear and see pearl jam doing these experiments and having a little fun and being creative. And then at times I think they should have had fun, but kept it to themselves.
Consider the album, minus the wankery:

1. Last Exit
2. Spin The Black Circle
3. Not For You
4. Tremor Christ
5. Nothingman
6. Whipping
7. Corduroy
8. Satan's Bed
9. Better Man
10. Immortality

Right there. That collection of songs is simply unbelievable. And that is why it is my all time favorite Pearl Jam album. Those songs are so good, that it doesnt matter what kind of wankery they throw all about the album. They could have recorded 10 minutes of tap dancing and it would not have mattered. Still the best all time pearl jam album right here.

Biggest album flaw: Wankery!

Biggest disappointment: WHERE THE FUCK IS MIKE ON THIS ALBUM?!?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 6:22 pm 
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I wouldn't change a thing on this album, it's my favorite album of all time-- any band. I think this is their defining album.

If I had to come up with one flaw, I'd agree with Buggy and say it couldn't of hurt if they used more of Mike. Not that this album really needed to, but I'm a huge fan of guitar solos or a lead guitar that really leads, and this album kind of lacks that. I think they make up for it in concert though, especially on Corduroy and Immortality.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 6:27 pm 
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I don't believe in Wankery. The album is perfect the way it is. Bugs is a great song, I don't care what anybody says.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 6:34 pm 
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I'm with Buggy on this. No other album can produce a collection of ten songs that even comes close to Vitalogy. Some of the experimental tracks make some thematic sense. I can see an arguement for keeping pry, to and especially bugs, but aye davanita and stupid mop have no business on this record. And not having immortality close it is a crime


I also miss mike on this one, although the songs are so good I'm not sure which ones he would have made a big improvement one. Was this when he was having alcohol problems?

My final three complaints

1-the cool down at the end of not for you goes on a little too long

2-I don't like what they did to satan's bed in the studio. the live version from atlanta 94 was perfect in its simplicity.

3-Corduroy or betterman should have been the first single

Even with these comments Vitalogy is still my favorite record of all time--by ANY band.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 6:44 pm 
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I'm totally of the same mind, Buggy.

The "throwaway" songs like Aye, Davinita and Bugs are totally curious inclusions. Mophandlemama is just masturbation. it's almost like they realized they could essentially read the phone book and people will announce their genious.

Add to this hardly any Mike solos ( hell hardly any solos, period) and there are your low points of the album.

I don't care for the slightly different arrangement of Whipping on the album. The break just before the second verse ( the first time Ed says "they're Whipping") is different from any way they have played the song live.

I think Satan's Bed loses some of the energy and power in the studio version. Both live versions performed before the album was released are much stronger.

Other than those faults, I think it's a brilliant album. sure, it has totally different styles of songs on there, but they're a band with 5 people in it. I'm glad they made an album where each track sounds the same. Definitely contains a couple of favorites in Whipping and Corduroy as well as other great songs like Immortality and Last Exit. I even like Tremor Christ and nothingman which are my least favorite songs on the album. It's rare for me to like every track on an album, but in this case, I do.

I would've been nice to have Hard to Imagine in there somewhere. I think it would've fit very well.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:03 pm 
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foxy mop truly is a weakness, other than that, everything is just fine. No "B" sides on this album or other throways, correct?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:11 pm 
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Agree with Buggy on this one. Because this one is flawless excpet for the total garbage thrown in between the classic songs on here, I think this will be the shortest of all the Biggest Flaw threads. If they had just left the 10 SONGS on there and left the junk off, it would be perfect. Still the best album ever - by anybody.

It just bugs me that this is their best album, but the one that most requires me to keep the remote close by (so I can skip the garbage).


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:12 pm 
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WorldWithYourHeart wrote:
foxy mop truly is a weakness, other than that, everything is just fine. No "B" sides on this album or other throways, correct?


They still have a treasure cave of studio songs that we have never heard, and might never hear. There were no "official" relesased studio B Sides for Vitalogy.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:17 pm 
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what i like about vitalogy is the feeling...the big fuck you that eddie is saying here...the whole album has big balls...i mean they deliver two radio friendly albums and there they put some of the most difficults songs they have written....the beggining is perfect...full of energy, full of rage...an instant pearl jam classic...this record also have 3 anthems...not for you, corduroy and better man....

what i don like is that with this records began the idea of not letting mike let go...i mean where the fuck are his solos?? and mike isnt colaborating much on the writing also...i read somewhere that he didnt like the album whe he first heard it....basically its feels like an eddie album, like a solo album from him...the feeling is very hardcore, like fugazi or something...
and of course there are too many goofy songs like to pry or aye davanita...they could have been cool bonus tracks but not songs on the album...


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:23 pm 
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My favorite of all time. My only problem is stupid mop, I think the other weird songs add to the album (aye davinita, bugs, pry to). Should have ended with immortality. I thought that Out of My Mind was a b-side on one of Vitology's singles, I dont think it would have fit on the album (I think the song is decent but not up to the Vitology standard). Adding Hard to Imagine would have enhanced the album even more.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:27 pm 
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Kalevi wrote:
I thought that Out of My Mind was a b-side on one of Vitology's singles


It was a song they toyed with live a couple times. More of a half song/improv. Not really a finished tune.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:32 pm 
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It's almost impossible for me to find complaint on this one. From start to finish, it's just about perfect. I even love how all of the messy stuff comes in the second half, so it feels like the album itself is disintegrating. The band's instability is well represented.

