Wishlist (song)

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Single by Pearl Jam
from the album Yield
B-side "U" / "Brain of J." (live)
Released May 5, 1998
Format CD single, vinyl
Recorded February–September 1997
Length 3:26
Label Epic
Songwriter(s) Eddie Vedder
Producer(s) Brendan O'Brien, Pearl Jam
Pearl Jam singles chronology
"Given to Fly"
"Last Kiss"
"Given to Fly"
"Last Kiss"
Yield track listing
"Given to Fly"
(Track 4)
(Track 5)
(Track 6)
Audio sample

"Wishlist" is a song by the American rock band Pearl Jam. Written by vocalist Eddie Vedder, "Wishlist" was released on May 5, 1998 as the second single from the band's fifth studio album, Yield (1998). The song peaked at number six on both the Mainstream Rock and Modern Rock Billboard charts. The song was included on Pearl Jam's 2004 greatest hits album, rearviewmirror (Greatest Hits 1991–2003).

Origin and recording[edit]

"Wishlist" was written by vocalist Eddie Vedder. Vedder used an EBow for his guitar solo on the song. Vedder about the song:

It was a stream-of-consciousness exercise. [Mike] McCready booked studio time in a tiny studio here with our friend Stu behind the board and another friend playing drums. We don't have the discipline to sit down and teach each other parts, so you're writing simple chord changes that someone else can follow without having to take breaks to learn them. It was probably eight minutes long originally. I listened to the tape and picked out the better wishes.[1]


"Wishlist" is about Vedder seeking fulfillment of wishes desired, but he resolves his wishlist with the line "I wish I was as fortunate, as fortunate as me." When asked about the song, Vedder stated, "I thought I'd lighten up."[2] The line "I wish I was the full moon shining off your Camaro's hood" references the car that belonged to Beth Liebling, Vedder's wife at the time.[3] When played live, the song mirrors its roots as an improv, with Vedder changing the lyrics depending on his mood.

Release and reception[edit]

"Wishlist" was released as a single in 1998 with a previously unreleased B-side titled "U", of which an alternate version can also be found on the compilation album, Lost Dogs (2003). The song peaked at number 47 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number six on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks and Billboard Modern Rock Tracks charts.

Outside the United States, the single was released commercially in Australia, Austria, Japan, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. In Canada, the song charted on the Alternative Top 30 chart where it reached number one and became Pearl Jam's third single to top that chart. "Wishlist" also reached number 13 on the Canadian Year End Alternative Top 50. "Wishlist" reached the top 30 in the UK and peaked at number 48 on the Australian Singles Chart.

In his review of Yield, Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone magazine said, "The gentle power-pop nugget "Wishlist", a silly love song that Vedder composed solo, might be the simplest song Pearl Jam have ever done. But it's also the most moving."[4]

Live performances[edit]

"Wishlist" was first performed live at the band's November 12, 1997 concert in Santa Cruz, California at The Catalyst.[5] The band played this song when it appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman in May 1998 in support of Yield. Live performances of "Wishlist" can be found on various official bootlegs. Performances of the song are also included on the DVDs Single Video Theory, Touring Band 2000, and Live at the Garden. In concert, the song is often extended, softly played, with a thoughtful outro jam, and sometimes segueing into another song such as the Buzzcocks' "Why Can't I Touch It". This can be heard on Live at the Garden especially.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Eddie Vedder, except where noted:

CD (US, Australia, Austria, and Japan), 7" Vinyl (US and The Netherlands), and Cassette (UK)
  1. "Wishlist" – 3:26
  2. "U" – 2:48
  3. "Brain of J." (live) (Mike McCready, Vedder) – 2:57
CD (Austria)
  1. "Wishlist" – 3:26
  2. "U" – 2:48

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1998) Position
Australian Singles Chart[6] 48
Canadian RPM Alternative 30[7] 1
Polish Singles Chart[8] 9
UK Singles Chart[9] 30
US Billboard Hot 100[10] 47
US Mainstream Rock Tracks[10] 6
US Modern Rock Tracks[10] 6
US Adult Top 40[11] 39


  1. ^ "Interview with Eddie Vedder". Microsoft MusicCentral. February 1998.
  2. ^ Macdonald, Patrick. "Yield Signals Pearl Jam's Return To Rock Of Old". The Seattle Times. February 2, 1998.
  3. ^ Marsh, Dave. "Pearl Jam's New Day Rising" at the Wayback Machine (archived March 1, 2000). Addicted to Noise. February 1998.
  4. ^ Sheffield, Rob. "Pearl Jam: Yield". Rolling Stone. March 11, 1998.
  5. ^ "Pearl Jam Songs: "Wishlist"". pearljam.com.
  6. ^ "PEARL JAM - WISHLIST (SINGLE) (12662)". Australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2007-04-29. 
  7. ^ "Rock/Alternative - Volume 67, No. 9, May 25, 1998". RPM. Retrieved 2007-03-07. 
  8. ^ "Polish Singles Chart |". 
  9. ^ "EveryHit.com". Retrieved 2007-02-16. 
  10. ^ a b c "Pearl Jam Artist Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 2007-04-28. 
  11. ^ "Pearl Jam – Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved 2007-06-11. 

External links[edit]