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Rate Brother
5 Stars: A lost classic 15%  15%  [ 10 ]
4 Stars: Love it 30%  30%  [ 20 ]
3 Stars: Average 24%  24%  [ 16 ]
2 Stars: Hit or miss 13%  13%  [ 9 ]
1 Star: Vault it back up boys 10%  10%  [ 7 ]
0 Stars: If this was the first PJ song I ever heard I'd still be listening to Poison 4%  4%  [ 3 ]
Total votes : 65
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 Post subject: SOTM #142: Use a flag as a bandage...
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:01 pm 
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Brother

(original mix)

Hand over my face. I am related to my enemy.
My house on fire,
And my big brother come put the blame on me.

He's a-pushin'...I'm being pushed from above.
Oh, and a brother, back to back to back,
Better back off of him.

You should not questioh at all his authority...

Use a flag as a bandage.
Stick 'em up, show us your pocket hypocrisy.
In the closet, my pleasures
'Cause my big brother don't want to just let me be.

Oh, and I'm pushin'...oh if I could get above...
Oh, and a brother back to back back,
Keep your back off.
Oh, and I'm pushin'...I'm being pushed from above.
Oh, and a brother, back to back to back,
Better back off of him...

Face down...brother...
Face down... [3X]

In my mind there's a clearing.
Black clouds flow through grey still skies.
And the birds don't even whisper.
I'm flying out...I'm flying...

Back to back back, better back off...
Back to back to back, a better, better, better...
Back to back to back, back to back back...brother...
Face down...brother...
Face down...
Face down...brother...
Face down...almost...fired...
Face down...I got a gun...
Face down...
I got a gun...I got a gun...
Face down...I got a gun...
Face down...


(remix version)

Hand over my face,I am related to my enemy.
House on fire,
And my big brother, brother try put the blame on me.

Oh little sister, you and me can rise above
Ain't no brother
Back to back to back, better back off


Use a flag as a bandage.
My big brother's hip pocket hypocrisy
In the closet, my pleasures
'Cause big brother brother don't want to just let me be.

Oh little sister, you and me can rise above
Ain't no brother
Back to back to back, better back off
Oh little sister, you and me can run for love
Ain't no brother
Back to back to back, better back off

Face down...brother...

(need the bridge)

Back to back back, better back off...
Back to back to back, back to back back...brother...
Face down...brother...
Face down...
Face down...brother...
Face down...almost...fired...
Face down...I got a gun...
Face down...
I got a gun...I got a gun...
Face down...I got a gun...
Face down...



There have been 3 different versions of Brother. I was never a huge fan of this song in any of its forms. I always thought they made the right decision burying the original. It wasn't a bad song, but given the sheer amount of class A b-sides from the Ten session this one deserved to be vaulted more than a footsteps, wash, ledbetter, SOLAT, or Breath. The riff is okay, but somewhat generic for that period (same thing with Hold On Just A Girl) and whatever this song needed to do musically was done better on Deep. I like hearing Mike just wail away as much as the next guy, but I need the solos to have a compelling riff behind it to provide an anchor for it, and that just didn't happen here.

Eddie is fine vocally, but simply being fine is not sufficent given how memorable pretty much everything he sang from this period was. In the end I can't help but feel that Brother is a little juvenille. There isn't enough lyrical substance to make this a compelling anti-government song, and there isn't quite enough anger or rage for this to be a truly effective 'fuck off' song. At any rate, this sentiment is echoed far more effectively in a song like Why Go. The bridge is really disappointing too. it's supposed to function as an island of calm in an increasingly tense and claustrophobic world--"I'd be okay if people would just leave me alone" but apparently reality is intruding on even this private space. A good sentiment, but lyrically what is there just doesn't cut it (compare this to In My Tree, which pulls off a similar idea much more effectively) and the vocal melody is pretty uninteresting

So in the end it's not that Brother is a bad song. it's just unnecessary. Everything they do in it they do elsewhere, and do it much better.

