One of the most influential albums in modern rock receives the reissue treatment here, 18 years later. Your mileage will vary depending on which edition you opt for. The Legacy edition features the remastered original album along with a new version re-mixed by Brendan O’Brien, who produced several of the band’s later albums.
Serious audiophiles and/or Pearl Jam super fans are probably the only ones who will notice much difference. Mike McCready’s lead guitar work comes out sharper in certain places, especially toward the end of “Porch.” Jeff Ament’s bass is perhaps a bit warmer, and maybe the reverb on those 1991 drums was toned down a bit. The real addition is the six bonus tracks, a virtual extra EP, much of which features McCready wailing at his best.
Step up to the Deluxe Edition, and you’ll also get a DVD of the band’s previously unreleased 1992 MTV Unplugged performance, which is a keeper. You probably watched it a zillion times on MTV back in the day, but it’s nice to finally have it for your modern A/V system.