Pearl Jam vs Mötley Crüe is an intriguing case study.
Before we start....
My specific angle is that I hate hair metal, but I don't consider either the Crüe or Guns 'N' Roses hair metal. I loved grunge, but I understand that it's a very dated genre also. Current bands making great grunge right now? Zero. So I am attacking this article as reviewing two rock bands.
Which band embodies the sex, drugs, and rock and roll mentality better? Mötley Crüe.
Better lead singer? Eddie Vedder
Better musicians? Pearl Jam
Better showmen? Mötley Crüe
More album sales? 100 million for the Crüe, 30-something million for Pearl Jam.
Better looking band in their prime? Mötley Crüe
More socially conscious? Pearl Jam
More fun? Mötley Crüe
Less arrests? Pearl Jam
Least favorite band member? Matt Chamberlin
Best Album? Ten
Pearl Jam's first 3 albums would all probably be considered in a Top 10 albums list of the 90's.
Best Single? Kickstart my Heart
From Shout at the Devil in 1983 to Same Ol' Situation in 1990, Mötley Crüe churned out great single after great single, including 3 that would be in the conversation for the Top 10 Singles of the 80's.
Best Ballad? Home Sweet Home
Best Prog? Release
Best Cover? Helter Skelter
Best Video? (This is a hard one, Jeremy won all the awards, but.....)
Listen, they're really two different bands.
One is a "kill-yourself-because-the-world-sucks-in-a-pool-of-existential-depression" band.
And the other is a "die-going-on-an-extreme-bender-at-the-end-of-the-universe" band.
Your age and your peer group are probably better indicators as to which band you liked better than their music.
Which band got better as they went along? Oh, neither. Neither band had any music to be energized about a decade after their debut.
Mötley Crüe summed up the 80's.
Pearl Jam summed up the 90's.
When I was 15, this was probably my favorite video:
And I remember singing this song in the car after taking the GRE's:
That kind of sums up both bands in a nutshell...
Oh wait, here's the problem right here, I checked my home dictionary:
Final tiebreaker? In 2017, Beacon released the Top 150 Songs of All-Time
Depressed Fred says Pearl Jam
Happy Fred says Mötley Crüe