Seattle rock outfit Pearl Jam is legendary in all music circles, despite being a hard rock-punk group. Led by vocalist Eddie Vedder, whose distinctive voice has lent a certain haunting, ethereal quality to much of the group’s music, Pearl Jam has sustained success since the group’s debut in 1990.
Pearl Jam is considered to be one of the key groups credited with spurring the grunge movement of the early 90s. However, the group was criticized by fellow grunge rockers early on for being a watered-down, corporate version of an alt-rock band. The group became notable for their decidedly anti-establishment stance for much of their career, often refusing to involve themselves in standard music industry practices. Interestingly, Eric Weisbard of Spring Magazine was quoted as saying in 2001 article about the band: "The group that was once accused of being synthetic grunge now seem as organic and principled a rock band as exists."
Throughout the course of its career, Pearl Jam has sold more than 30 million records in the United States alone and more than 60 million records around the world. The group has managed to outlast many of other grunge bands of the time and is still considered to be a force in the hard/punk rock genre.
The group is all well-known for their activism and involvement in political causes. They are vocal pro-choice advocators and promote environmental awareness. They openly opposed the presidency of George W. Bush and spread awareness of Crohn’s disease, which has afflicted band member Mike McCready. In fact, Vedder is known for spouting social and political commentary during Pearl Jam performances.
Pearl Jam also frequently performs for charity events for a variety of causes, from Hurricane Katrina aid benefits to the United Nations hunger awareness events.