'Then that Cobain had to come around and ruin it all... the '90s sucked.'
-- Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler
Amen, brother. As 2009 is the first year since the '90s to include the digit '9' -- the worst number -- the FBO will be turning back to the '90s throughout the year to explain why it was the worst decade, musically and creatively speaking.
For starters, does anyone think it's about time we got an explanation for Pearl Jam's laughable cover for their debut album 10? The overly earnest raised-hand or arm-in-arm embrace sort of works when you're Vietnam vets singing backups in Billy Joel's live 'Goodnight Saigon' video (which isn't sounding that bad in 2009), but it really has no place on the outset of new era, where alternative bands took over the limelight from the fussed-up bands of the late '80s.
1991 was a hopeful time, but Pearl Jam -- complete with back-up guitarist's Richie Sambora hat in the grainy b/w video of 'Alive' -- assured hard-rock fans that this new 'alternative rock' wouldn't cut back on any Ford Truck bravado. And they ended up prophetic on that.
--> It's tempting to imagine that Pearl Jam don't prefer, artfully speaking, Gutzon Borglum (of Mt Rushmore fame) or Felix DeWeldon (of Iwa Jima Memorial fame) to 'vaguer' works by Rodin or Michelangelo.
The cover of the 11-song 10 (actually named for former OU basketball player Mookie Blaylock's number in the NBA) is a genuine attempt to show 'all for one, one for all' -- something immortally picked up by Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart and Sting with a Three Musketeers film ballad 'All For Love' in 1993.
A few things you can't do:
* Walk around the East Village in 1996 with an Oasis t-shirt.
* Drink Starbucks on stage in 2002 or 2003.
* Cover songs by Oasis.
* Use hats to form an identity unless you're Brian Johnson (of AC/DC) or Jamiroquai.
* Believe that a rock band, locked in unity, can triumph over the odds of homelessness, murder, depression, teen angst.
Is there any difference, really, between the sentiments of the following two photographs -- one Rod Stewart, Bryan Adams (and a slightly removed) Sting interlocked in a soaring chorus about three poncey sword fighters, and the other the full image from Pearl Jam's debut photo shoot?
The answer, all for all, should be an emphatic 'no.'
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