"Daughter" is a song by the American rock band Pearl Jam, released in 1993 as the second single from the band's second studio album, Vs. (1993). Although credited to all members of Pearl Jam, it features lyrics written by vocalist Eddie Vedder and music primarily written by guitarist Stone Gossard.
|Single by Pearl Jam|
|from the album Vs.|
|B-side||"Blood" (live) / "Yellow Ledbetter" (live)|
|Released||November 2, 1993|
|Format||CD single, Cassette, vinyl|
|Recorded||March–May 1993 at The Site, Nicasio, California|
|Songwriter(s)||Eddie Vedder, Stone Gossard|
|Producer(s)||Brendan O'Brien, Pearl Jam|
|Pearl Jam singles chronology|
The song topped the US Album Rock and Modern Rock Billboard charts, spending a total of eight weeks at number one on the former chart. "Daughter" eventually peaked at number 28 on the Top 40 Mainstream chart, becoming the band's first Top 40 single. Outside the United States, the song reached number 16 in Canada and is Pearl Jam's highest-charting single in Ireland, reaching number four and becoming their second top-ten single. "Daughter" also reached number 11 in New Zealand and number 18 in Australia and the United Kingdom.
The song was included on Pearl Jam's 2004 greatest hits album, rearviewmirror (Greatest Hits 1991–2003).
Origin and recording
Guitarist Stone Gossard used a Guild wide-body acoustic guitar to write the music for "Daughter". Bassist Jeff Ament plays upright bass on the song. Guitarist Mike McCready said, "That's one of the few solos I really had to sit down and work out." Drummer Dave Abbruzzese on his drumming on "Daughter":
When we were originally working on "Daughter", I did a lot more stuff on the toms. But when we went in to record it, Brendan [O'Brien] suggested trying something different, to just use the kick and snare. That was a trip, because we'd already been playing that song for half a year, and I was kind of used to what I was doing. At first I was like, "Well...okay..." so I set up a 26" kick, a snare, and an 18" floor tom, and we just used the room mic's and went for it. It actually brought out a whole new dimension of the song for me, and it felt really fresh to me to play it like that. Live, I kind of mix the two approaches together.
Eddie Vedder said about the song "Daughter":
"The child in that song obviously has a learning difficulty, and it's only in the last few years that they've actually been able to diagnose these learning disabilities, that before were looked at as misbehavior; as just outright rebelliousness, but no one knew what it was. These kids, because they seemed unable or reluctant to learn, they'd end up getting the shit beaten outta them. The song ends, you know, with this idea of the shades going down—so that the neighbors can't see what happens next. What hurts about shit like that is that it ends up defining people's lives. They have to live with that abuse for the rest of their lives. Good, creative people are just fucking destroyed."
Release and reception
While the "Daughter" single was released commercially to international markets in 1993, the commercial single was not released in the United States until June 27, 1995 and was only available as a more expensive import version beforehand. "Daughter" became the most successful song from Vs. at number one on the US Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart. The acoustic guitar-driven song remains one of Pearl Jam's preeminent songs, and helped solidify the group's success following the monumental Ten. It has remained an alternative rock radio staple. At the 1995 Grammy Awards, "Daughter" received a nomination for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.
Outside the United States, the single was released commercially in Australia, Austria, Japan, the Netherlands, the Philippines, and the United Kingdom. In Canada, the song reached the number 16 on the Canadian RPM Top Singles. In Europe, the song was a major success in Ireland, becoming Pearl Jam's highest-charting hit at number four. It was their second top 10 hit there, after "Jeremy". In the United Kingdom, the song reached number 18, while in the Netherlands, it reached number 46, and in Belgium, it reached number 39. The song was also successful in Australasia, peaking at number 11 in New Zealand and number 18 in Australia.
"Daughter" was first performed live at Neil Young's 1992 Bridge School Benefit. It was also played at the band's December 31, 1992 concert at The Academy Theater in New York City, where Vedder introduced the song as "Brother". Both of these performances of the song featured different lyrics than the version that would ultimately wind up on Vs. "Daughter" is played at nearly every Pearl Jam show, almost always with an extension of the ending that could be an improvisation or a segment of another song. This extension is called a "Daughter tag". A different form of extension to the song was first introduced in the band's performance on Saturday Night Live in April 1994, just eight days after the death of Nirvana frontman and grunge pioneer Kurt Cobain. A tribute to Cobain, it is called "Daughter/Hey Hey, My My" by fans, since the extension is from the Neil Young song "Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)", which Cobain's suicide note had quoted. Another popular tag of the song is the "It's Okay" tag, which includes a slow improvisation based on "It's Okay" by garage rock band Dead Moon. Live performances of "Daughter" can be found on the "Dissident"/Live in Atlanta box set, the live album Live on Two Legs, various official bootlegs, the live album Live at Benaroya Hall, the live album Live in NYC 12/31/92, 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. The version of the song on Live at Lollapalooza 2007, onto which the band tagged Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)," features Vedder singing the lyrics "George Bush leave this world alone/George Bush find yourself another home". The band discovered that some of the Bush-related lyrics were excised from the AT&T webcast of Lollapalooza 2007, and questioned whether that constituted censorship. AT&T later apologized and blamed the censorship on contractor Davie Brown Entertainment. At the 2014 show in Milan, the band tagged the Disney song "Let It Go" to the end of the song's performance.
CD (US, Australia, Austria, Europe, and UK), 3" CD (Japan), 12" Vinyl (UK), and Cassette (Australia)
- "Daughter" – 3:54
- "Blood" (live) – 3:34
- "Yellow Ledbetter" (live) (Ament, McCready, Vedder) – 5:16
CD (Austria and The Netherlands), 7" Vinyl (The Netherlands and UK), and Cassette (UK)
- "Daughter" – 3:54
- "Blood" (live) – 3:34
- Recorded live on November 5, 1993 at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio, California.
7" Vinyl (Philippines)
- "Daughter" – 3:53
- "Animal" – 2:46
- List of number-one mainstream rock hits (United States)
- Number one modern rock hits of 1994
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