Nirvana vs Pearl Jam

a21schizoidmana21schizoidman Prog-nosticator
edited April 2008 in History of Rock
Ok, there are lots of threads with "who is the better band" themes. Now, how about we break them down. Who has the better bass, drums, vocals, and guitar?

Ok, 90s grunge band battle time.


Nirvana

Roaring out of the Seattle scene behind Soundgarden in 1987, they sold 30,000 copies of their debut, Bleach, until after 1991, when Nevermind was released. Nevermind is always listed as one of the best albums of the 90s, and only challenged by Pearl Jam's Ten as the best grunge album. They went through a plethera of drummers before settling with Grohl. Kurt Cobain was the bands guitarist, singer, songwriter, and leader. Krist Novoselic was their bassist. He once threw his bass in the air and it fell on his head (d'oh). Kurt died from a shotgun wound to the head in 1994, bringing Nirvana to an end. Magnum Opus = Nevermind


Kurt Cobain - guitar
Krist Novoselic - bass
David Grohl - drums

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Pearl Jam
Another band storming out of Seattle, Pearl Jam was formed by members of early 80s grunge groups. They soon outsold and grew more popular than Nirvana, becoming the most popular band of the 90s. They released several albums, had many hits including "Better Man" and "Daughter". And they still tour today. Magnum Opus = Ten


Eddie Vedder – vocals
Mike McCready – guitar
Jeff Ament – bass
Dave Krusen – drums

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Ok, now vote for who is the better of the musicians in their respected categories (DO NOT CLICK THEM ALL)

Songwriting:
Kurt Cobain - Nirvana
Eddie Vedder - Pearl Jam

Guitar:
Kurt Cobain - Nirvana
Mike McCready – guitar

Rhythm Section:
Krist Novoselic (bass) David Grohl (drums) - Nirvana
Jeff Ament (bass) Dave Krusen (drums) - Pearl Jam

and
Overall:
Nirvana
Pearl Jam

Comments

  • BhindBluEyes430BhindBluEyes430 Road Warrior
    edited April 2008
    Im going with pearl jam on this one.

    I love Eddie Vedders singing and songwriting.
    Mike McCready is one of the most underrated gutiarists. And is easily the best of the grunge era.

    Although I do like Grohl in nirvana, His drumming fit perectly and I really like it, But I am indiffrent about the bassists. The both play pretty plainly,
  • HardRocker12HardRocker12 Rising Star
    edited April 2008
    Nirvana is and always will be my favorite band.

    PS. i dont know if you noticed but you have a nirvana video under the pearl jam section, and in the poll, for the Nirvana rythym section your accidently put pearl jam. just letting you know.
  • OldFogeyOldFogey Road Warrior
    edited April 2008
    Wound up voting a clean sweep for Pearl Jam. One quibble -- several folks handle the song writing chores for PJ. Eddie mostly contributes lyrics and probably vocal lines. Stone Gossard wrote most of the best songs, but Jeff Ament contributed some beauts, e.g., Jeremy. Nearly gave the songwriting nod to Kurt. Definitely the songs are the strong suit with Nirvana, along with Grohl's drumming.

    About Ament vs.Novaselic: the biggest difference is the song-writing Ament adds to the band. But he is the stronger player to me, easily. I could have voted for the Nirvana rhythm section on the strength of Grohl's drumming, but overall I think PJ's rhythm section brings more to the table, esp. variety and support for jamming.
  • JMcQ77JMcQ77 Opening Act
    edited April 2008
    Dave Krusen? He was with the band for less than a year in 1991.

    Only two drummers have remained with PJ for any length of time - Dave Abbruzzese and Matt Cameron.

    BTW, my vote was for PJ across the board.
  • partyboydanialpartyboydanial Rising Star
    edited April 2008
    i chose nirvana for everything cept gotta give Mike McCready the guitar not tht Kurt Cobain isnt great too
  • KillBoxKillBox Opening Act
    edited April 2008
    PJ all categories...
  • polishdog90polishdog90 Road Warrior
    edited April 2008
    I chose Kurt Cobain for Singing/Songwriting. I chose Nirvana overall.

    The instrumentals are better in Pearl Jam imo, but I like Nirvana songs better. Also the singing is just personal preference and I happen to like Kurt's voice a lot.
  • U2Phreak1969U2Phreak1969 Rising Star
    edited April 2008
    I've stated in about ten other posts. . . I'll repeat myself here. No way should Rockband be releasing Nevermind before Pearl Jam's X.
    Pearl Jam is a vastly superior band.
    Had Cobain not enjoyed a final meal of shotgun shells we would never even hear Nirvana mentioned anymore. HIGHLY OVER-RATED!
  • polishdog90polishdog90 Road Warrior
    edited April 2008
    U2Phreak1969;480317 said:
    I've stated in about ten other posts. . . I'll repeat myself here. No way should Rockband be releasing Nevermind before Pearl Jam's X.
    Pearl Jam is a vastly superior band.
    Had Cobain not enjoyed a final meal of shotgun shells we would never even hear Nirvana mentioned anymore. HIGHLY OVER-RATED!
    I don't think that is true. Nirvana was popular before Cobain died.
  • bakapenpenbakapenpen Opening Act
    edited April 2008
    i gave it as a clean sweep to pearl jam.
    being in my teens when nevermind and ten were debuting i found that i was much more drawn in by the songs that pearl jam had than the ones that nirvana put out. infact there were only three songs tops that i cared about on nevermind while there were eleven that i liked on ten. i also thought that pearl jam was the better live band and even preferred their mtv unplugged set even though nirvana's unplugged was infinitely more famous.
  • xerichx07xerichx07 Banned
    edited April 2008
    Pearl Jam, always vote for the underdog, not the overrated peice of crap!
  • shogun290shogun290 Opening Act
    edited April 2008
    PJ on every thing but songwriting and drums.

