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Five Against One

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  564 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
More than any other band, Pearl Jam embodies the alternative style that dominates rock today. From their early days as fame-ducking grunge pioneers, through their headline-making battle with Ticketmaster, to their current status as self-assured survivors, Five Against One brings to life Pearl Jam's tumultuous ascent to superstardom in rich detail. A compelling portrait of ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published April 1st 1998 by Penguin Books
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Oct 12, 2013 Jan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Today Pearl Jam's 10th studio album Lightning Bolt is available. Three nights ago my brother and sister-in-law saw them live in Pittsburgh. I listened to their music and read Five Against One by Kim Neely. This book was published in 1998 when their 5th album Yield was just coming out. By now it seems Neely should be working on a 2nd volume as Pearl Jam's jam just keeps going and going. Neely was a Rolling Stone reporter in the early days of Seattle's grunge explosion. She presents lead singer ...more
Oct 26, 2007 Allen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone that likes music
Since moving to the Seattle, WA area in 1996, I'd been fascinated with the story of the bands that made it big in the early 90's like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains in particular. I was turned onto Mother Love Bone by a co-worker at Sierra On-Line when he found out I liked Pearl Jam. I then found out the tragic story of the singer of Mother Love Bone and how some of those members continued on first with Cornell of Soundgarden for one album then finding Eddie Vedder and the ...more
Jul 25, 2016 Livia rated it it was amazing
Fantastic insight into the early days of Pearl Jam and who and what inspired their music. Just need someone to now write about the last 17 years of the band...
Jan 14, 2008 AnitaDurt rated it liked it
Recommends it for: pearl jam fans or former fans
Recommended to AnitaDurt by: Daddy-O gave me this book
Pearl Jam was one of my favorite bands and if you play the songs for me i promise i will sing along. But, geez, i had no idea about them as individuals or the drama of them as a band. i vaguely remember the Ticketmaster controversy, but overall i think i was too young to understand the politics around their superstardom and the subsequent "anti-star" stance Eddie Vedder took in the media. i guess i was more interested in the music. I did get to see pearl jam a few times- bridge school benefit, ...more
Daniel Currie
Jan 25, 2012 Daniel Currie rated it liked it
I'd never read a book about PJ so I wanted to read this as it seemed to fucus on the early part of the band, which it did for the most part.

The first part chronicles all the various projects future PJ members had and I found that part very interesting. The whole 'Seattle scene' and how it came about is well documented and the author seemed to be there thru all of it and all that is easily the best part of this book.

But obviously her insider status ended in about 1991 and pretty much everything
Apr 05, 2010 Aaron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Neely's narrative of Pearl Jam's rise from local band to arena-stardom is engrossing. We learn about the distinct personalities of the band members, with the expected focus on Eddie Vedder. Pearl Jam, my all-time favorite group, comes off as well-intentioned but immature during the first half of their career. After reading this biography, it becomes clear that there are two distinct chapters of their career: the early years (1991-1997) where the band was angry, paradoxical, and anti-celebrity, ...more
Oct 13, 2011 keatssycamore rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Jammers? Is that what PearlJam fans call themselves?
Shelves: biography, rock-music
I got this book for Ange because she loves Pearl Jam. However, she never read it. This should come as no surprise as NO ONE reads rock biographies. Do they?

