Pearl Jam – No Way – Yield To Your Natural Self

No way - Pearl Jam

Yield, Pearl Jam’s fifth studio album, released on February 3, 1998, was proclaimed by the band to be their return to the harder edged style that characterized Ten and VS. Unlike Vitalogy and No Code it was more the result of a collaboration between band members than a reliance on the songwriting abilities of Eddie Vedder. This new dynamic served to improve relationships within the band. Mike McCready, referring to Vedder, stated, “I used to be afraid of him and not want to confront him on things … We talk more now, and hang out … He seems very, very centered now.” Yield was also the last release to include drummer Jack Irons who was so burned out from touring that he decided to call it quits and was eventually replaced by Soundgarden’s Matt Cameron. The band chose the album title after reading Daniel Quinn’s “Ishmael,” which has a central theme of yielding to nature. Vedder said, “Let’s say that hypothetically speaking, the title does mean something… You can fight so much, and then you have to think, ‘What are the real battles?’ ‘What’s really important?’ You get to a certain point, and it’s really hard to remember what music is and to remember what drives you.” The cover art, a photograph that depicts a road under a wide open sky and the all important yield sign, was taken just outside of Billings, Montana.

“No Way” a simple but riveting song opens with a Zeppelinesque drum beat that is met by a grungy guitar pattern to form a repetitive heartbeat sound, a pattern on which Vedder will unfold his confidential musing. His voice enters and passionately unveils the song’s meaning with great drama. It was written by Stone Gossard who explained that it “expresses the idea that people just need to live and quit trying to prove something.” Or, in terms of the album’s theme, yield to a natural state and stop pretending to be something you aren’t.

“Here’s a token of my openness
Of my need to not disappearyield- Pearl Jam
How I’m feeling so revealing to me..I found my mind too clear
I just need someone to be there for.. me
I just want someone to be there for.. me
All the static in my attic shoots down my sciatic nerve
To the ocean of my platitudes, longitudes, latitudes it’s so absurd
I just need someone to be there for..
I just want someone to be there for.. Someone to be there for..
‘Cause I’ll stop trying to make a difference
I’m not trying to make a difference
I’ll stop trying to make a difference…No way
Ooh, let’s call in an angel
‘Cause I’ll stop trying to make a difference
I’m not trying to make a difference
I’ll stop trying to make a difference…No way
‘Cause I’ll stop trying to make a difference
I’m not trying to make a difference
I’m not trying to make a difference
No way
No way, no way
Let’s call in an angel
Who’s calling an angel?