The instrumental version on Lost Dogs has some excellent guitar playing, but I've always had trouble getting into instrumentals, and this was clearly a song with the lyrics cut out, rather than a true instrumental. I keep wondering where Eddie is

I think my favorite version is probably the Ten remix version. I really like the lyric change (Little sister, you and me could rise above) and the way that it is delivered. It gives the song some empathy and draws you in. There isn't enough content or substance for it to be as personal as it was--it almost made the song selfish in its way.

2 stars, and, for some reason, a number 1 hit.

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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #142: Use a flag as a bandage...
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:02 pm 
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anyone have any ideas about the bridge on the remix version?

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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #142: Use a flag as a bandage...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 3:21 am 
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Before the Ten-Remix version, I simply thought it was ok. Now, I've fallen in love with the song. Ths bass and drums just frikkin' hit you in the chest on it. The guitars are just crunching in it. I'm still expecting to hear stuff that was heard on the Ten and Lost Dogs Roug Mixes, but I'm really rocking to this one.

4 Stars

( And Stip, you know the first time you see them break it out live, you'll have fists pumping in the air.) :D

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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #142: Use a flag as a bandage...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 3:24 am 
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I LOVE the original version of this song from the ten demos. I don't like the lyric changes in the new version at all, and they did some weird effect on his vocals that doesn't sit well with me.

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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #142: Use a flag as a bandage...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:27 am 
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I never really thought much to this song, but the more I hear it, the more I love the chorus hook. the lyrics are a bit of a mess, and the music is pretty generic throughout, but the chorus hook is really strong.

I think it's a 3/4 star song.


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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #142: Use a flag as a bandage...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 12:01 pm 
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iceagecoming wrote:
I never really thought much to this song, but the more I hear it, the more I love the chorus hook. the lyrics are a bit of a mess, and the music is pretty generic throughout, but the chorus hook is really strong.

I think it's a 3/4 star song.



which chorus?

Wease--we'll see :)

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"Better the occasional faults of a Government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a Government frozen in the ice of its own indifference."--FDR

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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #142: Use a flag as a bandage...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 2:13 pm 
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stip wrote:
iceagecoming wrote:
I never really thought much to this song, but the more I hear it, the more I love the chorus hook. the lyrics are a bit of a mess, and the music is pretty generic throughout, but the chorus hook is really strong.

I think it's a 3/4 star song.



which chorus?

Wease--we'll see :)


Both really. I think the new chorus is stronger, but I do really like the background vocals on the 'pushin' chorus version, it's a shame they're not present in the new version.


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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #142: Use a flag as a bandage...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 2:35 pm 
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I think this song is better than half of Ten.

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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #142: Use a flag as a bandage...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 6:35 pm 
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For some reason, I cannot get into this song. Brother was always that song that I'd rediscover every other year or so and say "Oh yeah, I remember this song." It never stuck. I never clamored to hear it and never felt the need to put it on, since it was buried on mix tapes and mix CDs and not on a particular album.

The Lost Dogs version confuses me. Why did they take out the vocals? It's even sillier now that they've released in anyway and getting good airplay. I am curious what Jeff is thinking since (according to the Lost Dogs liner notes) he really pushed for this album to be on Ten and others wanted to shelf it. Didn't see say he almost quit the band because of it?

Anyway, thank god it wasn't on Ten. I am with Stip, there is too much good stuff from the early days and Brother just doesn't hold up. Even knowing that Ed younger still doesn't save the song for me...like it does for Just a Girl-which I dig.

It amazed me that the song is a #1 hit today. It's borderline ridiculous. But whatev... 2 stars!


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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #142: Use a flag as a bandage...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 7:16 pm 
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YessCode wrote:
The Lost Dogs version confuses me. Why did they take out the vocals? It's even sillier now that they've released in anyway and getting good airplay.


This is from a 2003 interview with Mike:

"Ed didn't really like the original lyrics. He was like, 'Hey man, if you want, go in and put some guitar stuff on it.' I didn't have really any idea what to do, but I went down and listened to it and thought I'd do some Brian May-style layered guitars on it. I guess this is a final chapter and a lyrical burial."

