Eddie Vedder Included His Late Father’s Vocals on His New Solo Album
Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder has unveiled the track listing for his upcoming solo album, Earthling, of which listeners have already had the chance to hear singles "Long Way" and "The Haves." And around the same time, the rock singer shared an interesting story about how his late father's vocals appear on the album.
Diehard Pearl Jam fans know well the story of Vedder's biological dad, Edward Louis Severson Jr., whom Vedder grew up believing wasn't his real father. (The tale's illustrated on Ten hit "Alive.") Severson was also something of a musician himself back in the day.
See Earthling's track list — and listen to the latest Earthling single, "Brother the Cloud," released on Friday (Jan. 14) — down toward the bottom of this post.
"I didn't really get to know my real father," Vedder told Mojo in the magazine's March issue, as Louder pointed out. "I met him maybe three or four times as a kid, but he was a friend of the family."
The Pearl Jam vocalist continued, "But the crazy thing that did happen was that about 10 years ago, the Chicago Cubs, some of their old-timers get together and play baseball for about a week. And I would go down there every other year and hang. … One of the ex-players, this erudite, badass trumpeter — he used to play third base — his name is Carmen Fanzone."
Vedder added, "I saw Carmen playing the horn in a little club in Arizona, and this guy playing keyboards with him had been best friends with my dad. He later brought me some photos of them in little basement studios. Then a couple of years after that, he brought me five songs of my dad singing on a disc. I carried that disc around for two, three months in my suitcase, not ready to hear it. Finally, I got the guts, and after a couple of bottles of wine, I played it one night in Argentina."
And just what did the Pearl Jam singer think? "He was good," the musician said of his father's singing. "It was incredible — like he left a message for me."
Severson's vocals are assembled into a sort of "collage" near the end of the album. He's not the only guest, though — Earthling also includes all-star appearances from Ringo Starr, Elton John and Stevie Wonder, as well as instrumental backing from Red Hot Chili Peppers' Chad Smith and ex-RHCP guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, who's now a touring member of Pearl Jam.
On top of that, the baseball connection also holds importance for Vedder, as he’s a big Cubs fan who's performed multiple times at Wrigley Field.
Unfortunately, Severson died before Vedder got the chance to know him well, having only spent those few times with him. That's when the future rock star still believed Severson was a family friend and that Peter Mueller, his stepdad, was his real dad.
Earthling arrives on Feb. 11. Vedder worked with producer Andrew Watt (Ozzy Osbourne) on the LP, his first solo effort since 2011's Ukulele Songs. Pre-order it here. Vedder will tour in 2022.
Earthling Album Art + Track List
2. "Long Way"
3. "Power of Right"
4. "Brother the Cloud"
5. "Fallout Today"
6. "The Dark"
7. "The Haves"
8. "Good and Evil"
9. "Rose of Jericho"
12. "Mrs. Mills"
13. "On My Way"