Mike gave me this Pearl Jam single, and it’s great. Looks to me like it’s the Canadian release, two songs and both of them are keepers.
The title track, of course, is one you probably already know well. It’s an uplifting tune about being strong within yourself, no matter what the world throws at you. I do always chuckle, though, when Eddie tries out his poetry and some of the silly stuff slips into the final version. “North is to south what the clock is to time…” Ummm…WHAT?! It sounds impressive, and it makes a nice rhyme, but I’m sorry buddy, to me that doesn’t make any sense…
The second track, Down, was (at the time) a previously unreleased track and I loved it immediately. How it did not make it into the final playlist on the album, I’ll never know. Shoulda been there. Why don’t they ask me these things? Just a great bounce-along song. Love it. I taught myself how o play it on the guitar not long after first hearing it. Fun times.
Both of these songs feature excellent guitar solos from Mr. McCready, as well.
Thanks heaps, Mike!!
But wait, you say. How are you writing with such familiarity about this single? Well.
I own a 4-song Australian version of the same single. And there’s a story about how I got it… of course there is…
We were in Calgary on holiday around the time of this stuff being released, and I saw this AUS version in an HMV there. I left it, thinking I could just get it at home later on. Haha, nope! So, back home in Saskatoon (where we were living at the time), I also tried online to find it, with no success. So I phoned over to the Calgary HMV and they still had it! They shipped it to my local HMV. A lot of time and natural resources were used in my getting this CD. I don’t mind because I am special.
And what’s different about this version? It contains the two songs (same as above), and two others. First is Bu$hleaguer, the album track only. This is the one where Eddie would wear a Dubya mask on-stage. Haha, politics Pearl Jam-style. And the last track is Undone, another previously unreleased track. It’s a peppy pop rocker, maybe a bit middle-of-the-road (a bit easier, perhaps, to see how it got left off the album) but I still really liked it.
All of these solid unreleased songs made me realize that this band must have a helluva time trying to finalize a track list for a record. With such an embarrassment of riches at their disposal, it has to be tough.
You don’t need to rush out and try to find either version of these singles if you want the unreleased songs. Both appeared later on the Lost Dogs compilation, so just grab that (as if you haven’t already!). You’ll get these two tracks and 2 whole CDs of other superb stuff, besides.
In either version, this is a great single. Thanks, Mike!!
NB. You may be wondering why I would want or keep this version Mike gave me when I already have the songs, in single form, on another CD. Well, my friend, I am a Pearl Jam fan. It’s a different release and therefore worthy of a place in my collection! Collectors will understand.