The grunge era was nearing its dawn when Pearl Jam formed from the ashes of Seattle band Mother Love Bone, whose singer died of a heroin overdose shortly before their debut album was to be released.

Taking a chance on an untried singer from the San Diego area, the group rebranded with Eddie Vedder writing all of the lyrics on their debut album, Ten. Released in August 1991, the record took some time inching its way toward the upper reaches of the charts, eventually stopping at No. 2.

Over the next five years, Pearl Jam released three more albums, each making it to No. 1. (All of their albums have reached the Top 5; they've also had additional No. 1 LPs in the 2000s.)

READ MORE: Pearl Jam, 'Dark Matter': Album Review

But as grunge faded from mainstream view, the band sharpened its focus, flipping its guitar-based music toward darker, odder shades. Art-rock, experimental noise, back-to-basic punk and folk have all found their way into their albums over the years, as you'll note in the list of Pearl Jam Albums Ranked below.

During that time, they survived the grunge era to become one of the new century's great rock 'n' roll bands. Continuous touring and persistent ambition in the studio have kept them relevant as so many of their peers have faded into obscurity. Finding a balance between giving their legions of fans the muscular hard rock they've come to expect while feeding its collective creative aspirations, Pearl Jam has extended their legacy beyond '90s grunge.

Pearl Jam Albums Ranked Worst to Best

They survived the grunge era to become one of the great rock 'n' roll bands of the new century.

Gallery Credit: Michael Gallucci

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