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Even Flow - Pearl Jam

Even Flow

Ten
Grunge rock 90s alternative rock pearl jam


"Even Flow" is a song by the American rock band Pearl Jam. Featuring lyrics written by vocalist Eddie Vedder and music written by guitarist Stone Gossard, "Even Flow" was released in 1992 as the second single from the band's debut album, Ten (1991). The song peaked at number three on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. The song was included on Pearl Jam's 2004 greatest hits album, rearviewmirror (Greatest Hits 1991–2003). A remixed version of the song was included on the 2009 Ten reissue. "Even Flow" features a funky riff by Gossard. The vocal line that appears in the main verse begins with a very prominent tritone interval. The song was performed in open D tuning. McCready on the song: That's me pretending to be Stevie Ray Vaughan, and a feeble attempt at that. Stone (Gossard, Pearl Jam guitarist) wrote the riff and song; I think it's a D tuning. I just followed him in a regular pattern. I tried to steal everything I know from Stevie Ray Vaughan and put it into that song. A blatant rip-off. A tribute rip-off, if you will! The stark lyrics by Vedder for "Even Flow" describe the experience of being a homeless man. The subject sleeps "on a pillow made of concrete" and panhandles passersby for spare change. In addition to being illiterate, he may also be mentally ill, as he "looks insane" when he smiles and struggles to keep coherent thoughts ("Even flow, thoughts arrive like butterflies/Oh, he don't know, so he chases them away"). At Pearl Jam's March 28, 1994 concert in Miami, Florida at the Bayfront Amphitheater, Vedder introduced the song by saying, "I thought I'd throw in a bit of street education while you still have an open mind...Right across the street there's a little homeless community that lives under the bridge. You should just know that those people ain't all crazy and sometimes it's not their fault. This song is called 'Even Flow' While the "Even Flow" single was released commercially to international markets in 1992, the commercial single was not released in the United States until June 27, 1995 and was only available as a more expensive import version beforehand. The alternate studio recording of "Even Flow", which was recorded in 1992 with Abbruzzese, was released as a CD single and 12-inch white vinyl in the United Kingdom. The original version was used in single releases in the United States. The song was released as a single in 1992 with a previously unreleased B-side titled "Dirty Frank", which can also be found as an extra track on European releases of Ten and as an alternate version on the compilation album, Lost Dogs (2003). The song peaked at number three on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and number 21 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. Outside the United States, the single was released commercially in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. In Canada, the song reached the top 80 on the Canadian Singles Chart. "Even Flow" peaked at number 27 in the UK and number 22 on the Australian Singles Chart. It was a moderate top 20 success in New Zealand. Chris True of Allmusic called "Even Flow" "the somewhat less ballady more swaggering follow up to the breakout single 'Alive'." True said that the song "doesn’t even really have an intro—it just starts and keeps going—and the band seems more in the groove than on the overly earnest 'Alive'." True said that the song "confirmed that Pearl Jam were more than just one hit grunge rock wonders. The song was placed at number 77 on a list of "The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time" by Rolling Stone.It was also included on VH1's countdown of the "100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs" at number 30. "Even Flow" is featured in the 2007 video game, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, as a master track. In March 2009, the song was also made available as downloadable content for the Rock Band series as a master track as part of the album Ten Pearl Jam originally hired director Rocky Schenck to film a music video for "Even Flow". On January 31, 1992, on their way to England to begin a European tour, the band members came to Los Angeles, California to film the video. The concept for the video was based on an idea by Gossard. Schenck filmed Pearl Jam in a zoo setting. He had arranged a nighttime shoot at an old, closed facility, brought in different wildlife, and set up his lights among the cages and in the trees. Along with the animal footage, the members of Pearl Jam were filmed individually and as a band, standing on the side of a cliff and air jamming. The shoot took hours, and the band was not pleased with the end result. Schenck's shoot was considered a waste of time and money by the band; it also damaged Abbruzzese's wrists significantly. After shooting had finished, he was taken to the emergency room where he was advised not to put strain on his wrists. Abbruzzese would drum on the band's European tour with a splint attached to his hands. The original music video for "Even Flow" was ultimately replaced by a performance clip directed by Josh Taft, who had previously directed the "Alive" music video for the band, and who would later direct the music video for "Oceans". The video consists of performance footage of the band filmed during a January 17, 1992 show at the Moore Theatre in Seattle, Washington. Taft was filming that night not in his capacity as a director, but as a friend of Gossard's. (At one point during the show, Vedder had even stopped the proceedings, clearly of the opinion that Taft's presence was intrusive. "This is not a TV studio, Josh" he'd yelled indignantly, in an interlude that Taft left in his final cut but that MTV clipped out of most versions it aired. "Turn those lights out, it's a fucking rock concert!") The video shows Vedder climbing the theatre, and then jumping down between fans at the concert. The footage used in the video is actually spliced from different songs: for instance Gossard and McCready each play two different guitars, Vedder wears a hat at some point and the theatre climb actually occurred during "Porch". Taft's presence at the Moore Theatre show, and the fact that he had filmed sufficient footage to compile into a music video, proved to be a break for the band. Otherwise with Epic ready to provide MTV with an "Even Flow" video and Schenck's version already completed, Pearl Jam would have had little choice but to go with it, and the band members unanimously despised Schenck's version when they saw the final edit. The alternate studio recording of "Even Flow", which was recorded in 1992 with Abbruzzese, was used for the video as the band felt it synched up well with the live footage. The video was released in April 1992. "Even Flow" was first performed live at the band's October 22, 1990 concert in Seattle, Washington at the Off Ramp Café. Pearl Jam performed the song for its appearance on MTV Unplugged in 1992. "Even Flow" has gone on to become the band's most performed live song, having been played over 620 times (the next most played song, "Alive", is at over 540 performances). Over the years, the tempo of the song has become slightly faster in live performances. Live performances of "Even Flow" can be found on the "Dissident" single, the live album Live on Two Legs, the compilation album Wild and Wooly: The Northwest Rock Collection, various official bootlegs, the live album Live in NYC 12/31/92, the Live at the Gorge 05/06 box set, the live album Live at Lollapalooza 2007, and the Drop in the Park LP included in the Super Deluxe edition of the Ten reissue. Performances of the song are also included on the DVDs Touring Band 2000, Live at the Garden, Immagine in Cornice, and the MTV Unplugged DVD included in the Ten reissue. On Live at the Garden, McCready performs an improv within "Even Flow" that goes on for nearly five minutes.


