Pick of the Week: Eddie Vedder “Long Way”

Eddie Vedder "Long Way"
Graphics by Ainsley Basic

By Lauren Surbey, Staff Writer

10 years since his debut as a solo artist, Pearl Jam member Eddie Vedder has released his latest single, “Long Way.” The first song to his forthcoming solo album, Earthlings, “Long Way” is a rock and roll ballad about ill-fated love. For the track, Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer and drummer Chad Smith join Vedder. The song and the rest of the album were produced by Grammy-award winner Andrew Wyatt.



This is the first time in a decade that we’re hearing from Eddie Vedder. His first solo album, Ukulele Songs came out back in 2011. Immediately, "Long Way" opens with Vedder’s band - Klinghoffer on guitar, Smith on the drums, and Benmont Tench on the Hammond organ. It incorporates Tom Petty’s influence on rock and roll, noticeable from Tench’s presence as well as Vedder’s voice mixed with elongated guitar solos. 

The song is about doomed love. Vedder sings, “her love was but a haunting, she left but never went away.” The lyrics remind us that sometimes the right person really does happen at the wrong time. “Long Way” incorporates 70s heartland rock from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and 90s punk rock from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. With this combination, Vedder reveals to us that his song, and rock and roll as a genre, is timeless.  



Vedder performed “Long Way” to the public for the first time on September 26th at California’s Ohana Festival. At the festival, Vedder was a last-minute replacement for Kings of Leon since the Followill brothers’ mother recently passed. After “Long Way”’s debut, he covered the band’s hit “Molly’s Chambers” as a way of offering his condolences. Vedder can also be heard in the soundtrack to Sean Penn’s recent film, Flag Day. Fittingly, he sings “My Father’s Daughter” with his seventeen-year-old daughter, Olivia Vedder. Vedder’s date to release his forthcoming solo album Earthlings remains undetermined. 


Every Monday, our music staff brings you a new Pick of The Week, detailing some of our favorite songs. Check out our previous Picks of the Week here, and make sure to tune in to WERS 88.9FM!

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