This Day in 2009, Pearl Jam went to No.1 on the US album chart with 'Backspacer', the group's ninth studio album.
Backspacer is the ninth studio album by the American alternative rock band Pearl Jam, released on September 20, 2009. The bandmembers started writing instrumental and demo tracks in 2007, and got together in 2008 to work on an album. It was recorded from February through April 2009 with producer Brendan O'Brien, who was working with the band for the fourth time—this was their first collaboration since 1998's Yield. Material was recorded in Henson Recording Studios in Los Angeles, California and O'Brien's own Southern Tracks Recording in Atlanta, Georgia. The music on the album—the shortest of the band's career—features a sound influenced by pop and New Wave. The lyrics have a more optimistic look than the ones in the politic-infused predecessors Riot Act and Pearl Jam, something frontman Eddie Vedder attributed to the election of Barack Obama.
The band released the album through their own label Monkeywrench Records with worldwide distribution by Universal Music Group via a licensing agreement with Island Records. Physical copies of the record were sold through Target in North America, and promotion included a deal with Verizon,a world tour, and moderately successful singles "The Fixer" and "Got Some"/"Just Breathe". Reviews for Backspacer were positive, praising the sound and composition, and the album became Pearl Jam's first chart topper at the United States' Billboard 200 since 1996's No Code, while also topping the charts in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
For their ninth album, Pearl Jam chose to return to producer Brendan O'Brien; this was the group's first album produced by O'Brien since 1998'sYield. The band allowed O'Brien greater latitude in determining the sound of Backspacer. "At this point, I think we're willing to let somebody cut the songs up a little bit," says lead vocalist Eddie Vedder. "In the past, Brendan would say, 'It's a great song, but I think you should do it in a different key', and we'd say no. But now that we've heard Bruce [Springsteen] has listened to his suggestions, I think we will too." Bassist Jeff Ament said, "He brings a brutally honest approach to what he thinks is working and what isn't, and it really moves things along... We don't get weighted down with ideas that maybe aren't even that good. He's one of the few people outside of the band that we trust with our music, and we're really, really looking forward to making this record."
In 2007, after Pearl Jam's 2006 tour had ended, the band members began recording demo material on their own while staying in occasional contact via e-mail. Guitarist Mike McCready revealed at the time that he had tested out some ideas with guitarist Stone Gossard and drummer Matt Cameron in separate sessions as well. Rolling Stone reported in May 2008 that Pearl Jam was in the early stages of working on its ninth studio album and had already had one session with O'Brien. McCready stated in 2008 that the album is "really in its infant stages right now" and that the band had "about five ideas that have been worked on." After laying down some instrumental beds in 2008, additional demos were put to tape in December, and Ament, Cameron, Gossard, and McCready came up with another array of material during a trip to Ament's home in Montana. Ament said, "It's the first time since the first record that we've really rehearsed... instead of just going to the studio with a handful of ideas."
Vedder proceeded to put rough vocals on about half of the material formulated in the December session, and also brought in his own material for the band members to work on. In February 2009, Pearl Jam went for a two-week session at Henson Recording Studios in Los Angeles, California with O'Brien. It was the first time the band spent a considerable amount of time recording outside of Seattle, Washington since the band's 1996 album, No Code. McCready said, "[When] we got together with Ed and it really started getting more cohesive, we took that momentum down to Los Angeles with Brendan... It was a great idea to get us out of Seattle. You've gotta get out [of] your comfort zone, and we've talked about doing that for the past ten years and kind of haven't, so we trusted Brendan's judgment." In April 2009, the band went for a two-week session to finish the album with O'Brien at his mixing facility at Southern Tracks in Atlanta,Georgia. The album took a total of thirty days in the studio to get finished, and O'Brien stated "we had 90% of the record cut in the first nine days".
The album title was chosen in part because of nostalgia for the historical name of the backspace key on typewriters that went out of use in the 1950s and also as a reference to looking back on one's life. Vedder is known to use typewriters when writing lyrics and letters. Vedder said, "Backspacer [means] actually you kind of have to go back and look at your mistake." Gossard said, "There's some retrospective moods on this record, where Ed is looking at both his past and his future." The album title Backspacer was also used for the name of a leatherback turtle that was sponsored by Pearl Jam for Conservation International and National Geographic's Great Turtle Race.
Pearl Jam did not re-sign its record deal with J Records, and the band released the album through its own label Monkeywrench Records in conjunction with Universal Music Group in the United States and through Universal's Island Records internationally. Pearl Jam reached a deal with Target to be the exclusive big-box store retailer for the album in the United States.The album also saw release through the band's official website, independent record stores, online retailers, and iTunes. Those who purchase the compact disc or iTunes version of the album can access a "virtual 'vault'" which features eleven concerts that span from 2005–2008, of which up to two can be chosen to download for free; the iTunes edition was also released as an iTunes LP. Tying in with the release of the album, the entire album has been made available as downloadable content for the Rock Band series of video games.A deal with Verizon made the songs from the album available as both ringtone and ringback
Source : Wikipedia