Credit: Steve Eichner/WireImage

Twenty-five years ago today, Seattle rock band Pearl Jam released their debut album Ten. At the time, it was a blip on the radar, but thanks to singles “Even Flow,” “Alive,” and “Jeremy,” plus the group’s incredible staying power as a touring band, Ten remains one of the most important records of the ’90s. As Ten turns 25, here are 10 facts about Pearl Jam’s debut.

1. “Thoughts arrive like butterflies…”

Following the death of Mother Love Bone singer Andrew Wood, band members Stone Gossard, Mike McCready, and Jeff Ament recorded instrumental demos of songs that would become “Alive,” “Once,” “Footsteps,” “Black,” “Breath,” “Even Flow,” “Animal,” and “Alone.” The demos wound up in the hands of Eddie Vedder, who had been given the tape by Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Jack Irons. On Sept. 13, 1991, Vedder recorded vocals for three songs: “Alive,” “Once,” and Ten B-side “Footsteps.” He came up with the lyrics for the songs — which tell of a boy who finds out the man he thought was his father was not (“Alive”), later becomes a serial killer (“Once”), and then reflects on his life in prison (“Footsteps”) — while surfing.

2. “In too deep…”

The band’s original drummer was Dave Krusen, who left after recording Ten. “They had to let me go. I couldn’t stop drinking, and it was causing problems,” he said in a later interview. “They gave me many chances, but I couldn’t get it together.”

3. “Sheets of empty canvas…”

The album artwork was made by bassist Jeff Ament, and the band posed in front of a giant Pearl Jam cutout with hands joined. “The original concept was about really being together as a group and entering into the world of music as a true band… a sort of all-for-one deal,” Ament said upon the album’s reissue in 2008.

4. “On a porch a letter sat…”

B-sides from Ten included “Wash” (which appeared on the “Alive” single), “Yellow Ledbetter” and “Footsteps” (both of which were on the “Jeremy” single), and “Dirty Frank” (which appeared on “Even Flow”).

5. “Seemed a harmless little f—…”

Ten sold fewer than 25,000 copies in the U.S. during its first week in August of 1991; it didn’t crack the Billboard 200 album chart until January of 1992. But in 2013, Ten passed 10 million total sales, becoming the 22nd album to do so.

6. “We’re all still alive…”

Ten songs have been played live more than 4,500 times (that number increases to greater than 5,000 when including B-sides). The totals:

“Once”: 331

“Even Flow”: 807

“Alive”: 736

“Why Go”: 427

“Black”: 547

“Jeremy”: 521

“Oceans”: 90

“Porch”: 545

“Garden”: 145

“Deep”: 199

“Release”: 156

7. “I see the world, feel the chill…”

The only two Grammy nominations Ten received was for “Jeremy,” which grabbed nods in the Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance categories. “Jeremy” lost Best Rock Song to Eric Clapton’s unplugged version of “Layla,” and Best Rock Performance to “Give It Away” by Red Hot Chili Peppers.

8. “Arms raised in a V…”

The “Jeremy” video that would eventually win four MTV Video Music Awards was actually a second version. In 1991, Chris Cuffaro directed a video for “Jeremy” that was rejected by Epic Records; Mark Pellington directed the video that wound become famous.

9. “She scratches a letter…”

What EW said in its 1991 review of Ten: “With the release of Pearl Jam’s debut album, the so-called ‘Seattle Sound’ has become, for better or worse, institutionalized, a lumbering monolith waiting for the Next Big Thing to usurp it. Ten abounds with everything you’d expect from a band from this part of the country — mountain-high guitar riffing that tips its Northwestern hat to Led Zeppelin; misty, elliptical lyrics that only hint at their subject matter; the primordial wail of the wah-wah guitar; and the lugubrious, druggy ambience of a young hippie commune. While there’s nothing wrong with any of that, you’ve heard it all before on records by fellow Northwestern rockers like Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, and the defunct Mother Love Bone (some of whose members are in Pearl Jam). Like many of its Seattle cohorts, Pearl Jam also flail about in search of a groove and a song. Occasionally, as in the single ‘Alive,’ they find both. More often, they lose themselves in a sound that only goes to show that just about anything can be harnessed and packaged.”

10. “I’ll admit it… what’s to say…”

Less than a month after the release of Ten, another grunge classic came out: Nirvana’s Nevermind was released Sept. 24, 1991. Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain once said Pearl Jam was “pioneering a corporate, alternative and cock-rock fusion,” but was friendly with Vedder and later stopped attacking the band.