Source: http://web.archive.org/web/20050317103055/www.billboard.com/bb/specialreport/pearl_jam/pg2.jsp

YessCode wrote:
I am curious what Jeff is thinking since (according to the Lost Dogs liner notes) he really pushed for this album to be on Ten and others wanted to shelf it. Didn't see say he almost quit the band because of it?


This is from a recent interview with Jeff:

"Hallelujah! I was really, really into that song. Stone wrote that song musically. There was a point during the recording of "Ten" that Stone was like, "Eh, I'm over it." And I was like, "No! Let's work on it." We actually got in a big fight about it in the studio. It didn't end up getting worked on anymore. It got to a point and Stone was over it. I think maybe to some degree Ed probably wasn't totally happy with where it was at, so it never came out. I think there's great guitar on that song."

Source: http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/feature/ ... story?pn=2

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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #142: Use a flag as a bandage...
PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 12:48 pm 
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I really, really, really don't like this song. Never have. I think I gave it 1 star.


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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #142: Use a flag as a bandage...
PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 12:51 pm 
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What Angus said there. Except that i don't give stars.


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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #142: Use a flag as a bandage...
PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 7:17 pm 
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The best version is the "Think I will go home and watch tv...... "version.

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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #142: Use a flag as a bandage...
PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 7:45 pm 
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StoneIrons wrote:
YessCode wrote:
The Lost Dogs version confuses me. Why did they take out the vocals? It's even sillier now that they've released in anyway and getting good airplay.


This is from a 2003 interview with Mike:

"Ed didn't really like the original lyrics. He was like, 'Hey man, if you want, go in and put some guitar stuff on it.' I didn't have really any idea what to do, but I went down and listened to it and thought I'd do some Brian May-style layered guitars on it. I guess this is a final chapter and a lyrical burial."

Source: http://web.archive.org/web/20050317103055/www.billboard.com/bb/specialreport/pearl_jam/pg2.jsp


Thanks for posting those excerpts. I am glad to see Jeff is happy with it's eventual release (and success).
YessCode wrote:
I am curious what Jeff is thinking since (according to the Lost Dogs liner notes) he really pushed for this album to be on Ten and others wanted to shelf it. Didn't see say he almost quit the band because of it?


This is from a recent interview with Jeff:

"Hallelujah! I was really, really into that song. Stone wrote that song musically. There was a point during the recording of "Ten" that Stone was like, "Eh, I'm over it." And I was like, "No! Let's work on it." We actually got in a big fight about it in the studio. It didn't end up getting worked on anymore. It got to a point and Stone was over it. I think maybe to some degree Ed probably wasn't totally happy with where it was at, so it never came out. I think there's great guitar on that song."

Source: http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/feature/ ... story?pn=2


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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #142: Use a flag as a bandage...
PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 8:10 pm 
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3stars for a pj song.

some days im real into it
some days its a bit grating
and some days just ok good.

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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #142: Use a flag as a bandage...
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:05 pm 
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I always thought it was..."you's a fag ass..a bandit"


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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #142: Use a flag as a bandage...
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 4:00 pm 
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Dash wrote:
I always thought it was..."you's a fag ass..a bandit"



That was Stone's original lyric.

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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #142: Use a flag as a bandage...
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 4:58 pm 
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It's ok. I feel kind of like Stip does. It's a decent song, but it's all been done better already. I don't skip it when it comes on, but I don't look forward to it.

I do think it could be a good concert song though. I'm looking forward to hearing it if they come around.

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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #142: Use a flag as a bandage...
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 5:19 pm 
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Wease wrote:
Dash wrote:
I always thought it was..."you's a fag ass..a bandit"



That was Stone's original lyric.

In fact it was this specific lyric change that caused all the internal arguments over the song.

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 Post subject: Re: SOTM #142: Use a flag as a bandage...
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 6:35 pm 
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I haven't been to SOTM for a while, but Brother rocks and I had to chime in. Not quite at Even Flow's level, but I've always loved this one and I'm exstatic they finally released a finished version. 5 stars for sure.

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