Pearl Jam Set Sales Record with 'Vs.'

The Seattlites' sophomore album knocks Guns 'N Roses off the top of the first-week sales ranking

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Vs., the highly anticipated sophomore LP by Seattle's pride and joy Pearl Jam debuted at No. 1 and set a U.S. sales record during its first week of release, remarkable without the benefit of a video or radio single.

According to a Soundscan tally, the album sold 950,378 units in the first seven days following its Oct. 19 store date, easily smashing the previous opening week sales record of 770,000, held since 1991 by Guns n' Roses' Use Your Illusion II.

This season's other hotly anticipated follow-up release, Nirvana's In Utero, sold only 180,000 during its first week. According to Camelot Music vice president of purchasing, Lew Garrett, Camelot's 370 stores nationwide set a one-day record of 32,000 units sold and had moved nearly 100,000 units – three times the expected total for a hot release – by week's end.

As for a video, the band has so far left the record label in the dark about its intentions. While a source at Epic says the song "Go" is a likely first candidate, a spokesman at Pearl Jam's management company, Curtis Management in Seattle, says, "The band is not into the whole video thing."

This story is from the December 9th, 1993 issue of Rolling Stone.


From The Archives Issue 671: December 9, 1993