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Song by Pearl Jam
from the album Vs.
ReleasedOctober 19, 1993
RecordedMay 1993 at The Site, Nicasio, California
Songwriter(s)Eddie Vedder
Producer(s)Brendan O'Brien, Pearl Jam

"Rearviewmirror" is a song by the American rock band Pearl Jam. The song is the eighth track on the band's second studio album, Vs. (1993). Although credited to all members of Pearl Jam, it was primarily written by vocalist Eddie Vedder. The song was included on Pearl Jam's 2004 greatest hits album, rearviewmirror (Greatest Hits 1991–2003).

Origin and recording[edit]

"Rearviewmirror" was one of the first songs to feature vocalist Eddie Vedder on guitar. Vedder wrote the song.[2] Guitarist Stone Gossard said that the band played the song "exactly like he wrote it."[2] Guitarist Mike McCready experimented with an EBow on the song.[3]

At the end of the studio cut drummer Dave Abbruzzese can be heard throwing his drum sticks against the wall in frustration. This was in response to the pressure that was placed on him by producer Brendan O'Brien during the recording of the track.[4] After recording the track he punched a hole through the snare drum and threw it off the side of a cliff.[4]

Vedder finished recording the vocals for the song on the last day of recording for Vs. Vedder had an issue with the song being too "catchy."[5]


Vedder about "Rearviewmirror":

We start off with the music and it kinds of propels the lyrics. It made me feel like I was in a car, leaving something, a bad situation. There's an emotion there. I remembered all the times I wanted to leave...[6]


Regarding "Rearviewmirror", David Browne of Entertainment Weekly said, "For once, those rippling guitar chords wrap themselves around a real hook, and Eddie's clenched delivery is perfect for a song about the pain of leaving behind a hopeless relationship and moving on."[7] Paul Evans of Rolling Stone said that "when Vedder roars, 'Saw things...clearer.../Once you were in my rearviewmirror,' it seems that it's not only some personal sorrow that he's willing himself to tear beyond but the entire weight of the past itself."[8]

"Rearviewmirror" was featured in the Cold Case episode "The Long Blue Line" in 2009.

"Rearviewmirror" was featured in "Major League Baseball 2K11".

Live performances[edit]

"Rearviewmirror" was first performed live at the band's May 13, 1993 concert in San Francisco, California at Slim's Café.[9] The song was performed on Saturday Night Live in April 1994 in support of Vs. Live performances of "Rearviewmirror" can be found on the "Dissident" single, various official bootlegs, the Live at the Gorge 05/06 box set, and the live album Live at Lollapalooza 2007. Performances of the song are also included on the DVDs Touring Band 2000, Live at the Showbox, and Live at the Garden.


Cover versions[edit]

An acoustic version of "Rearviewmirror" performed by The Frogs appears on Pearl Jam's 1995 "Immortality" single.


Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Q United Kingdom "The Ultimate Music Collection"[10] 2005 *

* denotes an unordered list


  1. ^ Danaher, Michael (August 4, 2014). "The 50 Best Grunge Songs". Paste. Retrieved November 9, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Garbarini, Vic. "Spit Fire". Guitar World. February 1995.
  3. ^ Rotondi, James. "Blood On the Tracks". Guitar Player. January 1994.
  4. ^ a b Neely, Kim. Five Against One. Diane Publishing Company, 1999. ISBN 0-7567-7409-8
  5. ^ Crowe, Cameron (October 28, 1993). "Five Against the World". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 23, 2007.
  6. ^ Hilburn, Robert (May 1, 1994). "He Didn't Ask for All This". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 25, 2009.
  7. ^ Browne, David. "The Courtship of Eddie". Entertainment Weekly. October 22, 1993.
  8. ^ Evans, Paul (December 23, 1993). "Pearl Jam: Vs.". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 27, 2008.
  9. ^ "Pearl Jam Songs: "Rearviewmirror"".
  10. ^ "The Ultimate Music Collection". Q. Retrieved May 6, 2008.

External links[edit]