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This very cathartic song began as a droning riff guitarist Stone Gossard started playing. The rest of the band started forming the track, and Eddie Vedder walked up to the microphone and poured out the words that would make up most of the lyrics. It was a very emotional song for Vedder, who was thinking about the pain and loss he had been through: he found out as a teenager that the man he thought was his father was actually his stepfather, and his real father died before they could connect. Eddie realized that the song had a similar meaning for his bandmates, who were still dealing with the death of Andrew Wood, who was the lead singer in Gossard and Jeff Ament's band before they formed Pearl Jam. "Release" was one of the first songs Eddie wrote with the band, and it's one that helped them find common ground. "We were strangers, but we were coming from a similar place," said Vedder.
At first, this song was almost 10 minutes long, as Vedder did "release" a lot of words when he started singing it.
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