Yellow Ledbetter – Pearl Jam

Here’s why buying physical music is better. When Pearl Jam were blowing up with their first album they put out one of their career defining singles Jeremy. I’m not going to try and do Jeremy justice here. It’s one of THE singles of the 1990’s. It had the massive hit video, the chorus bands would die for live and it lives on even now 25 years after as an alternative anthem of massive standing.

If you bought Jeremy on 12″ or CD single back in 1801 when it was released you got two B-Sides. Two B-Sides of such phenomenal quality they would be any other bands two biggest hits.

Namely there was the acoustic ballad Footsteps… Which I’m sure we’ll get into at another time. Then there was this track. The Little Wing of the 90’s. Yellow Ledbetter. The lyrics are delivered in a slack-jawed club singer drawl that makes them almost unintelligible over the lilting Hendrix like doodling of Mike McCready and Jeff Ament.

Imagine the feeling a music fan gets when they bring home a 12″ of the new single by their favourite band. They flip the A-Side over and hear that magnificent tone ring out. The slow languid echo and Vedder’s vocal acrobatics.

After a verse Eddie mutters ‘Make me cry’ and THE GREATEST GUITAR SOLO of the 90’s sidles out of the speakers. It get’s scratched right in. You keep that song with you forever. You talk to other fans about it. It’s a rite of passage, a notch on the bedpost, a code. This song means more because it was smuggled into your life.

Testament to the greatness of the tune. This monster of a band still play this song regularly when they tour now, Footsteps too. A single from over a quarter of a century ago with all it’s B-Sides still great enough to include in a Stadium or Festival set.

I’d rather die than Spotify.

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