Conventional wisdom holds that Nirvana's Nevermind was the best album of the 90s. I've never agreed with this; I always thought that if any record deserved that title it was Radiohead's OK Computer, which held up far better over time.
That said, last night I picked up the new Legacy Edition of Pearl Jam's stunning 1991 debut, Ten, featuring an updated mix of the record by Brendan O'Brien, and you know something? It affected me the same way it did the first time I heard it. The thing is simply a fucking masterpiece. It's painful and chilling and ferocious and lovely and powerful and heartbreaking and earnest and hopeful. It reminded me of what it was like to be young, in the best possible way -- maybe because no one makes music like that anymore.
Listening to it left me believing that there was no question that it was and is the best album of the 90s.
Here's a live performance of Jeremy.