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Rate Hard Sun
5 Stars: A masterpiece 21%  21%  [ 17 ]
4 Stars: Really good 53%  53%  [ 42 ]
3 Stars: Average 17%  17%  [ 14 ]
2 Stars: Meh 5%  5%  [ 4 ]
1 Star: Really bad 1%  1%  [ 1 ]
0 Stars: Awful, just awful 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 78
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 Post subject: SOTM #121: When I walk beside her I am the better man...
PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 4:15 pm 
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Hard Sun

When I walk beside her
I am the better man
When I look to leave her
I always stagger back again

Once I built an ivory tower
So I could worship from above
When I climbed down to be set free
She took me in again

There's a big
A big hard sun
Beating on the big people
In the big hard world

When she comes to greet me
She is Mercy at my feet
When I see her (bitter) charm (when I stay to pillage her in the original)
She just throws it back at me

Once I dug an early grave
To find a better land
She just smiled and laughed at me
And took her blues back again

There's a big
A big hard sun
Beating on the big people
In the big hard world

Oh..There's a big
A big hard sun
Beating on the big people
In the big hard world

When I go to cross that river
She is comfort by my side
When I try to understand
She just opens up her hands

(vocal chant)

There's a big
A big hard sun
Beating on the big people
In the big hard world

Once I stood to lose Her
When i saw what I had done
Bound down and threw away the hours
Of Her garden and Her sun

So I tried to warn Her
And turned to see her weep
Forty days and forty nights
And it's still coming down on me

There's a big
A big hard sun
Beating on the big people
In the big hard world

-----------------------------------------------

It’s been close to 6 months, so lets revisit our introduction to Eddie’s solo project.

I LOVED LOVED LOVED this song when it first came out. I’m still a big fan, although the ardor has cooled a bit and I’m more into No Ceiling, Guaranteed, and maybe Far Behind at this point.

But even if I prefer those at this point I think Eddie really hit a home run with this one. It is a lot like the band’s cover of Love Reign. It is pretty faithful to the original song (which, if you’ve ever heard is pretty underwhelming. I’m not sure why eddie felt compelled to cover this), but it gives it a depth and passion that manages to reinvent it in the process

Musically I love how rich and warm the song is. It’s a pretty simple musical part, but it is given so much color, so many accents, that it creates a really immersive musical experience that manages to be expansive and open and personal and intimate at the same time. Granted it’s a different kind of intimacy than you find on a song like guaranteed, but there is still something very private about this. It does a great job conjuring up the sense of being alone in nature—the whole world out there before you, and somehow only there for you. And as the song progresses, especially into the extended outro there is that feeling of getting swallowed up, of slowly disappearing into the wild. So I think Eddie does a great job here musically.

Vocally this is one of Eddie’s finest performances in years. He’s not afraid to let his voice soar here in service to the song, something he has had an irritating tendency to shy away from in recent years. He reminds us (or me anyway) in this one why he is the greatest singer of his generation. No one else can really manage what he manages here. His voice is so warm, so compelling, so empathic and passionate. And Hard Sun features the real return of Eddie using his voice as an instrument. The most powerful part of the song is the wordless moaning before the final verse, which just carries you away to someplace nameless and profound. It conveys so much without actually saying anything. It is his greatest strength as an artist and something he needs to embrace much much more than he does. Hopefully this marks a return to this. Imagine what a song like You Are might have sounded like if Eddie sang it with this kind of compassion and conviction.

And I’m not a corin tucker fan, but she always sounds great when she is singing harmony with eddie (see also harvest moon).

The weakness of this song are the lyrics, which are sub par at best. They also don’t really match the interpretation Eddie gives them here in the music and his performance. In the original this is a song of defeat. A big hard sun beating someone down. Hard sun as Eddie envisions it is a song about escaping that sun, not succumbing to it. It is to Eddie’s credit that he manages to convey all this solely through the power of his vocal performance and the richness of the music, cuz the lyrics aren’t any help.

This was a five star song when it first came out. It’s dropped for me a bit since then, so it is probably something closer to 4.5 or 4. I’m going to go with 4 since I’m trying to be selective with my fives.

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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #121: When I walk beside her I am the better man...
PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 5:16 pm 
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I'm with you Stip.

When I first heard Hard Sun, I loved it. I was so excited for Into the Wild to come out. Then I heard the other songs, and Hard Sun is ranked near the bottom compared to the others. I like it because it's longer and a little more involved than the others, but the theme of a "Hard Sun" for some reason doesn't stick with me. Not sure why.

