“How long between Pearl Jam albums?”

by John Reynolds on April 28, 2005

This article was originally published on April 28, 2005. Dates in the table below are automatically updated. 

Tom Petty once sang that the waiting is the hardest part. And one of our favorite songwriters wrote, “the waiting drove me mad.” Pearl Jam fans trying to be patient while the band finishes the new album know that feeling well. At least good things come to those who wait, or so says the old cliche. Waiting for a new album has become similar to watching a seed grow. We sit at our computers, listen to our radios, pass the time by downloading old shows, and just watch and watch and watch until the slightest inkling of news about a new album surfaces, like the tiny first green stem point that emerges from the soil.

Writing, recording, and producing an album is no small feat, and it takes time. We see the stem grow larger, we anticipate the blooming of the flower as the hint of a release date comes, and are intrigued when the stem grows past its normal height, meaning the band is still in the studio. When a new album promotion starts and the first single is released, the flowers open. On release day we see the rose in full bloom and forget all about how long it took to grow.

April 28, 2005: At the time of this writing (originally April 28, 2005), everyone’s anxious for the follow-up to 2002′s Riot Act. Message boards are going nuts about how long it’s been since the last record, and – lo! – a few have threatened to shed their fandom because of the wait (are they kidding?!). Has it really been that long? As we all play the waiting game, let’s have a look. Here is the duration in years/days between Pearl Jam’s full length studio albums:

September 20, 2013: On this day, it’s the 4-year anniversary of Backspacer‘s release date. Luckily we have just a few weeks to wait until Lightning Bolt

Yes, the elapsed time since Riot Act recently became the longest duration between PJ albums to date.

The gap between Backspacer and Lightning Bolt is currently the longest gap.

John Reynolds ( Twitter: @jjjrrr )
A New Jersey based programmer, John handles TFT’s programming and technical aspects. He also conceives and writes his share of TFT’s articles and sections. John’s first Pearl Jam show was at Lollapalooza on August 12, 1992.

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