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92.9fm Regional News

  • Writer's pictureKaleb Crowhurst

Top Ten Pearl Jam Songs

Updated: Mar 19, 2021

This weekend on 92.9, we are bringing you the Top 10 Pearl Jam songs.


Got Some

Backspacer (2009)

Pearl Jam debuted this Backspacer track on June 1, 2009 on The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien. Eddie Vedder, the frontman of the Seattle band, said about this eighties new-wave pop influenced track: "I'm talking about music to put on when you don't know how you're going to get to work, when you're just not feeling it. It rains in Seattle 220 days a year on average – there's a lot of mornings it's hard to get going. This song will do it."


I Got Id

Merkin Ball (1995)

Merkin Ball is a 2 song EP featuring Neil Young (accompanying Young's album Mirror Ball). The other song is "Long Road." On this song Neil Young played lead guitar and Mirror Ball producer Brendan O'Brien played bass, leaving Eddie Vedder on vocals and drummer Jack Irons as the only Pearl Jam members. The chorus, "I walked the line when you held me in that night" was inspired by Young's "Cinnamon Girl."


The Fixer

Backspacer (2009)

This was the first single taken from American alternative rock band Pearl Jam's ninth studio album, Backspacer. The music was written by drummer Matt Cameron in 2008 and vocalist Eddie Vedder penned the lyrics. This debuted at #56 on the Billboard Hot 100, Pearl Jam's highest ever entry on the chart. In Rolling Stone's 2009 Readers' Poll, this song was voted the Best Single of the year. In a double whammy for the Seattle band, Backspacer scored Best Album.


I Am Mine

Riot Act (2002)

Eddie Vedder wrote this in reaction to the June 30, 2000 Roskilde Festival in Denmark where 9 fans were crushed to death while Pearl Jam was playing. Vedder wrote the song in his hotel room before their first show after the incident.



Ten (1991)

This song is about a boy who kills himself at school to get revenge on the students who tormented him. It is based on the true story of Jeremy Delle. "Jeremy" was the third US single released from Pearl Jam's debut album, Ten.

In 1993, the "Jeremy" video won four MTV Video Music Awards: Video of the Year, Best Group Video, Best Metal/Hard Rock Video, and Best Director. In accepting the Video of the Year trophy, Eddie Vedder said: "If it weren't for music, I think I would have shot myself in the front of the classroom. It really is what kept me alive, so this is kind of full circle. So to the power of music, thanks."


Even Flow

Ten (1991)

The band had the music for this song before Eddie Vedder joined. Vedder joined the band in October and wrote the lyrics about a homeless person who is neglected by society. "Even Flow" was one of 10 songs they recorded the first week he flew in to Seattle to record with his new band. Pearl Jam first performed this live at the band's October 22, 1990 Seattle concert at the Off Ramp Café. It has gone on to become the band's most performed live song.


Last Kiss

No Boundaries (1999)

Lead singer Eddie Vedder came across this song when he found the record in an antiques store in Seattle before a show. He bought it and stayed up all night listening to it. He took it to the band and they played it throughout the summer of their 1998 tour. Pearl Jam recorded this at a soundcheck and released it as a single to their fan club, who often get songs that are unavailable to the public. After a while, radio stations got copies and started playing it.



Ten (1991)

The music for this song was written by guitarist Stone Gossard before the band had a lead singer. It was part of a three-song instrumental demo they made at London Bridge Studio in Seattle while looking for a vocalist and drummer. He thought Eddie Vedder might be a good fit as the singer, so he gave Eddie the demo tape. At home in San Diego, Vedder wrote lyrics and added his vocals to the song using his four-track recorder. The band liked what they heard and made him lead singer.


Better Man

Vitalogy (1994)

"Better Man" is a song by the American rock band Pearl Jam. It is the eleventh track on the band's third studio album, Vitalogy. The song was written by vocalist Eddie Vedder when he was in high school. He said, "I wrote 'Better Man' before I could drink—legally—on a four-track in my old apartment." In another interview, Vedder stated, "Sometimes I think of how far I've come from the teenager sitting on the bed in San Diego writing 'Better Man' and wondering if anyone would ever even hear it." "Better Man" became one of Pearl Jam's most-played songs on the radio in the U.S. "Better Man" became the most successful song from Vitalogy on the American rock charts.



Vs. (1993)

This was written from the perspective of a girl with a learning disability called dyslexia and her mother who doesn't understand the condition. Eddie Vedder explained. The song vamps out very gradually at the end, which wouldn't work very well live, so when they play "Daughter" in concert, Pearl Jam typically extends the instrumental break and Eddie Vedder improvises until the song ends. Pearl Jam performed the song live over 500 times. They debuted it on November 1, 1992, at Neil Young's Bridge School Benefit.


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