'Corduroy' was never released as a single but still managed to reach No. 13 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks. The song is about the pressures of fame, and the name refers to an incident where a replica of lead singer Eddie Vedder's brown corduroy jacket was put up for sale at $650. Vedder bought his original for $12.
The song took only an hour for the band to write. Vedder said that he believes when he can finish a song that quickly he somehow captures the mood of the moment.
The song reached the No. 2 position on the Billboard Hot 100, which is Pearl Jam's highest position on the chart. According to bassist Jeff Ament it only took a couple thousand dollars to record the song and it was "the most minimalist recording" the band had ever done.
All the members of the band have commented on the excessive number of takes 'Even Flow' took to record. For a great live version of the song, check out the 'Live At The Garden' DVD where guitarist Mike McCready does an improv within the song that lasts almost 5 minutes.
'Given to Fly'
In 2005, Pearl Jam performed the song at a Hurricane Katrina benefit concert. The band transitioned into Led Zeppelin's 'Going To California' with Robert Plant joining in onstage.
The song is named after Eddie Vedder's friend Tim Ledbetter who received a "yellow letter" during the Gulf War and found out his brother had died. Vedder has said the song is anti-patriotic, though fans have a tough time deciphering the lyrics.
The music video for this classic Pearl Jam song was made by photographer Chris Cuffaro at the insistence of Vedder. Being allowed to choose any song off the album 'Ten,' Cuffaro chose 'Jeremy' even though it was not meant to be a single. However, Pearl Jam's record label refused to fund the video so Cuffaro paid for it by taking out a loan, selling all of his furniture and half his guitar collection.
'Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town'
The length of the song's title is a response to Pearl Jam's realization that the majority of their songs have very short titles. Vedder said that the song took him 20 minutes to conceptualize and write.
Eddie Vedder wrote this song while he was in high school. The Pearl Jam song was originally recorded for the album 'Vs.,' but the band decided to take it off the album because of its commercial appeal. In fact, the band wanted to give the song away and have someone else sing the lyrics. Vedder eventually became comfortable enough with it to include on the following album, 'Vitalogy.'
The song was originally an instrumental demo known as 'E Ballad,' written by guitarist Stone Gossard. It was one of five songs circulating in 1991 in hopes to find a lead singer and drummer for Pearl Jam. Vedder caught wind of the tape, recorded three songs off the demo and the band immediately asked him to come to Seattle. On his way he wrote lyrics for 'E Ballad,' which would become 'Black.'