I am probably the biggest Pearl Jam fan that any of you know; I maintain a fanclub membership annually just to get good tickets to their concerts and they only tour once every 3 or 4 years. I know, it's crazy. But I'm not one of those looney tunes that thinks they do no wrong; I can't stand a lot of their political views and I will admit, w/ a certain grain of salt, that Eddie Vedder is more than slightly unintelligible. He doesn't mumble or anything, he just runs his words together. (mock it all you want, we all know that a million musicians have tried to duplicate his 'style' over the last 15 years.) But, with all that said, even the world's biggest PJ fan, or smallest, would have to laugh at this:
This song is named 'Yellow Ledbetter' and was never released on a Pearl Jam album. The story behind this song being completely unintelligible is that when they recorded it there weren't actually words for it. Singers often do 'scratch tracks' in the studio; they just improv a vocal range over a song so that they can get a better idea of how to fit words to the music. RHCP does this and has even put some scratch tracks in their songs like 'soul to squeeze' and 'around the world.' What you hear in this song is just that, a scratch track. The problem was that the bluesy (AMAZING) guitar riff in the song didn't fit in w/ the album 'Ten' so the song never got completely finished. When the song was later released as a b-side, radio stations started playing it heavily b/c the disc-jockeys loved it. By the mid nineties this song was considered one of their best and is still a common closer at any PJ concert. The improved lyrics actually come out to a 'death letter' sort of meaning. The opening lyrics are "unseal-ed, on a porch that letter sat. Then they said 'I wanna leave it again.'" If you watch the video again w/ your eyes closed you'll pick up on more of the lyrics. The box or a bag comment is vague but when they sing it live the lyrics are 'coming home in a box or a bag' which kind of adds to the idea that the song is about a death letter and thinking back on someone that has died.