Song of the Week – Black, Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam hit the national scene in 1991, at the height of the Seattle-based grunge rock movement led by Nirvana.  I liked their debut album, Ten, but was skeptical of all the hype the grunge bands received.  I asked myself, “Is this band for real or not?”

Then I saw them perform on Saturday Night Live in April 1992, and I was hooked.  The video is no longer available, but there is a YouTube “video” of the sound recording from that performance of “Alive” and “Porch.”

In 2017, Rolling Stone rated that appearance at #13 on their list called Saturday Night Live Rocks: 25 Greatest Musical Performances.

Today’s SotW is Pearl Jam’s “Black,” also from Ten.

The lyrics to “Black” were written by vocalist Eddie Vedder.  They tell the story of a very personal, emotional breakup with a lost lover.  As the song builds to a sentimental peak, the singer howls:

I know someday you’ll have a beautiful life 
I know you’ll be a star 
In somebody else’s sky 
But why 
Why can’t it be 
Why can’t it be mine?

Rarely has a male rock star exhibited such naked vulnerability.  It is easy to understand how this song has endured as a fan favorite for over 30 years.

Enjoy… until next week.