Pearl Jam: Rock Band Canceled? Vocal Harmonies Tell TalePosted on January 21st, 2011 2 comments
While doing a regular search of the Rock Band downloadable content page on Wikipedia, I noticed a new column titled “Add’l Rock Band 3 Features”. Upon sorting, I stumbled on a shocking bit of news. Most of the Pearl Jam DLC released between March and September 2009 has “Backing vocals”.
As a test, I fired up Rock Band 3 on Xbox 360 and confirmed, most Pearl Jam songs have 2-part harmonies. This is interesting news. Long before the release of Rock Band 3, Green Day: Rock Band, and The Beatles: Rock Band; the content authors at Harmonix were charting vocal harmonies for Pearl Jam’s Ten album (followed up by Backspacer).
This is a nice surprise for Rock Band vocalists, but what does it mean for conspiracy theorists? Since the charting was done relatively early in the Rock Band 2 life-cycle, which never had vocal harmony capabilities, there had to be a purpose for these harmonies.
In May 2009, Aaron Trites (aka HMXHenry) reported on a Pearl Jam project coming in 2010 (also reported and confirmed on pearljam.com) which never came to fruition. It looks as if Pearl Jam: Rock Band was in the works and it got shelved at some point. The Ten and Backspacer tracks from 2009 with vocal harmonies pretty much confirm that something more than just Rock Band DLC was in the works.
So, why did the Pearl Jam project not see the light of day in 2010, and never reported on after the initial announcement? My guess is the falling sales on rhythm games in general, and the less than stellar sales performances of games like The Beatles: Rock Band and Green Day: Rock Band. Not to mention, Pearl Jam’s greatest album, Ten, had already been released as Rock Band DLC, which might make a stand-alone game difficult at that point.
For now, enjoy the easter egg of 2-part harmonies in 16 Pearl Jam tracks playable in Rock Band 3. As I learn more, I will update this article.
Great write up. Pearl Jam just released “Live on Ten Legs” which was the result of fans choosing their favourite live recordings and then compiling those tracks onto one album.
I had always assumed that the game would have the same tracks remastered for a Rock Band game. But you’re probably right, Green Day was discussed, hyped and promoted for months ahead of its release, and they have been quiet about this game since the initial announcement.
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