Yep, Pearl Jam again. This time, it’s a song with a curious history… and great guitar riffs at the beginning and end.
As I’ve mentioned previously, guitar riffs drive me wild. The riffs at the beginning and end has a striking resemblance to Jimi Hendrix/Stevie Ray Vaughn’s rendition of Little Wing.
Yellow Ledbetter never featured on any of Pearl Jam’s studio albums. It was an outtake from their debut album 10, and was released as a B-side on the released single Jeremy. It did however feature on a B-sides and Rarities album, and their Greatest Hits album.
And it seems that nobody really knows precisely, the lyrics to the song. Lead singer Eddie Vedder is known to change the lyrics at nearly every live performance. Vedder once jokingly replied in response to a question from a live audience, “Wait…you mean there’s lyrics?”
Not surprisingly this lyrical ambiguity has stirred up some ingenuity in elucidation by others – the famous misheard lyrics videos. Catch a load of this:
The original song was written by none other than the legendary Jimi Hendrix. It has been covered by guitar playing greats such as Eric Clapton, the Allman Brothers Band, Def Leppard, Santana, John Mayer, and Pearl Jam, among many others. However, my personal favorite cover is the instrumental version by another legend who has sadly also passed on – Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Watch, listen and be moved with this live YouTube version: