Awesome Album Covers: Pearl Jam And “No Code”

With a trio of albums in their catalog that bore covers ranging from plain (Ten) to weird (Vs.) to boring (Vitalogy), the arrival [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Pearl Jam[/lastfm]’s No Code cover was a welcome dash of creativity, something more interesting to look at.

pearljam nocode 385 Awesome Album Covers: Pearl Jam And No Code

Owing a debt of influence to the Stones’ Exile on Main Street — though without the blatant sexual theme — the cover of Pearl Jam’s No Code is a compilation of 144 Polaroids taken by band members and friends during the previous year.

Though there are many shots that speak to the human anatomy, the vibe here is voyeristic without being overtly sexual, human yet strangely mechanical and pop art influenced through and through.

According to Eddie Vedder, the album is “called No Code because it’s full of code. It’s misinformation.” Early pressings, however, reveal one bit of clear information: when the gatefold is opened and viewed from a distance, the No Code triangle logo, just a little bit of Pearl Jam branding, could be seen as clear as day.

[metrolyrics artist=”Pearl Jam” song=”Hail. Hail”]

Every picture tells a story … find more Awesome Album Cover stories here …

  • Chris Jones

    “Hail Hail the lucky ones i refer to those in love,” I loved No Code because with this record it seprated the fan base. It took the band in totally different direction. It was weird enough to have “Who You Are” as the lead single, but add the whole ticketmaster boycot on top the that and the band touring in old stadiums, and selling thier own tickets that year……it really seperated the true Pearl Jam fans from the casual fan who liked what they heard on the radio, or liked them because they were cool. By 1996 the whole grunge thing was almost over, and Pearl Jam totally embraced this time to catch thier breath, and as a result avoiding breaking up, and have since then made quite a few fine records, are one the greatest live bands currently out there. With a different set long each nite, affordable ticket prices, and the band playing each show as it could be thier last, they have no only managed to survive for 20 years and stay relevant, but are well respected in the industry by their fans and peers alike. I really loved “No Code.” It gets forgotten now because no songs are currently active on most stations, but back in 96 i remember HFS playing the hell out of “Hail, Hail”, and “Who You Are” when they first came out, and hearing “Off He Goes”, and “Smile” from time to time. It was so different from their previous works that a lot of fans didn’t know what to think of it. It was like the band was growing up, and a lot the people who bought thier records were still kids. (I was in middle school) As grew older I began to appreciate this record more and more, but at the time, it really confused me as it did a lot of people. I’m really happy that I continued listening when it wasn’t cool to like Pearl Jam anymore, because I would have missed out on a lot of great music if hadn’t! oh yeah it is a cool cover (dennis rodman’s eyeball is one of the polaroids ed took on the cover! : )
    Not sure how Vitalogy was boring the artwork for that is VERY intricate but yea No Code is neat art for sure!

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