    I like Grohls drumming, and Cobains songwriting i think was deeper (but thats just me).

    But PJ's musical abilities and the lead singers voice is much better.
  • I_LOVE_HMXI_LOVE_HMX Opening Act
    edited April 2008
    I like both bands.
    Ten > In Utero > the rest of both bands' discogs.
    So Pearl Jam wins this one IMO.
  • an1m051tyan1m051ty Rising Star
    edited April 2008
    I gave songwriting, vocals, and Rhythm to Nirvana, Guitar to PJ, Overall to Nirvana. I can't stand Eddie Vedder's voice. Plus I think the writing is better for Nirvana. But I can't deny McCreedy's talent.
  • U2Phreak1969U2Phreak1969 Rising Star
    edited April 2008
    polishdog90;480325 said:
    I don't think that is true. Nirvana was popular before Cobain died.
    I lived in Seattle at that time and I got soooo sick of hearing about Kurt Cobain this and Kurt Cobain that. . . Before he shot himself all that was talked about was all the great bands coming out of there and how cool it was to be at the center of that movement and if any band was highly regarded at that point, it was Pearl Jam, maybe Alice in Chains as well, but Nirvana was on the same level as Blind Melon, Seven Mary Three or Better Than Ezra - right until Cobain offed himself and then overnight they were the greatest band ever!
    I'm sorry, I refuse to glorify a heroine addict who had one pretty good album before he enjoyed a cowards death and killed himself.
    How many other artists have experimented with drugs and then ponied up, got sober and enjoyed renewed success. I'm thinking of Aerosmith at the moment, but they are a good example - Any of those guys could have died back then, but didn't and I guarantee you, the heroine aged Steven Tyler, had he died in 1978 or abouts would have made Aerosmith probably bigger than they are today. For what, a handful of hits? But look at the depth of the Aerosmith panacea now. They are amazing.
    Nirvana could have been amazing. Honestly, if I was a Cobain and Nirvana fan, I'd feel ripped off. How many more "Smells Like Teen Spirit's" (which I will grant you was the theme song of my latter teen years) would have been released had Cobain not taken a cowards way out. What would have been the depth of Nirvana's legacy had they lasted another 20 years?
  • polishdog90polishdog90 Road Warrior
    edited April 2008
    U2Phreak1969;480986 said:
    I lived in Seattle at that time and I got soooo sick of hearing about Kurt Cobain this and Kurt Cobain that. . . Before he shot himself all that was talked about was all the great bands coming out of there and how cool it was to be at the center of that movement and if any band was highly regarded at that point, it was Pearl Jam, maybe Alice in Chains as well, but Nirvana was on the same level as Blind Melon, Seven Mary Three or Better Than Ezra - right until Cobain offed himself and then overnight they were the greatest band ever!
    I'm sorry, I refuse to glorify a heroine addict who had one pretty good album before he enjoyed a cowards death and killed himself.
    How many other artists have experimented with drugs and then ponied up, got sober and enjoyed renewed success. I'm thinking of Aerosmith at the moment, but they are a good example - Any of those guys could have died back then, but didn't and I guarantee you, the heroine aged Steven Tyler, had he died in 1978 or abouts would have made Aerosmith probably bigger than they are today. For what, a handful of hits? But look at the depth of the Aerosmith panacea now. They are amazing.
    Nirvana could have been amazing. Honestly, if I was a Cobain and Nirvana fan, I'd feel ripped off. How many more "Smells Like Teen Spirit's" (which I will grant you was the theme song of my latter teen years) would have been released had Cobain not taken a cowards way out. What would have been the depth of Nirvana's legacy had they lasted another 20 years?
    I can't really argue about if they were the center of the grunge movement or not at the time because I was still young, but they definitely had mainstream success before Cobain killed himself. Smells Like Teen Spirit was released in 1991 and it was critically acclaimed and successful by 1992. Kurt Cobain didn't kill himself until 1994. They were definitely already popular when Cobain killed himself. Did it make them more popular? I don't know because I was too young at the time. Also I enjoy all of Nirvana's albums not just Nevermind. I also enjoy Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, and Soundgarden, but Nirvana just happens to be my favourite grunge band along with a lot of other people in this world. So by saying that Nirvana sucks your basically saying that your musical taste is so ****ing good that we are all wrong and should probably just stop listening to the music we enjoy. You should probably get over yourself dude. I don't care if Cobain was a heroin junky I enjoy the music he wrote.
  • KillBoxKillBox Opening Act
    edited April 2008
    polishdog90;481071 said:
    I don't care if Cobain was a heroin junky I enjoy the music he wrote.
    I'm staying out of this one except to point out that anybody who likes certain groups over others based on drug use...uhhh...that might leave like 3 bands ever left for you to like
  • RockBandRockerRockBandRocker Love Is A Battleship
    edited April 2008
    Both bands ROCK in my opinion.

