Tuesday, November 22, 1994

Pearl Jam Vitalogy released


Pearl Jam

Released: November 22, 1994

Peak: 11 US, 4 UK, 11 CN, 11 AU

Sales (in millions): 5.0 US, 0.1 UK, 10.0 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: grunge


Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to charts.

  1. Last Exit
  2. Spin the Black Circle (11/19/94, 58 BB, 16 AR, 11 MR, 10 UK)
  3. Not for You (2/25/95, 12 AR, 38 MR, 34 UK)
  4. Tremor Christ (11/19/94, 18 BB, 16 AR, 16 MR)
  5. Nothingman
  6. Whipping
  7. Pry, To
  8. Curduroy (12/10/94, 53 BA, 22 AR, 13 MR)
  9. Bugs
  10. Satan’s Bed
  11. Better Man (12/3/94, 13 BA, 1 AR, 2 MR)
  12. Aye Davanita
  13. Immortality (7/8/95, 10 AR, 31 MR)
  14. Hey Foxymophandlemama, That’s Me

Total Running Time: 55:30

The Players:

  • Eddie Vedder (vocals, guitar)
  • Stone Gossard (guitar)
  • Mike McCready (guitar)
  • Jeff Ament (bass)
  • Dave Abbruzzese (drums)


3.968 out of 5.00 (average of 22 ratings)


(Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

Released on vinyl two weeks before its CD release, Pearl Jam created a definite demand for their third album. The vinyl version alone sold 35,000 copies in its debut week. When it hit the shelves in CD format, it became the second-fasted selling album in U.S. history – second only to the group’s previous effort, Vs.. WK

It wasn’t just a big seller. “Thanks to its stripped-down, lean production, Vitalogy stands as Pearl Jam’s most original and uncompromising album.” STE That can be good or bad – Jon Pareles said, the album incorporates “fast but brutal punk, fuzz-toned psychedelia, and judicious folk-rock, all of it sounding more spontaneous than before” WK while Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times said “this isn’t just the best Pearl Jam album but a better album than the band once even seemed capable of making.” WK Edna Gundersen of USA Today confirmed the latter point, saying this is “the band’s most compelling, inventive and confident music to date.” WK The New York TimesEntertainment Weekly’s David Browne said that “Vitalogy marks the first time it’s possible to respect the band’s music as much as its stance” WK but also said that it “leaves an odd, unsettling aftertaste.” WK

More to the latter point, Rolling Stone’s Al Weisel called it “a wildly uneven and difficult record, sometimes maddening, sometimes ridiculous, often powerful.” WK It is definitely “more diverse than previous releases” WK with “aggressive rock songs, ballads, and several experimental tracks.” WK The band’s guitarist, Mike McCready, concurs, saying “there is some weird stuff on there.” WK

Weisel said some of those come across as “throwaways and strange experiments that don’t always work.” WK Time’s Christopher John Farley specifically signaled out Bugs, with its “sub-Tom Waits accordion romp,” STE as one of the album’s stinkers, but also said “that’s one admirably experimental failure on a largely successful album.” WK Other more experimental numbers included “the mantrafunk of Aye DavanitaSTE “and the chilling sonic collage Hey Foxymophandlemama, That’s Me,” STE which was reportedly created with “looped recordings of real patients from a psychiatric hospital.” WK

The album sports a noticeable lack of guitar solos compared to the group’s first two studio efforts. As McCready said, “I don’t think the songs demanded solos; it was more of a rhythmic album.” WK

“While it isn’t a concept album, Vitalogy sounds like one. Death and despair shroud the album, rendering even the explosive celebration of vinyl Spin the Black Circle somewhat muted.” STE As Pareles said, the bulk of the songs are “tortured first-person proclamations” WK and that “Vedder sounds more alone than ever.” WK As Jim DeRogatis said in the Chicago Sun-Times, the album can leave you “wishing that they’d just lighten up.” WK

