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Pearl Jam



(continued)

"Brother" (instrumental): An early candidate for "Ten," having made it as far as the rough mix of the album sent to Epic executives. The song disappeared from the Pearl Jam canon shortly thereafter and is presented here as an instrumental.

McCready: Well, "Brother" was a big point of contention between [guitarist] Stone [Gossard] and [bassist] Jeff [Ament]. I remember Jeff really loving it and Stone either not liking it or being indifferent about it. Jeff and Stone were arguing a lot about this song and were kind of mad at each other. Jeff got so pissed he went off and started dunking basketballs. It was like, "What's up, dude?" He got really pissed. He related this story to me recently.

It was the typical Stone goes one way/Jeff goes the other. That is just how they work. They have been together forever and the dynamic between the two of them makes things work. There was a big, heated argument. But I thought it was a cool song with a cool vibe. It may have been an example of mid-tempo-itis. I recall the big argument between the two. Jeff said it was almost like he was going to quit. It was serious sh*t. When it came back up recently, they didn't argue, but it was kind of a reliving in a way smaller way. Stone was still not into it. Ed didn't really like the original lyrics. He was like, "Hey man, if you want, go in and put some guitar stuff on it." I didn't have really any idea what to do, but I went down and listened to it and thought I'd do some Brian May-style layered guitars on it. I guess this is a final chapter and a lyrical burial.

• • •


"Let Me Sleep": A holiday-themed track released in 1991 on Pearl Jam's first-ever holiday single for members of its Ten Club fan organization.

McCready: I think it was the first thing Ed and I ever worked on. I had just started messing around with open [guitar] tunings. I had this little part, the main riff, which I'd had for a couple years even before the band started. We just started messing around with it in the studio and it sounded kind of neat. It's one of those things that just happened. It's just a stream-of-consciousness kind of thing. It was really cold out, around Christmas time. It was my first insight into Eddie's socially conscious type of behavior and thought process. It was just when I was first beginning to get to know him. He was living in our rehearsal space [in] downtown [Seattle]. His lyrics were very dark, poetic and deep and touching. That was my first experience really listening to him on that kind of level.

• • •


"Down": A track McCready penned for Pearl Jam's 2002 album "Riot Act," featuring a strummy, major-key melody in the vein of the Replacements or Wilco. It was released as a B-side on the "I Am Mine" single.

McCready: I was excited about it but I wanted it to sound heavier than it actually did when we recorded it. I liked how it came out, but it just didn't work with the rest of the record. Even I had to admit it, but I didn't want to. It was relegated to B-side-dom. Originally it was supposed to be more of a crunch-type thing. It just came out a little bit lighter than I thought. But people seem to dig it when we play it live. I'm proud of it. I like the song.

• • •


"Alone": A mid-tempo rocker written very early in the band's existence by guitarist Stone Gossard. It was attempted during sessions for Pearl Jam's first two albums, "Ten" and "Vs," but only ever released as a B-side on the 1993 "Go" single.

McCready: Eddie did sing new lyrics on that, as of recently. The guitar solo I think is a slide with a bottle. It just never really worked but I don't know why it didn't. I have a videotape of us from years ago, at like our third show, playing "Alone." It was actually sounding pretty cool, but we just stopped playing it after awhile. I think it's a really good song [he hums the riff]. For the first record, it may have been too mid-tempo, along with "Alive" and other songs that were of that same vein.

• • •


"Fatal": An outtake from the 2000 album "Binaural," marked by a melancholy acoustic melody. The song was recently played live for the first time at a Seattle benefit concert.

McCready: "Fatal" is a really cool song. Stone wrote that. He sang on the original demo. It sounds very Bowie-ish when he sings, I think. It's just kind of a dark tune. I think he writes a lot of songs that are like that now. I know he writes a ton of stuff on acoustic and he experiments with different tunings. It's just kind of where his mindset is. [In recent years], he'll bring in those songs as opposed to the heavy riffs like "Animal." Stone has always been pretty dark but he's also super funny. There's a mixture of those two kinds of things.

• • •


"Footsteps": This early acoustic rarity was recorded May 11, 1992, on the national radio show "Rockline." A different version of the song, dubbed "Times of Trouble" and featuring lyrics sung by Chris Cornell, was released on Temple Of The Dog's self-titled debut album in 1991.

McCready: This is taking me back. "Footsteps" dates back to when Stone and I first started playing together. That was originally a song written for [pre-Pearl Jam act] Mother Love Bone. I know it was. It wasn't called that; it was just that riff. He showed it to Cornell during Temple and Cornell sang "Times of Trouble" over it. I believe it was a working title [late Mother Love Bone frontman] Andy [Wood] had for that song.

• • •


"Gremmie Out of Control": An endearingly off-the-cuff cover of a Silly Surfers song from 1964, released on the 1996 "Music for Our Mother Ocean" benefit album.

McCready: I'm not even on that. [Producer] Brendan O'Brien is playing the lead guitar lick. I could not claim to play that great. That's Brendan O'Brien just making it happen. When I heard it, I was like, "We have to have this on here." It's Brendan kicking ass on the guitar.

• • •
"4/20/02": Written by Vedder the night it was discovered that Alice In Chains frontman Layne Staley had died after a long battle with drug addiction. The band was in the studio recording "Riot Act" at the time. The cut is a hidden track on some editions of "Lost Dogs."

McCready: That's Ed by himself. I got a call from [manager] Kelly [Curtis] that Layne died. We were in the studio at probably 11 at night. It was like, "Oh f***." I wasn't surprised, but I was. It was sad. I hadn't seen him for like three or four years. Ed has this guitar kind of tuned like a banjo. He recorded it at like 2 or 3 in the morning, just with [producer] Adam [Kasper]. I think he was just so angry and he wanted to get it out. I think the reason it's hidden is because he wouldn't want it to be exploitative. I think he wants it to be hidden so you have to find it and think about it.



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