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Rock Battle: Eddie Vs. Kurt

It has long been an argument amongst Pearl jam and Nirvana fans.  I am here to settle the dispute!

Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

For as long as I have been listening to music there have been quite a few debates among the rock community.  This one is one of the biggest amongst these bands followers.

In the early 90′s a lot of bands came out of the Seattle grunge rock scene. Alice in Chains, Soundgarden and Mother Love Bone had some of the biggest followings, but none were bigger than Pearl Jam and Nirvana. They were giants among men, but their humble attitude would never show it.  Nirvana fronted by the legendary and influential Kurt Cobain and Pearl Jam by the one and only Eddie Vedder.  So who was the better front man?

Right away many of you are throwing your hands up and saying “It’s obviously Kurt Cobain”.  You are right somewhat, but I want to make a case for Eddie.  Kurt’s influence can’t be denied and the library of songs that he has left us with are second to none.  I do like Eddie Vedder’s voice better than Cobain’s but Kurt was clearly the better song writer.  Not to say that Eddie is a bad writer, Kurt’s songs are just more personal on a far deeper level.

Photo by Getty Images

As bands I have always been a Pearl Jam over Nirvana guy, but I am tossing by bias aside for this debate because it would just be easy for me to throw Eddie up as the best without looking into facts and asking other people their opinion on the situation.

Their two biggest records are Ten and Nevermind. Now all three Nirvana albums (Bleach, In Utero and Nevermind) are all great.  Nevermind may have been the biggest success of the band, but In Utero reflects some of Cobain’s best writing.  “Rape Me” is such a social statement about how the media was giving him all that attention.  He actually thought of himself as a rape victim.  Pretty Powerful stuff.  We can’t forget “All Apologies” either.  That could possibly be one of the most well written songs of his or any generation. I think one of the biggest things that gives Kurt a distinct advantage is the fact that he has Dave Grohl in his corner.  Grohl alone is a great singer, songwriter and drummer.  Plus if you look at Nirvana’s live performance Cobain is a great front man.  Never afraid to push or test limits.

Eddie’s best work may in fact be Ten, which was his first album.  Now among the fans the rest of the albums are great, but never able to duplicate the same success as that monumental first record.  Not that there is anything wrong with that.  I love Vedder’s voice on it.  Every track on Ten is a captivating song.  One of the best grunge records, hands down.  The thing I like the most about Eddie is that he does what he wants to do.  One of the biggest advantages he has over Cobain is the fact that he is still alive.  It seems morbid to say, but the material that Cobain was putting out continued to be amazing record after record something I don’t think that Pearl Jam’s later material could stand up to.  I think that Eddie’s song writing is good, just not as good as Kurt’s.  What gives Eddie points in my book is his stage presence.  To this day he puts it all out there, and makes no apologies.

So after all that it is close.  Both great front men and song writers, but I think I have to give it to Kurt Cobain by inches.  Like I said before Kurt was an amazing song writer and his influence will probably be felt forever in the music biz.  Though my heart wants to pick Eddie, my brain has me go with Kurt.  So what do you think?  Do you agree?  Disagree? Why?  Make sure to leave your feedback below.

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