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.