Except me. Sadly, I don't have strong feelings about Pearl Jam so my reading had a time-killing/because-it-was-there thing happening that kept me from ever becoming engrossed. IOW, I gave it only a a superficial read and found it informational. Though I will say I think the writer was doing something right descriptively in the sense that Edd
Dec 18, 2013 jim rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: nobody
There was very little in this that isn't stuff that most people who like PJ already know. And there was some stuff, that I'm not even sure was true. It's been a while since I've read it but I remember, on several occasions, just going, "wtf." It was entertaining and quick to read, but I didn't have that satisfied feeling after finishing it that I like to have after finishing a book. It was more like, "eh. Well that's done."
Kieran O'Driscoll
Jul 25, 2013 Kieran O'Driscoll rated it really liked it
At this stage a slightly out-dated, but no less captivating account of the formation, rise and longevity of the greatest American rock band post-1990, Pearl Jam. Focuses a great deal on Vedder and his past, and paints an interesting portrait of the frontman and his interactions with the world and his band members. Written pre-Roskilde, pre-Bush and pre-PJ20, this is definitely a read for anyone who wants more than just a wiki-article on their favourite band.
Feb 22, 2009 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved all of the pre-Seattle and Seattle music scene history. I remember being at the show in Boulder the night before they cancelled because of the extreme police/security turnout. However, the middle third of the book droned on about Eddie's upbringing and his step father's point of view. I finally skipped ahead to the band and music chapters in the last third of the book. Great historical perspective on the band.
Jun 29, 2009 Kelly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I read this while I was on vacation last year. Actually, it was the very first biography I read voluntarily!

I think Kim did a really great job with the information, especially considering the elusiveness of the young Ed Vedder, and the band's early days.

If you're a big fan of Pearl Jam, I would recommend this.
Tristan Mileski
Oct 28, 2014 Tristan Mileski rated it really liked it
The book gave an interesting look at Pearl Jam's early days. It was nice to get an understanding of what the members were doing before the band came together and reached super stardom. The book also shows how each member has made sacrifices to keep the band alive and making music for their fans. I'd recommend this book to any fan of rock music and specifically Pearl Jam fans.
Holly Haze
Apr 22, 2016 Holly Haze rated it liked it
Being in the radio biz for 24 years, much of this book didn't come as a surprise to me. It is always interesting to read how the band came together and the backgrounds from which they derived. I learned a little bit about Eddie that I didn't know, but not much else. The Ticketmaster debacle seemed to go on for a good portion of the second half of the book.
Sep 23, 2007 Joe rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: asshole
kim neely shits out a half true, half soap opera, half science fiction turd, attempting to cash in on the foamy remains of grunge. The best fucking thing about this book is the picture on the front cover, and the fact that you can probably buy it used for under a buck.

don't read this book.
Nov 04, 2009 Chris rated it liked it
A little too focused on the personal lives and not enough on the actual music. I like there to be an even split in my musical biographies. It's a little out of date at this point too, but for a fan of Pearl Jam this is a very enjoyable read.
Kevin Dudley
Aug 20, 2012 Kevin Dudley rated it it was ok
Nothing too special, though it was a good inside look at what I would say is the best band ever. Seemed it ended because the band was fading away, when actually it's been alive and well the last 14 or so years since the book was published.
Nate Mueller
Jul 28, 2013 Nate Mueller rated it it was amazing
Pretty sure this was my first voluntarily read books and I read it as an angst filled teen so for me it was just what I needed. Amazeballs, as I remember it :)
Hmm... An interesting read, but not that great. No current interviews with the guys except for Dave which was disappointing.
Jun 14, 2011 William rated it it was amazing
A great book that gets inside the greatest rock band of the last 20 years. What else is there to say
Davin Tang
Jul 24, 2010 Davin Tang rated it liked it
Great book following the band Pearl Jam. More of a band autobiography than any one member. I love the band so I loved the book, but I wouldnt expect to love it without the band.
Jack rated it liked it
Oct 28, 2012
Chris Virnig
Chris Virnig rated it really liked it
Jul 03, 2015
andy rated it did not like it
Jul 11, 2009
Mike rated it really liked it
Jun 05, 2012
Paul Popson
Paul Popson rated it it was ok
May 05, 2015
David Baughman
David Baughman rated it it was ok
Nov 05, 2013
Jess rated it it was amazing
Dec 31, 2012
Kyle rated it really liked it
Oct 01, 2015
Puja rated it liked it
Aug 06, 2007
Smossman14 rated it really liked it
Nov 02, 2014
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