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Vote
Alive 35%  35%  [ 47 ]
Corduroy 33%  33%  [ 44 ]
Given To Fly 16%  16%  [ 21 ]
Can't Decide 3%  3%  [ 4 ]
None of the above 11%  11%  [ 15 ]
Total votes : 131
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 Post subject: The Best....song to define the band
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 4:33 pm 
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Alive vs. Corduroy vs. Given To Fly


Alive

‘Son,' she said ‘Have I got a little story for you
What you thought was your daddy was nothin' but a...
While you were sittin' home alone at age thirteen
Your real daddy was dyin'. Sorry you didn't see him
But I'm glad we talked…'

I...I'm still alive
I...I'm still alive
I...I'm still alive

While she walks slowly across a young man's room
She said ‘I'm ready...for you’
I can't remember anything to this very day
Except the look, the look...
You know where, now I can't see, I just stare…

I...I'm still alive
I...I'm still alive
I...I'm still alive
I...I'm still alive

‘Is something wrong?' she said
Of course there is
‘You're still alive’ she said
Oh and do I deserve to be?
Is that the question?
And if so...if so...
Who answers…who answers

I...I'm still alive
I...I'm still alive
I...I'm still alive
I...I'm still alive

Corduroy

The waiting drove me mad
You're finally here and I'm a mess
I take your entrance back
Can't let you roam inside my head

I don't want to take what you can give
I would rather starve than eat your bread
I would rather run but I can't walk
Guess I'll lie alone just like before

I'll take the vermin’s path
And I must refuse your test
Push me and I will resist
This behavior's not unique

I don't want to hear from those who know
They can buy, but can't put on my clothes
I don't want to limp for them to walk
Never would have known of me before

I don't want to be held in your debt
I'll pay it off in blood, let I be wed
I'm already cut up and half dead
I'll end up alone like I began

Everything has chains
Absolutely nothing's changed
Take my hand, not my picture
Spilled my tincture

I don't want to take what you can give
I would rather starve than eat your breast
All the things that others want for me
Can't buy what I want because it's free
Can't buy what I want because it's free
Can't be what you want because I'm

Why ain't it sposed to be just fun
To live and die, let it be done
I figure I'll be damned
All alone like I began...


Given To Fly
He could've tuned in, tuned in
But he tuned out
A bad time, nothing could save him
Alone in a corridor, waiting, locked out
He got up outta there, ran for hundreds of miles
He made it to the ocean, had a smoke in a tree
The wind rose up, set him down on his knee

A wave came crashing like a fist to the jaw
Delivered him wings, 'Hey, look at me now'
Arms wide open with the sea as his floor

Oh....
He's flying.....whole

He floated back down 'cause he wanted to share
His key to the locks on the chains he saw everywhere
But first he was stripped and then he was stabbed
By faceless men, well, fuckers
He still stands

And he still gives his love, he just gives it away
The love he receives is the love that is saved
And sometimes is seen a strange spot in the sky
A human being that was given to fly

High.. flying
Oh....
High.. flying
Oh...
He's flying
Oh...


Previous The Best…
1.existential album closer
2. failing love song
3.seize the day song
4. anti-war song
5. song for unrequited love
6. song for a father
7. guitar solo
8. song about getting away
9. political call to arms
10. song for a blown love
10. Surf Song

11. Song about religious faith

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Last edited by stip on Tue Dec 12, 2006 3:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 4:34 pm 
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This was a tough one to pick just three songs for, and I’m sure many of you would have chosen different ones. What I was looking for here is the song that most definitively defines what Pearl Jam is about—what the band and their music stand for. And I don’t think there are three songs that do so better than what we have here, even if these are not necessarily your favorite songs (although Alive and Corduroy are my 1 and 2 and GTF is probably top 10).


Alive first. This is an undisputed masterpieces—one of the greatest songs in the history of rock music. From the amazing opening riff to the guitar solo at the end (my favorite of all time) the song is dirty enough to be an act of rebellion, but clean enough to still soar. It is wounded and triumphant and you just feel like you are rising above everything when you listen to it. The vocals are amazing—they are vulnerable, wounded, angry, and defiant—the embodiment of Ten and what was best about that era. It is a truly epic song, the likes of which they haven’t written since Given To Fly, and the ten remix on RVM is so tight it is likely Alive may never be topped. The live experience is probably the definitive pearl jam moment for me as well—the sense of solidarity you feel shouting yeah with 15,000 other people during the outro solo is just indescribable.

Musically it is perfect, and the vocals are perfect, but lyrically it falls apart a little bit. It is a song about surviving and overcoming betrayal from the most intimate of sources. Alive is about coming to grips with the bedrock foundations of your universe being called into question, about the most personal and intense violation one can imagine, the betrayal of what matters most by the people who matter most. The story falls apart a bit in the details, but I don’t think the details are that important here. This is a song that is meant to be felt at the most basic of levels. The chorus is just three simple words, but they encapsulate so much and are repeated with such tenacity, conviction, and coiled power that a simple statement of fact becomes a statement of purpose. I am alive, and as long as I am, no matter what happens, the world can be made over.


Corduroy picks up on some of the same themes of surviving betrayal that are present in Alive, and is the centerpiece of an entire album devoted to that idea, although instead of the betrayal of your parents, it is the betrayal of your muse, your salvation. What if the thing you waited for and worked towards your entire life lets you down? In their case, the song is about music—the commodification of the industry, the way the music stripped of its authenticity, its meaning, its passion, and its power.

Musically this song is another masterpiece—probably the best piece of music eddie ever wrote. It has the ominous, creeping beginning, and the whole song just absolutely seethes along in anger and disgust to a terrific jam at the end. It isn’t cathartic in the way that Alive or GTF are—where you feel like the singer has really worked something out towards the end. This is a bit more like a temporary cleansing—someone being so frustrated that they just have to get something off their chest or they’ll go insane, but they don’t’ resolve anything at the end.