“But that black cloud works to Pearl Jam’s advantage, injecting a nervous tension to brittle rockers like Last Exit and Not for You, and especially introspective ballads like Corduroy and Better Man.” STE The latter was written by Vedder when he was in high school and he performed it with in his pre-Pearl Jam days with the group Bad Radio. Pearl Jam initially rejected it for Vs. because it was too accessible – or, as producer Brendan O’Brien said, a “blatantly great pop song.” WK

Thematically, many of the songs also address “the pressures of fame and dealing with the resulting loss of privacy.” WK In addition to the previously mentioned “Not for You” and “Curduroy,” Pry, To, ‘Bugs,’ Satan’s Bed, and Immortality all address these issues. WK “Not for You” deals vents against the “bureaucracy of the music industry and, as Vedder says, “how youth is being exploited.” WK He explains that “Curduroy” is about “one person’s relationship with a million people” WK and that “Immortality” is about “the pressures on someone who is on a parallel train.” WK

“Pearl Jam are at their best when they’re fighting, whether it’s Ticketmaster, fame, or their own personal demons.” STE To that point, things were tense with the band during the recording process. Drummer Dave Abbruzzese says that communication problems spiked as a result of guitarist Stone Gossard refraining from his usual role as mediator. WK Gossard, who has said he considered quitting the band, says this was the first album where final decisions were pretty much in the hands of lead singer Eddie Vedder. WK He also said that “eighty percent of the songs were written 20 minutes before they were recorded.” WK On top of it all, McCready sought rehab for alcohol and cocaine abuse. WK

As for the album’s title, it was originally intended to be called Life, something confirmed by the statement on the first single “Spin the Black Circle.” However, Vedder found a medical book, Vitalogy, which means “the study of life” which became not just the album title but the source of the cover art and liner notes.


In 2011, an expanded version of the album was released with a guitar and organ-only mix of “Better Man,” an alternate version of “Curduroy,” and a demo of “Nothingman.”

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First posted 3/30/2011; last updated 11/17/2023.

Tuesday, November 8, 1994

Giraffe performs The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway live

The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway


Recorded: November 8, 1994

Released: 2014

Peak: --

Sales (in millions): --

Genre: progressive rock


Song Title [time]

  1. The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway [6:07]
  2. Fly on a Windshield [1:21]
  3. Broadway Melody of 1974 [3:23]
  4. In the Cage [9:11]
  5. The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging [2:54]
  6. Back in N.Y.C. [7:03]
  7. The Carpet Crawlers [6:44]
  8. Lilywhite Lilith [2:54]
  9. The Lamia [7:52]
  10. The Colony of Slippermen [6:29]
  11. In the Rapids [2:21]
  12. It/Watcher of the Skies [8:42]
  13. The Musical Box [8:28]

Songs written by Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett, and Mike Rutherford.

The Players:

  • Kevin Gilbert (vocals)
  • Dan Hancock (guitar)
  • David Kerzner (keyboards)
  • Stan Cotey (bass)
  • Nick D’Virgilio (drums)


2.517 out of 5.00 (average of 7 ratings)

About the Album:

Anyone who does any reading on Kevin Gilbert will quickly note how he name checks early Genesis amongst his progressive rock influences, specifically “conceptual masterpiece The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway,” MO-PA the 1974 double album that was then-lead singer Peter Gabriel’s swan song with the band. In his own words, KG says, “I’d put it right up there with Tommy and Quadrophenia,” CH two albums by The Who that are perhaps the best known and most critically acclaimed rock operas ever conceived.

Gilbert seemed determined to put The Lamb on its proper pedestal. As he said, “I think that’s a great lost piece of work…People have forgotten it, at least in the genre of rock music that is also story.” CH “I used to rehearse that when I was a kid…I’d close the door, I’d put on my leather coat, and I would perform The Lamb from start to finish. I probably performed it a hundred times.” CH

He “had a burning desire to perform [it] in its entirety” MO-PA outside of the confines of his childhood bedroom. This wish was fulfilled at ProgFest 1994 at the Variety Arts Center in Los Angeles. With a reformed Giraffe (containing a then unknown Nick D’Virgilio on drums), Gilbert wowed the audience with a performance worthy of Genesis themselves.” MO-KG “This show, although never officially released, has become the stuff of legends.” MO-PA

