Top 10 – PEARL JAM songs

Pearl Jam: The Band

Pearl Jam is an American rock band that formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1990. This band is also known as Mookie Blaylock which began it’s career as one of the hardest rocking bands of the early ’90s grunge scene, but has evolved dramatically over time.With singer Eddie Vedder‘s ability to paint a picture with a lyric or cut straight to the heart of the subject matter with his powerful delivery, Pearl Jam became one of the voices of their generation. In this post I am going to list down my top 10 favourite Pearl Jam songs.

Pearl Jam Black

1

‘Black’

From: ‘Ten’ (1991)
“Black” is a soliloquy by a broken-hearted man, who is remembering his absent lover. It became one of Pearl Jam’s best known songs and is a central emotional piece on the album Ten. The track starts off melodic with a swirling narrative about a relationship evolving to the point of reaching a breaking point. As the lyrics become darker, so does the music, with the band subtly picking up the pace and providing a harsher attitude. The popularity of Black gained it everlasting rotation, putting it amongst Pearl Jam’s most enduring songs.

I know someday you’ll have a beautiful life,
I know you’ll be a star in somebody else’s sky,
But why, why, why can’t it be, can’t it be mine?


Pearl Jam Alive

2

‘Alive’

From: ‘Ten’ (1991)
‘Alive’ was the song that started it all for Pearl Jam and definitely deserves its spot among the top 10 Pearl Jam songs. Alive was Pearl Jam’s first single, and appeared on the band’s debut album Ten. With the siren-like guitar of Stone Gossard leading the way, Pearl Jam signaled their entry into the rock music scene. Lyrically, Vedder said on VH1 Storytellers that he wrote the song about his discord with his stepfather, but over time the way the fans embraced “I’m still alive” as a life-affirming lyric changed the way he personally viewed the track.


Pearl Jam Last Kiss

3

‘Last Kiss’

From: ‘Lost Dogs’ (2003)
“Last Kiss” is a song that was released by Wayne Cochran in 1961. The song was later revived by several artists with varying degrees of success. Pearl Jam covered it for the 1999 charity album No Boundaries: A Benefit for the Kosovar Refugees. Later it also appeared on the album Lost Dogs. It’s a beautiful song about the singer who borrows his father’s car to take his beloved sweetheart out on a romantic date (on a rainy night). Coming across a stalled car in the road the singer swerves to the right to avoid it, losing control and crashing violently in the process. The crash renders both the singer and his girlfriend unconscious. The singer later regains consciousness and finds several people at the scene of the accident, but was able to find his girlfriend, still lying unconscious. When the singer cradles his girlfriend lovingly in his arms, she regains partial consciousness, smiling and asking the singer to “hold me, darling, just a little while.” The singer then gives his sweetheart what would be their “last romantic kiss” as she fades into death and enters the afterlife.

I lifted her head, she looked at me and said
“Hold me darling just a little while.”
I held her close, I kissed her our last kiss
I found the love that I knew I would miss


Pearl Jam Jeremy

4

‘Jeremy’

From: ‘Ten’ (1991)
This song is based on a true story about a bullied kid who shoots himself in front of his classmates.
When Eddie was asked about the song, he explained: It came from a small paragraph in a paper which means you kill yourself and you make a big old sacrifice and try to get your revenge. That all you’re gonna end up with is a paragraph in a newspaper. It does nothing … nothing changes. The world goes on and you’re gone. The best revenge is to live on and prove yourself. Be stronger than those people. And then you can come back.


Pearl Jam Immortality

5

‘Immortality’

From: ‘Vitalogy’ (1994)
Immortality was primarily written by Eddie Vedder but was credited to all the members of PJ. The interpretation of this song was in dispute as many people believed that it may be about Kurt Cobain’s death which Eddie cleary denied. He thought of Cobain and himself as “parallel trains” and felt that there might be some things in the lyrics that could help you understand the pressures on someone who is on a parallel train.


Pearl Jam Given to Fly

6

‘Given to Fly’

From: ‘Yield’ (1998)
“Given to Fly” lyrics were written by Eddie Vedder and music written by Mike McCready. This song has a touch of Led Zeppelin’s “Going to California”. McCready came up with the guitar riff while he was stuck in his condo on a snowy day. Eddie said that he imagined it as a 20-page children’s fable with a line on each page and a picture to go with it. The music almost gives you this feeling of flight, and he really loved singing the part at the end, which is all about rising above anybody’s comments about what you do and still giving your love away. You know? Not becoming bitter and reclusive, not condemning the whole world because of the actions of a few.


Pearl Jam Yellow Ledbetter

7

‘Yellow Ledbetter’

From: B-side of ‘Jeremy’ (1992)
Yellow Ledbetter is an outtake from album Ten but originally released as a B-side to the ‘Jeremy’. The style of this song is mostly influenced by Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Little Wing’. This Hendrix indebted power balllad is one of the best PJ music ever recorded. It was written by Eddie around the time of the Gulf War, and he mentioned that “it’s an anti-patriotic song, actually.” The song title “Yellow Ledbetter” is derived from the actual name of one of the Eddie’s old friend Tim Ledbetter and yellow signifies the “yellow letter” which one of Eddie’s friend received informing him that his brother had died in the war.


Pearl Jam Rearview Mirror

8

‘Rearview Mirror’

From: Vs. (1993)
Rearviewmirror was primarily written by Eddie Vedder but was credited to all the members of PJ. It was one of the first songs to featuring Eddie on guitar. Mike McCready experimented with an Electronic bow on the song. Vedder said that we start off with the music and it kinds of propels the lyrics. It made me feel like I was in a car, leaving something, a bad situation. There’s an emotion there. I remembered all the times I wanted to leave.


Pearl Jam The Fixer

9

‘The Fixer’

From: Backspacer (2009)
The Fixer lyrics was written by Eddie and music was co-written by Matt, Mike and Stone. Live performances of “The Fixer” can be found on various official bootlegs.
Vedder on the song:
Men, we all think we can fix anything. It’s not necessarily a good thing. In a relationship, a woman will say ‘This is wrong,’ and we’re like, ‘I’ll fix that, don’t worry about it, we can fix it.’ These wonderful people, the woman you’re in a relationship with, they don’t want you to fix it. They just want you to listen to what’s happening: ‘Don’t fix it, I want you to own this with me—feel it.’ This is a reminder song to me, to stop fixing.


Pearl Jam Even Flow

10

‘Even Flow’

From: Ten (1991)
On ‘Even Flow’ Mike stated, “We did ‘Even Flow’ about 50, 70 times. I swear to God it was a nightmare. We played that thing over and over until we hated each other. I still don’t think Stone is satisfied with how it came out. Vedder introduced the song by saying, “I thought I’d throw in a bit of street education while you still have an open mind…Right across the street there’s a little homeless community that lives under the bridge. You should just know that those people ain’t all crazy and sometimes it’s not their fault. This song is called ‘Even Flow’

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