Top 10 Pearl Jam Songs

Formed in 1990 in Seattle, Washington, Pearl Jam came into being after another grunge band, called Mother Love Bone, broke up. The band found mainstream success with their debut in the early 1990s, thanks to the explosion of the grunge movement in that decade. They’re not only one of the most successful bands from the period but one of the few who continue to make music and maintain their popularity today. For this list, we’ve chosen our entries based on a combination of the artist’s fan favorites and their most commercially successful songs. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 Pearl Jam Songs. Special thanks to our users Jack Morris and Brendan Holden for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest.
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This Seattle band is still alive. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 Pearl Jam Songs.

For this list, we’ve chosen our entries based on a combination of the artist’s fan favorites and their most commercially successful songs.

#10: “Yellow Ledbetter”
“Jeremy” Single (1992)


While it later appeared on a compilation and greatest hits album, this grunge, blues and hard rock track is actually an outtake from Pearl Jam’s debut. As the B-side to the “Jeremy” single, “Yellow Ledbetter” became so popular among fans that it found a spot within the top 30 of the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. With guitar work reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Vedder’s powerful vocals, is it any wonder this non-single made it on air?

#9: “Nothingman”
Vitalogy (1994)


This four-and-a-half-minute alt-rocker wasn’t even officially released as a single, but it still stood out among fans for its simple yet striking vibe. Penned by bassist Jeff Ament, the Vitalogy single featured soft drums, melancholy lyrics and moody atmosphere. Simply put, it’s hard to forget and really something else.

#8: “Given to Fly”
Yield (1998)


The first single from Pearl Jam’s fifth album is the rocking Led Zeppelin-inspired number that became Yield’s most well-known track. Starting off slowly, “Given to Fly” gradually builds in intensity while Jack Irons keeps the pace with a soft drumbeat in the background. Thanks to its existential lyrics and ability to take you on a musical journey, the fan favorite also charted within the Billboard Hot 100’s top thirty.

#7: “Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town”
Vs. (1993)


Driven by acoustic guitar, this Vedder-written number off Vs. was never commercially released. But its delicate melody, combined with folk and acoustic rock flavors, still managed to catch the attention of fans and rock radio DJs. Add some introspective lyrics to the mix and you’ve got a top twenty tune on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. Fans also love singing along to “Small Town” in concert.

#6: “Even Flow”
Ten (1991)


Featuring Vedder’s typically hard-to-understand vocals, Ament’s memorable bass lines, and Stone Gossard’s funky guitar riffing, this song is classic Pearl Jam all the way. The band may have had to record more than 50 takes of the song that’d eventually become Ten’s second single, but the hard work paid off: the grunge and hard rock number quickly found a home on mainstream rock radio and into the band’s live sets.

#5: “Alive”
Ten (1991)


This is one of the three songs for which Vedder wrote the lyrics that led to his invitation to join the band. The rest, as they say, is history: as the first single off their debut album, “Alive” didn’t only introduce us to Pearl Jam’s grunge sound but it also charted within the top twenty of the Billboard rock charts. With its big chorus and Mike McCready’s famous guitar solo, the song also seems destined to be played live.

#4: “Better Man”
Vitalogy (1994)


Based on Vedder’s personal experiences as a teen, this alt-rocker from Vitalogy topped Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks chart even without being commercially released. With its memorable guitar, catchy melody and poignant lyrics, it also quickly made its way into our collective musical memories as well.

#3: “Corduroy”
Vitalogy (1994)


Opening with a haunting guitar riff, this Vitalogy track is notable for its unconventional song structure. But with its distorted chords, well-coordinated rhythm section, and honest singing, “Curduroy” also typified Pearl Jam’s grunge sound at its finest. Reportedly about Vedder’s issues with celebrity, the dramatic number also peaked at number thirteen on the Modern Rock Tracks chart.

#2: “Rearviewmirror”
Vs. (1993)


Driven by a recurring bass line that’s complemented by guitars, Vs.’ second last track isn’t only a highlight of the album but also a highlight of the band’s entire discography. With Vedder’s emotional vocals and an instrumental build-up that showcases all of the group’s talents, “Rearviewmirror” helped us see “things so much clearer” and quickly became extremely popular with fans.

Honorable Mentions


“Jeremy”
“Immortality”
“Once”
“Daughter”
“I Got ID” feat. Neil Young
“Off He Goes”
“Porch”

#1: “Black”
Ten (1991)


Even though the band refused to officially release this song, “Black” was so good it still made it to the third position of Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. Thanks to its personal lyrics, passionate vocals and stunning guitar work, this track off Ten is everything you want from a Pearl Jam song and. Both the ‘90s and grunge in general wouldn’t be the same without this dark, melodic and relatable ballad – and truth be told, neither would we.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite Pearl Jam song? Be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com for more entertaining top 10s.
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