Dave Kerzner, who played with Gilbert at that gig and on KG’s subsequent Thud album and tour, recounts how it came about. “One day I got a phone call from Kevin because he had heard I had a studio filled with vintage keyboards. He wanted to see the various Mellotrons and Chamberlins I had, so I invited him over.” DK

“We talked, and I played him some tunes I was working on at the time…He…commented…about how he knew I must be into Tony Banks because I had every keyboard Tony ever used. At the end of our first ‘hang,’ he said ‘You know, we should get a bunch of guys together and play The Lamb’! I just looked at him in disbelief and said ‘Sure, that would be awesome!’” DK

“At the end of 1994, Kevin came to me and said ‘Dave, still want to play The Lamb? I know the perfect place to do it. It’s called ProgFest.’ So I said, ‘Yeah, I am totally up for the challenge but who else can we get to do this?’ Kevin explained to me that he had played with a drummer named Nick D’Virgilio who was a huge Phil Collins fan. He was very confident that Nick could pull it off.” DK

Nick met Gilbert at a ski resort gig. He later drummed for Gilbert on 1995’s Thud and was responsible for completing The Shaming of the True after Gilbert died. The Progfest program says that “Nick divulged his Collins obsession and mentioned that he had learned to drum by playing along to The Lamb.” PP

Rounding out the band were Dan Hancock took on the Steve Hackett role and filling in for the part of Mike Rutherford was Gilbert’s ex-Giraffe bandmate Stan Cotey. With two ex-Giraffe members on board, the gig was billed as Giraffe, largely out of Gilbert’s trepidation of having it viewed as a solo project.

The show was at the Variety Arts Center in Los Angeles on 11/6/94. “Widely hailed as a brilliant performance,” MG it was a “brilliant dedication to one of prog rock’s hallmark records.” SF “If you’re a musician, you probably know how impossible it is to perform any song from The Lamb, and musician-wise it’s a fabulous performance (some instrument parts are played ‘better’ than on the original record).” SF

The program does note, however, that “Due to time considerations, this evening’s performance is a slightly chopped Lamb. But…the band assures you the task they did not crave was what to kill and what to save and they’re sorry if they skipped your fave.” PP

Kerzner fondly remembers the performance: “We all got to play one of our favorite records of all time in front of a crowd of several thousand screaming prog fans that knew every note! And most of all, I am happy we were able to provide the background for one of Kevin’s fantasies, to play the part of Rael.” DK

“This concert was a big highlight for me because not only was it the most challenging gig I ever played, but the best feeling I ever had on stage was at the end of ‘Watcher of the Skies’ with that big grandiose ending along with the crowd reaction after. What a feeling that was!” DK

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First posted 3/6/2010; updated 6/4/2021.

Eagles reunite with Hell Freezes Over

First posted 3/26/2008; updated 9/16/2020.

Hell Freezes Over


Released: November 8, 1994

Recorded: 1994

Peak: 12 US, 28 UK, 11 CN, 23 AU

Sales (in millions): 8.0 US, 0.1 UK, 12.1 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: classic rock

Tracks: Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Get Over It (10/22/94, 31 US, 4 AR, 21 AC, 4 CN, 74 AU) *
  2. Love Will Keep Us Alive (12/17/94, 22a US, 1 AC, 52 UK, 10 AU) *
  3. The Girl from Yesterday (11/12/94, 58 CW) *
  4. Learn to Be Still (1/21/95, 61a US, 33 AR, 15 AC, 9 CN) *
  5. Tequila Sunrise
  6. Hotel California
  7. Wasted Time
  8. Pretty Maids All in a Row
  9. I Can’t Tell You Why
  10. New York Minute (Don Henley solo song) (11/3/90, 48 US, 24 AR, 5 AC)
  11. The Last Resort
  12. Take It Easy
  13. In the City
  14. Life in the Fast Lane
  15. Desperado
* Studio cuts. Chart figures are only for those songs not previously featured on any Eagles’ albums.

