Rock News

Eddie Vedder reveals why he didn't want to release 'Better Man'

We all know Pearl Jam’s ‘Better Man’ is a massive tune, but Eddie Vedder wasn’t actually keen to release it back in the day.

We all know Pearl Jam’s ‘Better Man’ is a massive tune, but Eddie Vedder has revealed that he wasn’t actually keen to release the track back in the day - here’s why.

Pearl Jam appeared on The Howard Stern Show earlier this week to celebrate the release of their 12th album Dark Matter, where Stern brought up the question of why Vedder wasn’t keen to release ‘Better Man’ initially.

Stern explained, “The story goes that the record producer [Brendan O'Brien] said to you, 'Ed, this is a great song. It's gonna be a hit song,' and you heard 'hit song' and you said, 'Fuck you, I'm not putting this out then’... I don't even understand that story,” to which the band laughed.

"Well, I do remember that," Vedder recalled.

“What ticked you off? The fact that he said it was a hit song?” Stern questioned.

"At that point, we had taken ourselves out of working with MTV... We had taken away our bright light a little bit by staying off that. We were trying to control our situation to one where we felt was sustainable,” Vedder replied.

“Our concern was music, our concern was ‘what’s the third or fourth or fifth record gonna sound like’… But I think we were protecting even more than ourselves,” he continued.

“I think we were trying to protect the music and our band, and so steering away from that stuff, and trying to manicure this level of I guess you’d call it fame, that was the one thing we were conscious of when we were working.”

Vedder added that when Brendan told the band that ‘Better Man’ was gonna be a hit, he remembers everyone else in the band put their heads down because they knew it meant the frontman would be against it.

Of course, ‘Better Man’ was released in 1994 and went on to be a huge tune, reaching #1 on the Rock Songs chart for eight consecutive weeks, and #13 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart. Plus, it's a mainstay in The Rock 2000 countdown, appearing in the top five ten times, peaking at #2 in 2005.

In the same session with Howard Stern, Pearl Jam performed their iconic songs ‘Daughter’ and ‘Yellow Ledbetter’.

They also performed two songs off their latest album ‘Dark Matter’ - ‘Scared of Fear’ and ‘Running.’

Watching all these performances from Pearl Jam is getting us even more pumped to see them later this year. There’s still some tickets left for their second show - check out all the event and ticketing info here.