Black (song)

Black (song)

Infobox Song
Name = Black

Artist = Pearl Jam
Album = Ten
Background = lightsteelblue
Released = August 27, 1991
track_no = Track 5
Recorded = March 27, 1991 – April 26, 1991 at London Bridge Studios, Seattle, Washington
Genre = Alternative rock
Length = 5:43
Label = Epic
Producer = Pearl Jam, Rick Parashar
Writer = Eddie Vedder, Stone Gossard
Chart position =
prev = "Why Go"
prev_no = Track 4
next = "Jeremy"
next_no = Track 6
"Black" is a song by the American rock band Pearl Jam. The song is the fifth track on the band's debut album, "Ten" (1991). The song, featuring lyrics written by singer Eddie Vedder and music written by guitarist Stone Gossard, is a soliloquy by a broken-hearted man, who is remembering his absent lover.

After "Ten" became a commercial success in 1992, Pearl Jam's record label Epic Records urged the group to release the song as a single. The band refused, citing the song's personal nature. Despite the lack of a commercial release, "Black" received airplay on American radio stations, and charted on the Mainstream Rock and Modern Rock Tracks charts. A remixed version of the song was included on Pearl Jam's greatest hits album, "".

Origin and recording

The song originated as an instrumental demo under the name "E Ballad" that was written by guitarist Stone Gossard in 1990. It was one of five songs compiled onto a tape called "Stone Gossard Demos '91" that was circulated in the hopes of finding a singer and drummer for Pearl Jam.Pearlman, Nina. "Black Days". "Guitar World". December 2002.] The tape made its way into the hands of vocalist Eddie Vedder, who was working as a San Diego gas station attendant at the time. Vedder recorded vocals for three of the songs on the demo tape ("Alive", "Once", and "Footsteps"), and mailed the tape back to Seattle. Upon hearing the tape, the band invited Vedder to come to Seattle. On his way to Seattle, Vedder wrote lyrics for "E Ballad", which he called "Black".

Guitarist Mike McCready on the song's lead guitar work:

That's more of a Stevie rip-off, with me playing little flowing things. I was way into that trip - I still am, actually, but it was probably more obvious back then. I really thought the song was beautiful. Stone wrote it and he just let me do what I wanted. [Gilbert, Jeff. [ "Prime Cuts: Mike McCready - The Best of Pearl Jam!"] . "Guitar School". May 1995.]


"Black" became one of Pearl Jam's best known songs and is a central emotional piece on the album "Ten". Despite pressure from Epic Records, the band refused to make it into a single, feeling that it was too personal and the feeling of it would be lost by a video or a single release. Vedder stated that "fragile songs get crushed by the business. I don't want to be a part of it. I don't think the band wants to be part of it." [Crowe, Cameron. [ "Five Against the World"] . "Rolling Stone". October 28, 1993.] Vedder personally called radio station managers to make sure Epic had not released the song as a single against his wishes. [Snow, Mat. "You, My Son, Are Weird". "Q". November 1993.] In spite of this, the song charted at number three on the "Billboard" Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and number 20 on the "Billboard" Modern Rock Tracks chart in 1993.

Live performances

The song was premiered live at the band's October 22, 1990 concert in Seattle, Washington. [ "Pearl Jam Songs: "Black""] .] Pearl Jam performed the song for its appearance on "MTV Unplugged" in 1992. Live performances of "Black" can be found on the "Dissident"/"Live in Atlanta" box set and the live albums "Live on Two Legs", "Live at Benaroya Hall", and "Live at the Gorge 05/06". A performance of the song is also included on the DVD "Live at the Garden".

Cover versions

A live performance of the song by Aaron Lewis of Staind appears on "The Family Values 2001 Tour" compilation album. The Knife uses musical segments which sound very similar to "Black" on "Behind the Bushes" from the 2003 album "Deep Cuts". Baseball pitcher Bronson Arroyo recorded the song for his 2005 album "Covering the Bases".

Chart positions


External links

* [ Lyrics]

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