Pearl Jam


Composed by Eddie Vedder / Jeff Ament

Song Review by

Sure, "Alive" and "Evenflow" were pretty big hits, but "Jeremy" is where Pearl Jam mania galvanized and propelled the band past the "Seattle sound" and into rock royalty. The song about a troubled youth who puts himself to death by gunshot in front of his schoolmates would not only mark the beginning of Pearl Jam as a force, but also their last appearance on MTV for half a decade. Opening with Jeff Ament's eight-string bass and single-note guitar work courtesy of Gossard and McCready, "Jeremy" is a classic buildup tune. It tells the story in hindsight, Eddie Vedder narrating not only the events of Jeremy's troubled existence, but his own feelings into the matter. "Clearly I remember/Picking on the boy," and "Gnashed his teeth/And bit the recess lady's breast" are samples of the type of character that Vedder is trying to come to terms with. Jeremy's end, interpreted as "Jeremy spoke in/Class today," becomes the rallying cry of sorts, the point at which the song builds to the crescendo with Vedder vocalizing and the rest of the bandmembers given free rein to close out the song. Arguably Pearl Jam's most earnest work and one of their most successful singles.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Ten 1991
Epic / Legacy / Epic/Legacy 5:16
Jeremy [UK] 1992 Epic 4:49
No Image 1993 SRL 5:18
No Image 1994 Epic
Animal [US CD] 1995 Epic 5:31
No Image 1999 5:10
Live: 28-6-00 Naval Museum -- Stockholm, Sweden 2000 Sony Music Distribution 5:46
Live: 9-1-00 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 2001 E2K 4:54
Live: 11-6-00 - Seattle Washington 2001 Sony Music Distribution 4:53
Touring Band 2000 [Video/DVD] 2001 EPC
Live: 02-23-03 - Perth, Australia 2003 Sony Music Distribution 5:40
Live: 05-03-03 - State College, Pennsylvania 2003 Epic 6:04
Live: 07-11-03 Mansfield, MA 2003 Columbia
Rearviewmirror: Greatest Hits 1991-2003 2004 Epic
Live at the Gorge 05/06 2007 Monkeywrench / Rhino 5:19
Ten/Vs. 2007 Sony Music Entertainment
Live on Ten Legs 2011 Def Jam / Island / Island/Def Jam / Universal 5:24
1992: The Broadcasts 2012 Chrome Dreams / Smokin' 5:01
The  Essential Pearl Jam 2013 Epic / Legacy 5:20
Dissident: Live at the Fox Theatre, Atlanta, GA - 1994 2015 BRR
Chicago, 1995 2015 Chrome Dreams / Smokin' 5:13
State of Love and Trust 2016 Laser Media 5:41
Aladdin, Las Vegas Left Field Media 6:19
blue highlight denotes editor's pick