What there is is a declaration to keep fighting—to starve and be free than be a well fed slave, to risk being alone rather than go mad in comfort, to abandon corrupted dreams and try to find new ones. But because this is a Pearl Jam song, this isn’t a process to go through alone. There is that moment of solidarity (take my hand, not my picture) that is so important. Although he declares that he is willing to fight alone if he has to, there is that hope that he won’t have to.

Corduroy suffers a bit in the live department. While I think all three of these songs had their definitive moments in the studio the live versions of Alive and GTF do the songs justice and create a connection with the people around you that always make their appearance in the set special. Corduroy not so much. It’s rushed and it loses its edge.


Given To Fly is THE definitive pearl jam song from the post Vitalogy years, and like the others manages to come across both as autobiographical and open. This is a journey he had to take himself, but one he hopes others will take with him.

Musically the song soars, like the title says it will. The beginning isn’t slow, but there is a cautious, tentative quality to it, almost like the music is searching for itself, and the build into the pre chorus and the chorus is terrific. It’s hard not to start bobbing up and down at least a little bit while you are listening to it. It doesn’t soar quite as high as Alive does, but the music still takes you exactly where you need to be.

Lyrically the song starts out in a similar place as the others, certainly feeling lost, if not betrayed (the betrayal comes later), but it is a more complete journey than the other two. In fact you can almost look at it like the completion of the story that began in Alive and continued in Corduroy---with Alive being the moments right before (or right when) the wave hits, and Corduroy being the initial reaction to what awaited when the subject floats back down to share what he had learned, only to find abuse at the hands of faithless man. But we have the final verse “he still gives his love…” that fulfills the promise at the end of Corduroy to triumph over the faceless men. Here he has done it, and did it through offering the music that is at least a small part of your life if you’ve managed to read this shit through to the end J


This is a tough call to make. Alive is my favorite song of the three but I’m not sure which to pick here


Music: Alive, Corduroy, Given To Fly


Lyrics: Given To Fly, Corduroy, Alive


That leaves them all tied. So I guess the best tie breaker would be which song is best live, especially since the live experience is such an important part of the band, and that would give my vote to Alive.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 4:41 pm 
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Alive.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 4:49 pm 
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Angus wrote:
Alive.


:shock:

others can feel free to quote me on that

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 5:04 pm 
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stip wrote:
Angus wrote:
Alive.


:shock:

others can feel free to quote me on that


:lol:

I'll try to explain it later. I have no idea how I'll do it. But I stand by my choice.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 5:11 pm 
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stip wrote:
Angus wrote:
Alive.


:shock:



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 5:33 pm 
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Angus wrote:
Alive.


Are you feeling ok? :lol:

I would've put money on you saying GTF :lol:

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 5:35 pm 
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conoalias wrote:
stip wrote:
Angus wrote:
Alive.


:shock:



new avatar needed?

:shock:

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 5:50 pm 
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thanks for derailing this thread with your vote Angus. :lol:

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 6:02 pm 
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None. I'm going with RVM.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 6:42 pm 
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Sunny wrote:
None. I'm going with RVM.


damn, that's a good one!


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 6:43 pm 
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stip wrote:
thanks for derailing this thread with your vote Angus. :lol:


stip wrote:
Angus wrote:
Alive.


:shock:

others can feel free to quote me on that


:cop:


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 6:45 pm 
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Corduroy

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Sunny wrote:
None. I'm going with RVM.


How come? RVM and Indifference would have been my 4th and 5th choices, but I'd like to know why you think so

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 6:58 pm 
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stip wrote:
Sunny wrote:
None. I'm going with RVM.


How come? RVM and Indifference would have been my 4th and 5th choices, but I'd like to know why you think so

betterman should have been your 4th choice. nothing like hearing 20,000 people sing betterman together

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 7:16 pm 
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stip wrote:
Sunny wrote:
None. I'm going with RVM.


How come? RVM and Indifference would have been my 4th and 5th choices, but I'd like to know why you think so

RVM hits you hard and sends all sorts of images through your head. It's the only PJ song I can think of that's constantly embraced by mainstream radio as well as the die-hard fans. It's aggressive rock and roll with a beautiful melody.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 7:37 pm 
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I faced it, a life wasted, im never going back again

Great guitar riff, has another unbelievable solo (maybe not as well crafted as ALIVe, amazing nonetheless)

has the epic quality of alive but the lyrics are more open to interpretation. The chorus is as powerful and uplifting as alive and touches the same topic. However, the verse lyrics can touch more people. Alive is a specific story (the verses at least)

My vote might go to life wasted. Quite a bold statement since it just came out.

musically speaking it encapsules everything pearl jam stands for. hard hitting rock riffage, great guitar interplay, drums that just pound you to the floor and a bas sline that just grooves in and out. The vocal delivery is top notch and comes natural to vedder, whereas alive still seems forced.

however, alive is still a masterpiece and one of the greatest songs of all time.

but for me...i might vote for life wasted.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 8:24 pm 
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Life Wasted :shock:

Evenflow is my pick. The way it sounds live, it's as natural to the band as breathing. I saw the thread title and thought 'Evenflow'. It'll always be the definitive PJ song for me, even if it's nowhere near my favorites.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 8:28 pm 
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I really wouldnt pick one song to define a band with such a large and varied catolauge. Iv never understood why people pick corduroy for this. its a great song, but to me it seems to be focused in one part of their history in subject and music. it certainly defines vitalogy. I picked gtf.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 8:29 pm 
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Bacchus Dukakis wrote:
Life Wasted :shock:


I had the same reaction, but 100 times worse

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