Pearl Jam's iconic singer Eddie Vedder turns 50 today so here are some of his best lyrics
To be honest, we could have chosen a hundred...
There are very few bands that are currently playing who seem to be able to capture the imagination, passion and love of their fans quite like Pearl Jam.
The biggest compliment that anyone can pay the iconic Seattle band and their incredible lead-singer Eddie Vedder is that their music is timeless.
50 years on from now, teenagers will probably still be picking up a copy of Ten, Vs, No Code etc. and falling in love with the band.
Vedder's lyrics are timeless and here's just some of our favourites.
"While you were sitting home alone at age 13, your real daddy was dying, sorry you didn't see him, but I'm glad we talked."
Mike McCready and Stone Gossard's guitar playing on this song is so incredible that it deserves a place in most art museums, but there's one thing that's often overlooked on Pearl Jam's most iconic song...
Imagine this scenario. You're a young musician in your 20's and your band have just signed their first record label deal. Nervous, unsure and still trying to find your voice, you look for inspiration with regards to what type of songs you can pen for this upcoming album. It's a make or break situation for your career.
The obvious choice would be to play it safe, simple and follow the industry standard. Thank god that this is not nor will it ever be the Pearl Jam way.
Instead, Vedder chose to bear his soul and reveal his most traumatic life experience for the entire world to hear, the moment when his mother told him that his stepfather wasn't his real dad and that his biological father was dead.
For this gamble alone, Pearl Jam rightfully deserve all the awards, prestige and fame that their glittering career has garnered so far.
"One, two, three, four, five against one"
While not the most personal, introspective or moving lyrics that Vedder has ever penned we still love the meaning behind this song as Pearl Jam stick a metaphorical two-fingers up at an anonymous record company executive.
While some fans have argued that the song was directed towards the media, the band have stated that it's their reply to being told to compromise on the vocals during the recording of Vs.
You can just feel the frustration, anger and contempt that the singer has after being asked to renege on his artistic vision for how these songs should be recorded.
I Am Mine
"The selfish, they're all standing in line, faithing and hoping to buy themselves time, me, I figure as each breath goes by, I only own my mind"
Who can forget Eddie with short hair but that wasn't the only memorable thing of note during the recording of Riot Act because this track really represents everything that Pearl Jam as a band stands for.
Single minded, assured and uncompromising the band were always comfortable in the musical direction that they were headed.
The song is also deeply personal to the singer as it was the first one that he wrote after the Roskilde Festival disaster in 2000 when nine people died and twenty-six people were injured during the band's set.
The singer says that he wrote the song to "reassure myself that this is going to be all right."
"I know some day you'll have a beautiful life, I know you'll be a star in somebody else's sky, but why can't it be mine?"
This lyric is for anyone who has ever experienced a break-up and once again Vedder has that unique ability to make art from personal anguish.
The song is draped with melancholy yet it still has a slightly optimistic feel and there's nothing quite like hearing it performed in front of a live audience. It takes a special band to take something so deeply personal and make it resonate with hundreds of thousands of people around the world.
"She lies and says she's in love with him, can't find a better man"
Vedder originally wrote this song in high-school. High-school!
Much like Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA the fact that the song has such an upbeat melody disguises the all-too apparent dark lyrical content but that didn't stop this brilliant track from becoming one of the bands most popular and radio friendly tunes.
We'd argue that the reason is because most people take from it whatever they want, the sign of a brilliant song.
"Clearly I remember, pickin' on the boy, seemed a harmless little fuck, but we unleashed a lion"
It's testament to Vedder's skills as a lyricist that this incredibly powerful rock anthem still has the ability to grab listeners minds and souls.
The song was inspired by a newspaper article Vedder read about a high school student who shot himself in front of his English class and it's still one of the most iconic and haunting songs ever penned.
Pearl Jam showed that they were more than just a band because they tapped into the cultural Zeitgeist and examined a topic that was previously left unexamined by other contemporary musicians.
Vedder said that he felt "the need to take that small article and make something of it—to give that action, to give it reaction, to give it more importance."
Pearl Jam represent rock music with a social conscience and this song and video is still incredible.
Oh I'm a lucky man, to count on both hands the ones I love. Some folks just have one, yeah, others, they've got none, stay with me...let's just breathe"
Backspacer is a criminally underrated album and this soft, gentle and laid-back song is the band arguably at their most upbeat, relaxed and optimistic.
It's the sound of a band that are comfortable with their position, history and future in the musical business and are taking some time to reflect about where they came from and where they might be headed.
Vedder dwells on what he is grateful for in life whilst contemplating what's to come. Here's hoping more stellar albums.
Spin the Black Circle
"Well here it comes...I touch the plane...turn me up...won't turn you away"
While Vedder has an amazing ability to write romantic, upbeat and positive lyrics there's no getting away from his grunge roots.
This song is a classic 'lets f*&k shit up' anthem at its finest and the singers usual nasally delivery is switched here for a pure raw scream that channels so much energy and passion.
The rest of the band don't so much play their instruments as they beat the living hell out of them in this mosh-pit classic.
"Once divided...nothing left to subtract... some words when spoken...can't be taken back"
If ever a song summed up the stupidity of infidelity then it's this heartbreaking track from Vitalogy.
While the lyrics, tone and message of the song is absolutely timeless, its composition was extremely quick because it only took Vedder an hour to write.
It's an incredible piece of songwriting and it's this JOE's favourite Pearl Jam track of all-time which says quite a lot.
Happy birthday Eddie Vedder and cheers to you and the sublime Pearl Jam for all these memories.