Track by Track: Pearl Jam - Vitalogy (1994)

Ready for a track by track review of Pearl Jam's "Vitalogy"? This album is in my personal top 3 by the band. Don't forget to let me know your opinion in the comment section below or through social media.

1) "Last Exit" 
The opening track of "Vitalogy" starts with a bang, with a fast-paced and energetic guitar riff. Eddie Vedder's distinctive vocals come in strong, with lyrics about the struggles of addiction and self-destruction. It's a great introduction to the album, setting the tone for the emotional journey that lies ahead. I also very like the drumming by Dave Abbruzzese on this one. 88/100

2) "Spin the Black Circle" 
An ode to vinyl records and the joy of collecting and listening to them. Pearl Jam playing pure Punk are better than lots of Punk bands there. I said it. 92/100

3) "Not for You"
With its slow, moody opening and powerful, anthemic chorus, "Not for You" is something different, especially considering the pace of the first two songs." Vedder's lyrics are probably against journalists. I love the angry ending. 80/100

4) "Tremor Christ"  
This track is a slow, brooding meditation on self-discovery and the search for meaning in life. It's a more experimental track with a strange guitar riff, but we will see way more experimental tracks ahead. Not one of my favourites but definitely interesting. 72/100

5) "Nothingman" 
This is one of Pearl Jam's most beloved songs, with its simple, acoustic guitar riff and heartfelt lyrics about loneliness and isolation. Vedder's vocals are particularly powerful here and Eddie shows his beautiful voice in 2 different octaves. Difficult to choose which one is better. Amazing ballad (but I prefer the live version). 92/100

6) "Whipping"
A drastic change of tone with "Whipping", one of the most aggressive tracks on "Vitalogy." I love the lyrics on this one (and the usual amazing vocal performance by Eddie), very powerful and aggressive. 85/100

7) "Pry, To" 
This very short instrumental track is the first experimental track on the album. Again, one against the journalists. N/A

8) "Corduroy" 
One of the most iconic songs in Pearl Jam's discography and almost always present during their concerts (I prefer the live version of this one as well), "Corduroy" is a powerful, anthemic rock song that addresses themes of fame, identity, and the struggle to remain true to oneself in the face of external pressures. 88/100

9) "Bugs"
Another weird one. This quirky, experimental track is one of the most divisive on the album, with its surreal lyrics and unconventional instrumentation. Some listeners may find it off-putting, but others will appreciate the adventurous spirit of the band. I personally like it because of the "horror" lyrics but no rating for this one as well. N/A

10) "Satan's Bed"
Another very energetic one. The lyrics are a searing critique of the excesses and corruption of the music industry, and Vedder's vocals are particularly powerful here. A simple song, very linear and straightforward. 70/100

11) "Better Man"
Another classic track from Pearl Jam's catalogue, "Better Man" is a ballad about an abusive relationship and the struggle to break free from it. One of the most appreciated tracks of the band from Seattle and definitely one of their best ballads, often one of the highlights in their concerts. 95/100 

12) "Aye Davanita" 
Another weird track and another departure from the rest of the album. I would have avoided this one, personally. N/A

13) "Immortality"
This song is a masterpiece, in my opinion. Shivers down my spine every time I hear the initial arpeggio. Vedder at his best, a great and simple arrangement and also lots of great solos by Mike McReady. 100/100

14) Hey Foxymophandlemama, That's Me (Stupid Mop)
Another experimental (and useless, if you ask me) track, especially if you can close the album with a glorious song like "Immortality".7 minutes of nothing. N/A

Overall rating 90/100

Giovanni Gagliano

Passionate about music I wrote my first article for "Given To Rock" in 2012, reaching now 30K global followers. I am also a musician, gigging around London.

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