Pearl Jam's fourth album came out exactly 5 years after the album "Ten" and was released on August 27, 1996.
This is the band's controversial album which marked the new direction it is going, after the albums "Ten", "VS" and "Vitalogy" which retained more or less the same musical style. "No Code" was undoubtedly a different species that caused the abandonment of some of the band's fans.
It came out after the band's problematic and well-publicized tour, which was in the eye of the storm of their well-publicized confrontation with Ticketmaster. A confrontation that was also the trigger for the departure of drummer Dave Abbruzzese as a result of that confrontation (to this day we mourn his departure).
Creating this album was also different and more difficult than its predecessors. The band members were tired and exhausted and were unable to work together in the studio. Jeff Ament even claimed that he was hardly a co-writer. Jack Irons (the one who brought the tape to Eddie) replaced Dave and was the only one who managed to connect the band, get them to talk about the things that bother them, and be their psychological mentor.
Some say that without Jack this album would not have been released...
Three singles were released from the album. "Who You Are" whose music was written by Jack Irons in collaboration with Stone Gossard inspired by drum solos by Max Roach, the American jazz drummer, "Hail, Hail" which is one of the songs that still somehow reminds us of the old (and good) Pearl Jam, and of course the melting "Off He Goes" that Eddie Vedder noted he wrote about himself, about the moments when he felt like he's just a shity friend- or in his own words:
"This is about being friends with an asshole..."
Although the album was a turning point for the band that included a musical change and received quite chilling reviews, it still reached number one on the Billboard 200 (which the album Ten failed to do at the time).
The band celebrated in 2021 the 25th anniversary of the album with a special broadcast of a live performance which took place in Moline IL, on October 17, 2014, where the band performed the studio album entirely.