Pearl Jam is an American rock band that formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1990. Since its inception, the band's line-up has included Stone Gossard (guitar), Jeff Ament (bass), Mike McCready (guitar), and Eddie Vedder (vocals). The band's fifth and current drummer is Matt Cameron, of Soundgarden, who has been with the band since 1998. Formed after the demise of Gossard and Ament's previous band, Mother Love Bone, Pearl Jam broke into the mainstream with its debut album, Ten, in 1991. Show more ...

Even Flow - Pearl Jam

Freezin', rests his head on a pillow made of concrete, again
Oh, Feelin' maybe he'll see a little better, set a days, ooh yeah

Oh, hand out, faces that he sees time again ain't that familiar, oh yeah
Oh, dark grin, he can't help, when he's happy looks insane, oh yeah
Even flow, thoughts arrive like butterflies
Oh, he don't know, so he chases them away
Someday yet, he'll begin his life again
Life again, life again...
Kneelin', looking through the paper though he doesn't know to read, ooh yeah
Oh, prayin', now to something that has never showed him anything
Oh, feelin', understands the weather of the winters on it's way
Oh, ceilings, few and far between all the legal halls of shame, yeah
Even flow, thoughts arrive like butterflies
Oh, he don't know, so he chases them away
Someday yet, he'll begin his life again
Whispering hands, gently lead him away
Him away, him away...
Yeah!
Woo... Ah yeah... Fuck it up...
Even flow, thoughts arrive like butterflies
Oh, he don't know, so he chases them away
Someday yet, he'll begin his life again, yeah
Oh, whispering hands, gently lead him away
Him away, him away...
Yeah!



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