The Reason Why Pearl Jam Refused To Release ‘Black’ As A Single


Apart from its origin, every song often has another story that both the creators and their fans couldn’t forget for years. These kinds of stories were mostly based on the days when the musicians were creating, composing, and releasing the songs. The legendary rock band Pearl Jam’s popular song titled ‘Black’ has also an interesting story behind its release as one of their album’s tracks.

Pearl Jam released their debut studio album, ‘Ten’ on August 27, 1991. The album peaked at number two on the Billboard 200. It received very positive reviews from fans and music critics. Even though the songs, ‘Alive,’ ‘Even Flow,’ and ‘Jeremy’ released as singles, Pearl Jam didn’t release their most iconic song ‘Black’ as a hit single by refusing the demands of their record label.

Why Did Pearl Jam Release ‘Black’ In Their Debut Album?


‘Black’ was written by Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder and composed by the band’s guitarist Stone Gossard. In time, ‘Black’ became one of the most popular songs of the band with the help of its being an emotional ballad that was reflecting a tragic story. The song was meant to be released in Pearl Jam’s debut studio album, ‘Ten,’ mainly because of the band’s solid reasons.

After their debut album became commercially successful and popular, Pearl Jam’s record label, Epic Music wanted to release ‘Black’ as a hit single because the company knew that it would be a very popular song. However, Pearl Jam refused this offer saying that ‘Black’ wasn’t written to be the band’s hit single and it meant a lot more than that for the band members.

Here’s what Eddie Vedder stated about the song in an interview with Rolling Stone:

“Some songs just aren’t meant to be played between Hit No. 2 and Hit No. 3. You start doing those things, you’ll crush it. That’s not why we wrote songs. We didn’t write to make hits.

According to the iconic Pearl Jam frontman, the band never aimed to create hit singles to gain more money and fame. ‘Black’ and their other songs were written as a part of the band’s passion for music and artistic creations. Even though, it wasn’t released as a single, ‘Black’ became their most popular song as well as the fans’ favorite Pearl Jam song of all time.

You can listen to the song below.