The End

Album: Backspacer (2009)
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Songfacts®:

  • This Eddie Vedder penned ballad about an unknown future was premiered by the Pearl Jam frontman during his solo tour.
  • Vedder told the Toronto Globe and Mail that part of this aching love song was inspired by a phone message. He explained: "I got a phone call from a friend, from Spain. I couldn't pick up the phone because I was recording the guitar part. I had written half the song's lyrics. When I checked his message, he had said something that enabled me to write the second verse, and in 20 minutes, it was done. That's how it happened on this record. It was writing the quick ones – there was no room for the other stuff. We'll see how long approaching it like this goes. But it's the right way for us to do it right now."
  • On this ballad there are some strings and French horns, something Pearl Jam hasn't done before. Vedder recalled to Billboard magazine:" It became kind of emotional when we laid the strings down. I was really moved by this song when I was a kid called "Street in the City" off Rough Mix by Pete Townshend. It was such a powerful juxtaposition of strings with just acoustic guitar. His was a full-on orchestral arrangement that I believe his father-in-law did. It sounded like one guy playing with an orchestra behind him. It was a real powerful thing. To get a chance to explore a little bit of that sound... it's really pretty subtle, but it turned into something very cinematic."
  • Guitarist Stone Gossard told Billboard magazine that he thinks this song is going to stand out as one of Vedder's greatest songs ever. He explained: "To have a song that is so simple in terms of the vocal melody and delivery... for the words to have that much impact and to flow without a complex rhyme strategy - the words rhyme, but that's the last thing you think about - I just think it is a stunning example of Eddie on his own. There are some strings and horns, but that song, he just came in and played us a demo he'd recorded the night before on his home four-track. It's just ridiculously good. He just about breaks his voice. It's so vulnerable."

Comments: 2

  • Jen from Independence, MoCan't listen to this without crying...even at work...it's a little embarrassing
  • Stuart from North Jersey, NjCould in fact wind up being one of Pearl Jam's best, most lasting songs...
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