Total Running Time: 72:36

The Players:

  • Glenn Frey (vocals, guitar, keyboards)
  • Don Henley (vocals, drums)
  • Don Felder (guitar, vocals, mandolin)
  • Timothy B. Schmit (bass, vocals)
  • Joe Walsh (guitar, vocals, organ)


3.582 out of 5.00 (average of 19 ratings)


About the Album:

“The Eagles’ first newly recorded album in 14 years gets off to a good start with the rocker Get Over It, a timely piece of advice about accepting responsibility, followed by the tender ballad Love Will Keep Us Alive, the country-styled The Girl from Yesterday, and Learn to Be Still, one of Don Henley's more thoughtful statements.” AMG

“Unfortunately, that’s it. Hell Freezes Over contains an EP’s worth of new material followed by a live album. The Eagles, known for meticulously recreating their studio recordings in concert, nevertheless released Eagles Live in 1980. Six songs from that set reappear here, and only one is in a noticeably different arrangement, Hotel California, which gets an acoustic treatment.” AMG

“As was true on Eagles Live, the group remains most interested in their later material, redoing five songs from the Hotel California LP and two from its follow-up, The Long Run, but finding space for only three songs from their early days, Tequila Sunrise, Take It Easy, and Desperado, the last two of which were also on Eagles Live.” AMG

“As such, Hell Freezes Over is hard to justify as anything other than a souvenir for the Eagles’ reunion tour. That, however, did not keep it from topping the charts and selling in the millions.” AMG

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Tuesday, November 1, 1994

Today in Music (1894): The first issue of Billboard hit newstands

tenth anniversary issue

November 1, 1894:

The First Issue of Billboard hit newsstands

Billboard magazine is now known as the leading music chart authority, but it began life as a tool for the advertising and marketing worlds. In the fall of 1894, William H. Donaldson and James H. Hennegan EM launched Billboard Advertising in Cincinnati as a publication “devoted to the interests of advertisers, poster printers, bill posters, advertising agents & secretaries of fairs.” BB It was priced at 10 cents an issue or 99 cents a year. BB The first issue was eight pages long and featured Chicago advertising executive R.C. Campbell. EM

By 1896, Billboard expanded its coverage to the carnivals and fairs which were often advertised on billboards. EM In February 1897, the name was shortened to The Billboard EM and the magazine became more focused on a variety of live entertainment including circles and vaudeville. BB In 1909, it began covering the motion picture industry and by the 1920s was focusing on radio as well. WK For the last 70 years, the magazine has been primarily focused on the music industry. BB

Until 1961, stories of “tent shows and carny pitchmen still shared space with music stories, charts, and reviews.” EM The former kinds of stories became the focus of new publiciation Amusement Business EM (which lasted until May 2006 WK) and The Billboard was rechristened as Billboard Music Week to focus on the music angle. EM By 1963, it was shortened to Billboad. WK

The earliest music charts published by Billboard were in 1913 for sheet music sales. From 1913-1918, the magazine did a weekly list of the most popular songs in vaudeville. By 1934, Billboard regularly charted radio airplay and sheet music sales. PM In 1940, the magazine launched its top-ten-position chart on best-selling retail records. The list was based on nationwide polls of retailers. It was their first comprehensive list to combine all labels. Tommy Dorsey topped that first chart with “I’ll Never Smile Again” (“Frank Sinatra hits #1 for the first time: July 27, 1940”). BB

In 1956, Billboard launched its weekly, industry-standard top-200 album chart. Two years later, the industry-standard Hot 100 singles chart followed (“The Billboard Hot 100 is introduced: August 4, 1958”). BB That list now consolidates physical sales, digital sales, and radio airplay.

Today Billboard is targeted to music professionals such as record label executives, music retailers, and radio stations. WK The magazine puts out more than 100 charts a week. WK It reaches more than 100 countries and its website (Billboard.com) attracts two and a half million unique visitors per month. EM

For more important days in music history, check out the Dave’s Music Database history page.

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First posted 11/1/2011; updated 10/28/2023.

Aerosmith’s Big Ones compilation released

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