1991Released
5:40

Did You Know?

Interesting facts and trivia about Alive. By Songfacts®.

The music for this song was written by guitarist Stone Gossard before the band had a lead singer. It was part of a three-song instrumental demo they made at London Bridge Studio in Seattle while looking for a vocalist and drummer. Jack Irons, a friend of Gossard's who played drums in The Red Hot Chili Peppers, was approached about joining the band, but he had another commitment. He thought Eddie Vedder might be a good fit as the singer, so he gave Eddie the demo tape. At home in San Diego, Vedder wrote lyrics and added his vocals to the song using his four-track recorder. The band liked what they heard and made him lead singer.

The instrumental demo of this song was titled "Dollar Short." Vedder's lyrics went in a direction the band didn't expect, but they loved what they heard and quickly agreed that he should be their lead singer - only one other guy had been auditioned. Reflecting on how everything came together so quickly, the band credited timing and fate for Vedder's arrival. Eddie said that it took him 12 hours to write and record the songs for the demo, and he could have easily blown it off.

Vedder's lyrics are about a boy who finds out his father is actually his stepfather, and that his real father is dead. He later revealed that the song was "a work of fiction based on reality," and the chorus of "I'm still alive" was what he considered his curse, as he struggled to deal with the strained relationship with his stepfather and the fact that his real father was dead. In an episode of VH1's Storytellers, Vedder explained that the interpretation of the song had changed, as fans would react to the chorus by jumping around and celebrating - they heard "I'm still alive" as a positive thing, an affirmation of life. Said Vedder: "When they changed the meaning of those words, they lifted the curse."

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Song Analysis

Key, BPM (tempo) and time signature of Alive.
BKey
MinorMode
4/4Time Signature
75BPM

Album

The album Alive is released on.

Released By

The record label that has released Alive.
Epic/Legacy
(P) 1991 Sony Music Entertainment Inc.

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