2021 SONG DRAFT- ROUND 1 PICK 10- RUN-SEW-READ SELECTS- ‘BETTER MAN’- PEARL JAM
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Better Man – Pearl Jam
Lyrics by Eddie Vedder
Released November 1994, reached US Billboard Mainstream #1 on 1-6-1995
I’m looking forward to seeing all of the picks in this song draft, and coming up with my own picks. Choosing 10 songs from a multitude of great ones is quite a task, as other participants before me have expressed. My personal Top 10 won’t be released in any particular order. They are all my faves. With that, here is my first song pick.
Family Conversation on Facebook back in 2013:
ME : Here are some pictures from seeing Pearl Jam last night in OKC. It was an awesome show, even though they didn’t play the song I most wanted to hear – Better Man.
NEPHEW : I’m so jealous. Pearl Jam was a huge part of my teenage soundtrack.
MY MIDDLE BROTHER : Pearl Jam is great. I went to their free concert in Lawrence in 1992. They booked it before they were really famous; then their fame exploded and they could have cancelled, but instead they insisted on honoring this gig.
NEPHEW : Oh man, I didn’t know I could be this jealous.
MY YOUNGEST BROTHER (a carpenter): When I lived in the Seattle area, we did some work on Eddie Vedder’s place. He’s a really cool guy.
NEPHEW : Ughhh. [nearly dies of jealousy]
We haven’t really talked about it much since then, but clearly we are a family of Pearl Jam fans.
The lyrics in Better Man reach me first, and then I get totally sucked in as the music builds. Then it ends and I want to start the song over again.
I think this is my favorite performance of the song on Youtube. Get set with your air drums, then click Play. https://youtu.be/6kV8g2av2nQ
Here is the studio version. https://youtu.be/27ztFtLKvuQ
According to internet sources, Vedder wrote the song when he was a high school teenager, sitting in his room on his bed. This puts Better Man in the same league with other iconic yearning, haunting songs written by an artist in his/her teens. (Other examples: Lucky Man by Greg Lake, Nights in White Satin by Justin Hayward, I’ll Follow the Sun by Paul McCartney, The Man With the Child in His Eyes by Kate Bush.) Vedder has said the song is about his mother and her man when Vedder was growing up. Years later when Pearl Jam recorded it, the song was not released as a single, but yet achieved the Billboard #1 spot. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Better_Man_(Pearl_Jam_song)
That free concert in Lawrence, KS in 1992: https://youtu.be/bTxOc2ynrDk