Alive (6:25)

Cover of Ten

From Ten and 460 other releases

“Alive” is a song by the American rock band Pearl Jam. “Alive” was Pearl Jam’s first single, and appeared on the band’s debut album, Ten (1991). Written by guitarist Stone Gossard, “Alive” originated as an instrumental titled “Dollar Short” and was included on a demo tape circulated in hopes of finding a singer for the group. Vocalist Eddie Vedder obtained a copy of the tape and wrote lyrics that describe a true account of the time when he was told that the man he thought was his father was not actually his biological parent. It’s guitar solo is ranked 44 on Guitar World’s “100 Greatest Guitar Solos”.

“Alive” charted at number 16 in the UK (the single was available only through import in the US). A remixed version of the song was included on Pearl Jam’s 2004 greatest hits album, rearviewmirror (Greatest Hits 1991–2003). Although the song was not a huge hit upon its release (peaking at number 16 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart), it has endured as a fan favorite and a staple of rock radio since then, as well as one of the most requested songs at the band’s concerts.

“Alive” features an extended guitar solo after its third chorus (3:38), which is likely one reason it’s a favorite of so many fans. The solo for “Alive”, performed by McCready, was ranked number 44 on Guitar World’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitar Solos”, and number 26 on Total Guitar’s list of the “100 Hottest Guitar Solos”. Interestingly, when interviewed about his famous solo, McCready was quick to disclaim creative credit for it, saying he basically “copied Ace Frehley’s solo from ‘She’, which was copied from Robby Krieger’s solo in The Doors’ ‘Five to One’.


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