The end of an era – The Christmas Singles

Today, Pearl Jam released the news that the Christmas singles / Holiday singles/ Annual singles / Fan Club singles are going to be discontinued from 2019.

The annual single, which has been released to fan club members every year (except 1994) since 1991, and has since been a cherished collectible to many fans, is no more. In the beginning, the single was sent to all Ten Club members. However, somewhere along the way, a cheaper digital membership was introduced. Digital members would receive the single in MP3 format and the Deep Magazine in PDF, whereas the Analog members would continue to receive hard copies of both.

The band wrote today in a newsletter sent to their fans, that there will be no more Holiday singles from 2019. Fans who were members in 2017 and/or 2018 will receive their singles from those years as production is finalized.

Initially, the single would come out every Christmas – thus the name Christmas single. However, in recent years the Ten Club have had trouble getting them out to their members on time. Usually, the singles would arrive more or less around Easter the following year. I don’t know if that’s where the term Holiday single came in to picture. Seems like that could cover most of the year.

Most of the Christmas singles were released as 7″ singles. However, a few of them differed from the standard format. The 2003 and 2010 singles came out on 10″, and the 1995 single came as a double 7″, and so did the 2001 edition.

As mentioned before, the 2017 and 2018 singles were never sent out to the members, but according to the newsletter from Ten Club they are now on their way.

Why now?
One can wonder why Ten Club is going to discontinue the Holiday Singles. Personally, I think it is very sad news because it is one of the main reasons why I’m a member of the Ten Club. That, and the ticket lotteries obviously. I would imagine that I’m not the only one. It does not seem logical with the rising popularity of the vinyl format to stop producing them now. Maybe people are increasingly choosing the digital membership and it’s no longer worth the effort to record, produce and distribute the singles. Who knows?

Pearl Jam - Christmas singles
This blogger’s Christmas single collection. As you can see, a few are missing. Got any spares? Get in touch! 😉

Other blogs have speculated whether this is a sign that the band is going to break up. I find this very very hard to believe with all the rumours of a new album next year, tour dates and the obvious joy and excitement the band played their concerts with in all of 2018. I just don’t see it happening anytime soon.

My theory is that Ten Club is focusing their work on other areas where there is more profit to be made. Because honestly, the Holiday singles can hardly be a good business money wise. A loyalty building product? Absolutely. But I think Ten Club is beyond the point where they really need to do that. It seems like whenever they release new merch, whether it be t-shirts, posters, bootlegs, stickers, or frikkin’ dog collars, the money just comes rolling in and we fans (well, some of us) are more or less ready to kill to get our hands on it.

Whatever the reasons are for discontinuing the Holiday single, this is very sad news. However, when one door closes, another door usually opens. Maybe the Ten Club has something else in store for us from next year. One can hope!

1991 – 2016 Christmas Singles – RIP

Despite all of today’s sad news we would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us at Pearl Jam Nordic!

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