It also got played a lot. Every day on the way home from work, Ethel on XM would play it and afterwards that assbag DJ Cane would diss Eddie...I'm serious, every day...never fail.

On itunes I've listened to Hard Sun the least out of the ITW songs. Society is far better in terms of the two cover songs...in my opinion, but I think they both suffer lyrically, Hard Sun especially.

3 stars.


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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #121: When I walk beside her I am the better man...
PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 6:20 pm 
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stip wrote:
It is pretty faithful to the original song (which, if you’ve ever heard is pretty underwhelming. I’m not sure why eddie felt compelled to cover this), but it gives it a depth and passion that manages to reinvent it in the process


I think it was under Sean Penn's instructions.

Nice write-up Stip...i was never blown away by it, but always really liked it. Ed is fantastic on it with everything - the layered guitar, his vocal delivery...the simple percussion - everything. It's just not reeeally a 5 star song to me...maybe it's the lyrics...maybe it's the amount of times the chorus is repeated, i'm not really too sure. Still Ed does everything the best he can, and for that it gets 4 stars from me.


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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #121: When I walk beside her I am the better man...
PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 7:00 pm 
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iceagecoming wrote:
stip wrote:
It is pretty faithful to the original song (which, if you’ve ever heard is pretty underwhelming. I’m not sure why eddie felt compelled to cover this), but it gives it a depth and passion that manages to reinvent it in the process


I think it was under Sean Penn's instructions.

Nice write-up Stip...i was never blown away by it, but always really liked it. Ed is fantastic on it with everything - the layered guitar, his vocal delivery...the simple percussion - everything. It's just not reeeally a 5 star song to me...maybe it's the lyrics...maybe it's the amount of times the chorus is repeated, i'm not really too sure. Still Ed does everything the best he can, and for that it gets 4 stars from me.



From what I remember it was in fact Sean Penn who suggested it. I don't recall which interview that was from, but I definitely read it somewhere. As for the song itself I don't have much to add that hasn't already been summed up in 3 posts... Great song, soaring, good performance, but yeah the repeated chorus is a bit overdone. Other than that, I actually love some of the verses. This one is particular is really powerful:

So I tried to warn Her
And turned to see her weep
Forty days and forty nights
And it's still coming down on me


As for the way this song fits on the album, it's a little bit awkwards. Every other song is like 14 seconds long and this one is over 5 minutes? Give me 4 minutes of No ceiling and I'd be all over it, but whatever... he didn't want Penn to have to edit the songs. Can you imagine what it's like to call up Eddie and ask him to make an album for you, AND HE ACTUALLY DOES IT? Poor Sean Penn.

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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #121: When I walk beside her I am the better man...
PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 7:08 pm 
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i dont think its the best song on the album by any means, but i do think that it is a really great cover.

southp wrote:
This one is particular is really powerful:
So I tried to warn Her
And turned to see her weep
Forty days and forty nights
And it's still coming down on me


i agree.

4 stars.

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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #121: When I walk beside her I am the better man...
PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 7:29 pm 
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This song just speaks to me. There's something absolutely free and joyful about it and 99% of that is Ed's vocal. I don't even care that the lyrics are uninteresting, more interesting lyrics might only detract from the quality of the delivery.

5 stars without hesitation.


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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #121: When I walk beside her I am the better man...
PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:58 pm 
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4 stars from me, Ed's delivery with Corin in the background is what I love about the song. I was shocked that some of my friends that are not fans of Pearl Jam or Eddie really like this song.

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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #121: When I walk beside her I am the better man...
PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 11:04 pm 
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this song is Eddie's "Blaze of Glory" :wink:
i was really pleased when i first heard Hard Sun - mostly because of Ed's voice on it. after Binaural and RA, i didn't know what to expect from his vocal cords but with S/T and ITW, i can only look forward to his new stuff.
the intrumentation breathes. everything is in its right place and it builds up gracefully and if you can switch your attention off from the vocals at the end, the electric guitar makes this tune interresting until the fade-out. i was genuinely surprised when i read that Eddie played all the instruments on this one - that guy will never cease to amaze me :thumbsup:
lyrically, well, eddie did not write it in the first place so my interrest in them comes down a notch or two automatically (this can also be said about many PJ lyrics that other people penned). it's not really bad though, the verse that southp quoted being probably the high point of the song as far as lyrics are concerned.
i may have raged about Adam Kasper's productions a few times in the past but ITW is pretty good. maybe he's more effective with sparse arrangements, idk, but kudos to him this time.
so i think this song got some well-deserved airplay, and it's all good for Eddie, PJ, the movie and Indio.
5 stars for the music and 3 for the lyrics = 4 stars

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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #121: When I walk beside her I am the better man...
PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 7:08 am 
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The lyrics are kind of eh, but Ed nails it oh so well. Like only he can, his vocals singlehandedly bumped it up to a 4 star song.

