Five Against One: The Pearl Jam Story Review

artist: Kim Neely date: 07/13/2009 category: books

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Kim Neely: Five Against One: The Pearl Jam Story
The book is an excellent and insightful view into Pearl Jam, especially for a moderate or new fan looking to really get to know the band.
 Richness of Content: 8
 Style: 8
 Overall Impression: 10
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overall: 8.7
Five Against One: The Pearl Jam Story Reviewed by: TheDissident, on july 13, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Richness of Content: Five Against One: The Pearl Jam Story, is an insightful and introspective view into the life of one of the most enigmatic bands of the 90's. Trying to ignore Fame, and claiming to have no gimmick, Pearl Jam fought to relinquich the title of Generation X Spokesman almost as soon as they got it. Former Rolling Stone's writer Kim Neely takes a brilliant look at the band and what made them unique, as well as diving deep into the past of Eddie Vedder, a man who until then seemed to Live behind a mask of his own design. Kim Neely (through interviews with the members themselves, as well as associates) manages to convey the more troubled side of the band. Unfortuantely for the book, Neely almost seems to have a one sided opinion of the band, writing off many of their hardships and building up Eddie Vedder, ignoring some of his more egocentric moments in favor of those that make him look more like the star he didn't want to be. All that aside, the book remains an excellent blend of story telling (from Mike McCready's drunken escapade around Europe) and historical recounts of the bands past (Eddie's parents speak and do their best to clear some of the mystery around the singer's history). The only other real downside to the book is it's release date, meaning that it ends right up before Yeild was released. The book doesn't hold too much as far as real Jammers are concerned, much of it might be common knowledge to them anyway. But a few of the stories, some told by Eddie himself, prove insightful to the band's history, and might make you think twice before judging the ban or it's lead singer. // 8

Style: The book bounces back and forth between time periods, which can confuse those who aren't paying too close attention. We start with Pearl Jam being booed off stage, at the height of their battle with Ticketmaster, as they perform a show with Vedder battling the flu. Suddenly we flash back a few years, watching as Green River falls apart and Mother Love Bone is born. The story continues until the release of Ten, Vs, and their tours. All of sudden Neely thrusts the reader into a historical account of Eddie's life, sparing very little from his troubled past. In these accounts, the very minor favoritism shown by Neely is dropped, in favor of a much more scrutinized report. The author examines both sides of his troubled child hood, from his view and that of his parents. After leaving him in San Diego, the story jumps back to where it left off with Pearl Jam, following them through their battle with Ticketmaster and to the days right before Yeild. // 8

Overall Impression: The book is an excellent and insightful view into Pearl Jam, especially for a moderate or new fan looking to really get to know the band. Experienced Jammers might want to drop some cash for it as well, as the stories from the road should prove to be very entertaining, and even Eddie's interpetations of his own songs might be surprising to some. Though written so early in the bands still flourishing career, Five Against One: The Pearl Jam story provides plenty of entertainment and information on one of Seattle's most succesful and intriguing bands. // 10

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