Pearl Jam cuts out the middleman with “Backspacer”

Pearl Jam’s ninth album ‘Backspacer’ is out, and this time, they’ve finally done it on their own. The band had a longstanding desire to release its own music, minus the aid of a major label. Universal Music is the label for the release internationally. This time however, ‘Backspacer’, which came out on September 20th in the United States, was released through a patchwork of deals with physical and digital retailers, the most prominent being Target.

The new Pearl Jam album will be a first for one of Target’s exclusives, which it has agreed to let independent music retailers carry. The Target disks will link to a virtual vault of sorts covering eleven Pearl Jam concerts, of which fans can choose two. Pearl Jam, this spring followed examples set by acts like AC/DC and Aerosmith and made all songs from ‘Ten’ available for download on ‘Rock Band’ the same day the reissue was up at stores for sale. While the band’s manager was intent to not disclose sales figures, MTV sources indicated that downloads of over 850,000. ‘Backspacer’ will also be available at ‘Rock Band’ the day it comes out, and Target will have an exclusive on an edition of the album which features access to download its songs for ‘Rock Band’ on Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network – this being a teaser to a Pearl Jam game that could come out next year.

Industry experts are closely monitoring Pearl Jam’s plan, which, if successful could inspire a host of established bands to follow suit.