There are things I would call wrong with individual songs....Spin is only semi interesting, lyrically, and a few other spots are less exciting than others...but the flaws are necessarry to carry the feel. It's a little like Tonight's the Night in that regard.

I guess my only other complaint is that they didn't seem to know where to go with the ballads. For the most part they stick to the traditional formula (the man songs). The only time they really hit it on the head is Immortality. Now the man songs work out alright, mainly because the record is so bleak and because they tie to each other, but I reckon it's possible they could have found songs that better fit.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:45 pm 
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if anyone flips on 'bugs' as a flaw on this album, i'll go nuts. besides 'corduroy', 'bugs' is the defining song on this album.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:47 pm 
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It's my third favorite PJ album. Except for what's already been said about songs that were better left off than on I can't add much.

I think it was a turning point in their music, and their catalog. I think Ed got a lot out of his system with this one.

This is really great stuff you're doing here Buggy. I like looking at this side of the albums and what everyone contributes is great.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:57 pm 
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When I think of comments about "grunge" being tinged with anger and aggression, this is the album I think prompts those. But that is not a complaint....it's a compliment.

I think this album is a brilliantly-penned and played album. The "real" songs show a very mature and focused quintet.

My only drawback is something that has already been mentioned...Immortality should have been the closer.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 8:07 pm 
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To me, the biggest disappointment on Vitalogy is the chorus of Satan's Bed. I remember hearing that song for the first time and I loved the verse instantly, especially the frantic way Eddie delivers the lyrics. Then the chorus kicked in, and I thought "what the fuck?" It doesn't fit with the rest of the song at all and makes the whole song sound like it was really rushed in the writing process.

With a different chorus, I think Satan's Bed song would be a top 10 song for me.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 8:20 pm 
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McParadigm wrote:
It's almost impossible for me to find complaint on this one. From start to finish, it's just about perfect. I even love how all of the messy stuff comes in the second half, so it feels like the album itself is disintegrating. The band's instability is well represented.

There are things I would call wrong with individual songs....Spin is only semi interesting, lyrically, and a few other spots are less exciting than others...but the flaws are necessarry to carry the feel. It's a little like Tonight's the Night in that regard.

I guess my only other complaint is that they didn't seem to know where to go with the ballads. For the most part they stick to the traditional formula (the man songs). The only time they really hit it on the head is Immortality. Now the man songs work out alright, mainly because the record is so bleak and because they tie to each other, but I reckon it's possible they could have found songs that better fit.


PERFECTLY SAID!!!

If you just listen to it for the sake of listening to an album, like without even knowing the story behind it, you'd be like WTF??^^...The Album is so Abrasive and Selfdestructive right from the get go with Last Exit... I wrote a GIANT comment on Last Exit if anyone gives a shit...

But knowing the story, and the history behind what the band was going through at the time, all the pressures of being in the mainstream spotlight, having some fans of the "fair weather" variety only listening because it was cool...

those were the people that heard this album and thought to themselves, wow Pearl Jam is shitting the bed...

it was Pearl Jam's last angrily defiant album!!!!

But the problem was, they couldn't shed fairweather fans with Corduroy because the fans didn't give a shit about the words... They just liked the song because of how asskicking it sounds, while completely ignoring the words... and that's what Eddie hated the most..

This album was the final album that pearl jam tried "using their momentum as opposed to just getting out of the way and letting all their problems run out of gas on their own" (Eddie said something to the ffect of that once, and i know it would make my replymake more sense, but I don't remember it completely)



This Album Oh dear GOD IT IS FUCKING AMAZING!! but not better than No Code in IHMO.... Keep in mind, I am looking at the albums for more than just the quality of music, I am looking at the guts they had to write the songs they wrote for each album...

If you ask me, Releasing Who You Are as a single took a lot more balls than releasing Corduroy, even thought they were designed to do the same thing...

One night, I had some random insomnia, and I couldn't get to sleep, so I popped in vitalogy and started drawing,... I drew EVERYTHING in the vitalogy and VS lyrics books to the T... and I am crappy artist... that just goes to show you the wonders a little sleep deprivation can do (Mamasan Trilogy)

Sorry, I babble alot but I LOVE VITALOGY!!!

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 8:29 pm 
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I don't think the album works as well as it could/should have as a concept. betterman, and nothingman, in particular, while teriffic songs, are conspicuously out of line with some of the major themes on the album, imo. STBC is another that fits this bill, though it's not as...i don't know, intrusive, as the other two.
i suppose you could stretch and say that betterman and STBC are about addiction, and i'd let you get away with it, but that still leaves nothingman as an odd song out (and i love that song - i just can't match it up with the rest of the album). We know this was a time of some major under-writing, and i think that shows up in the choice/order of tracks - it feels like there was some big oomph they (ok, ed) wanted to make when the album dropped, but they didn't quite have the horses to make it happen at the time, which is apparent enough if you look at some of the themes that're present in spades on the record.
It's a fine collection of songs, and as an overall artistic statement (which, to me, is what great bands release, not just a collection of songs), it approaches the next three albums, but never quite gets over the top as a cohesive unit.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 8:32 pm 
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and i include the "wankery" songs in my above assessment. if you can't connect the dots from 'pry, to' to 'corduroy', you're willfully not paying attention.

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