    This is like comparing Apples and Oranges.

    Nirvana had darker lyrics, with darker subject matter. "Nevermind" and "In Utero" are some of the darkest albums I have listened to. Not to throw fuel to a fire, but I would call Nirvana an emotional band (notice I didn't say "emo"). I mean, most of the lyrics talk about suicide, so we hould have seen Kurt's death coming. However, I do find it strange that in "Come As You Are" he sings the lyric "I don't have a gun/ No, I don't need a gun".

    Anyway, on to Pearl Jam.

    Pearl Jam's material was more political and more "real". Listen to "Jeremy" and tell me that those lyrics couldn't happen. Also "Alive" is one of the best, under-rated songs. I mean the idea of a mother hiding the fact that her son's father isn't his father is the subject matter of today's talk shows.

    I understand that both bands have their followings, but if I had to pick one (not saying I am), it would be Pearl Jam, based on the fact that most people only started to listen to Nirvana after Kurt Cobain's death. It sort of undervalues the band to only listen to them becuase the lead singer killed himself. Pearl Jam was popular (and still is) based on their musical offerings, and the band isn't tainted by followers who only like them "after the fact".
  • RunesmithRunesmith Headliner
    edited April 2008
    Although both PJ and Nirvana are great bands, I prefer the latter. I voted Nirvana on all accounts. While Mike McCready is a highly talented guitarist, compared to the "so-so" skills of Kurt, I've always liked Kurt's guitar playing style better because of the way he was able to perfectly syncopate it with his lyrics and singing.
  • JMcQ77JMcQ77 Opening Act
    edited April 2008
    As someone living in Seattle during this whole "grunge" thing, I have a slightly different, slightly jaded perspective on the whole thing.

    First, most every Seattle band was over-exposed and overrated at that time. Mudhoney's "Overblown" captures this feeling well. It did not matter whether you could play a note or sing in pitch, if you wore tattered jeans and flannel, some label was going to sign you.

    Second, Nirvana was the standard-bearer for this over-exposure. Initially, because they had a pop hit in "Smells Like Teen Spirit" that was played 24-7 on MTV. Also, because the other "grunge" bands didn't fit the mold the rest of the country (aka MTV) needed to keep it accessible. Soundgarden was too metal (except for "Outshined" which was poppy in a similar vein as Teen Spirit.) AIC was too dark and heavy (there were very few radio hits on "Dirt.")

    Pearl Jam, if people remember, refused to be on MTV after releasing the "Jeremy" video. And, at the time, Jeremy was overplayed in the same way "Teen Spirit" was. By removing themselves from MTV, the spotlight shone even brighter on Nirvana. And the legend grew. However, many people in Seattle grew sick of Nirvana during that time.

    Third, the effect of Cobain's death cannot be understated. A very good NY Unplugged session becomes legendary. A very good Nevermind album is soon considered one of the greatest albums of all time (and the weaker studio follow-up albums are forgotten.) And suddenly, a marginal (and I'm being kind here) guitar player is now idolized.

    I still believe Nirvana is great, albeit quite overrated. But again, perhaps I'm jaded...
  • Rockbandfan23467Rockbandfan23467 Headliner
    edited April 2008
    Just want to say:

    NO ONE HAS EVER CALLED KURT A GREAT GUITARIST!!!!!

    And sence Julio's back, we don't need this poser.
  • BhindBluEyes430BhindBluEyes430 Road Warrior
    edited April 2008
    JMcQ77;492520 said:
    , albeit quite overrated. But again, perhaps I'm jaded...
    Can I steal that and put it in a song? lol

    I was never into grunge. But I like soundgarden and I never consided them metal.

    Rockbandfan23467 how bout we have a poll

    Julio_Stirkes_Back Vs. a21schizoidman

    I like a21schizoidman's polls much better they allow for more detail each section of the band.
  • JMcQ77JMcQ77 Opening Act
    edited April 2008
    Rockbandfan23467;492681 said:
    Just want to say:

    NO ONE HAS EVER CALLED KURT A GREAT GUITARIST!!!!!
    Check out the Rolling Stone list of 100 greatest guitarists. The fact that Cobain is on the list is beyond me...
  • Rockbandfan23467Rockbandfan23467 Headliner
    edited April 2008
    JMcQ77;493650 said:
    Check out the Rolling Stone list of 100 greatest guitarists. The fact that Cobain is on the list is beyond me...

    Ok, no one with their head outside of thier beast of burden has ever called Kurt a great guitarist.
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