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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #121: When I walk beside her I am the better man...
PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:30 pm 
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southp wrote:
iceagecoming wrote:
stip wrote:
It is pretty faithful to the original song (which, if you’ve ever heard is pretty underwhelming. I’m not sure why eddie felt compelled to cover this), but it gives it a depth and passion that manages to reinvent it in the process


I think it was under Sean Penn's instructions.

Nice write-up Stip...i was never blown away by it, but always really liked it. Ed is fantastic on it with everything - the layered guitar, his vocal delivery...the simple percussion - everything. It's just not reeeally a 5 star song to me...maybe it's the lyrics...maybe it's the amount of times the chorus is repeated, i'm not really too sure. Still Ed does everything the best he can, and for that it gets 4 stars from me.



From what I remember it was in fact Sean Penn who suggested it. I don't recall which interview that was from, but I definitely read it somewhere. ...

it's in his ITW Vinyl foreword:
Quote:
Sometime in this story, I shared two additional songs with Eddie for him to consider covering - Gordon Peterson's "Big Hard Sun" and my buddy Jerry Hanna's "Society", also written expressly for the film.


first times I heard that song, there was something slightly off in it that I couldn't get past, the voice and music being off-sync ..then I got to like it..bit too much so I overplayed it.. :oops:
now, I still enjoy it, but the chorus is really too repetitive, should be about a minute shorter.
I'll eat my hat if this doesn't get play in PJ gigs (main set...well, second encore rather, at the usual covers spot..)..and should be a nice big sing-along :D..I know we had a nice one in teh beer tent of the camping ground at Oktoberfest ;)

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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #121: When I walk beside her I am the better man...
PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 11:12 pm 
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I gave it 4 stars. I really like this song.

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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #121: When I walk beside her I am the better man...
PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 3:32 am 
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4 stars.. almost five, but not quite

eddie's blaze of glory :lol: I love that

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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #121: When I walk beside her I am the better man...
PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 11:25 am 
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mastaflatch wrote:
this song is Eddie's "Blaze of Glory" :wink:


I thought it was their Wanted Dead or Alive?

Hmm, Ed needs to stop wearing his Bon Jovi influence on his sleeve.


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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #121: When I walk beside her I am the better man...
PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 4:28 pm 
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I agree about the vocals. Fantastic. The changes in Ed's voice over the years have left him far more suited to this style...less push, more breath and bounce...and I hope the next record is full of music that can utilize that. His voice was one of my least favorite elements of the self-titled (exception: Army Reserve), not because it was awful but because stuff like Into the Wild shows how much better he can do if he looks for his best setting.


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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #121: When I walk beside her I am the better man...
PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 4:41 pm 
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I gave it 4 because of all the extensions used in the movie and else. The original song by Indio was 2.5 going to 3. I like how it evolved in all the versions and the use of qawwali.

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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #121: When I walk beside her I am the better man...
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 2:15 pm 
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4 stars

i have never heard the original version, and the way it is discussed i probably don't want to

like many i loved hard sun when i first heard it, but there are others on into the wild that i like more
still i never skip it

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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #121: When I walk beside her I am the better man...
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 5:01 pm 
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Not bad. 3 stars.

I prefer non-duets, such as Even Flow.

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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #121: When I walk beside her I am the better man...
PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 12:28 am 
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good, but not the best on the album...

4 stars

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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #121: When I walk beside her I am the better man...
PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 4:07 am 
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I like most of the into the wild soundtrack, but this one doesnt do much for me, its one of those songs people hear on the radio and think 'oh jesus is that fucking eddie vedder?' which is a shame because he writes so much great stuff. ill take no ceiling or long nights over this any day.
I do think its cool corin tucker sang on this.

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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #121: When I walk beside her I am the better man...
PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 4:09 pm 
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great song....solid 4...goes on a bit too long though....


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