Wishlist (song)

"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). In the United States, the song peaked at number six on both the Billboard Mainstream Rock and Modern Rock Tracks charts. The song was included on Pearl Jam's 2004 greatest hits album, rearviewmirror (Greatest Hits 1991–2003).

Single by Pearl Jam
from the album Yield
B-side"U", "Brain of J." (live)
ReleasedMay 5, 1998
Songwriter(s)Eddie Vedder
Producer(s)Brendan O'Brien, Pearl Jam
Pearl Jam singles chronology
"Given to Fly"
"Last Kiss"
Audio sample

Origin and recordingEdit

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

It was a stream-of-consciousness exercise. 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 receptionEdit

"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 performancesEdit

"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.

On September 26, 2021, during his 2021 Ohana Fest solo performance, Vedder dedicated the song to the brothers Followill of Kings of Leon, whose mother died the night before, and were originally set to appear at the festival; as well to comedian and SNL alumn Norm Macdonald, who died a week earlier, and Vedder considered a friend.

Track listingsEdit

All songs were written by Eddie Vedder except where noted.

Standard 7-inch, CD, and cassette single[6][7][8]

  1. "Wishlist" – 3:26
  2. "U" – 2:48
  3. "Brain of J." (live) (Mike McCready, Vedder) – 2:57

European CD single[9]

  1. "Wishlist" – 3:26
  2. "U" – 2:48



  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". Archived from the original on March 1, 2000. Retrieved July 30, 2019.. Addicted to Noise. February 1998.
  4. ^ Sheffield, Rob. "Pearl Jam: Yield". Rolling Stone. March 11, 1998.
  5. ^ "Pearl Jam Songs: "Wishlist"" Archived May 23, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. pearljam.com.
  6. ^ Wishlist (US 7-inch single sleeve). Pearl Jam. Epic Records. 1998. 34 78896.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  7. ^ Wishlist (Australian CD single liner notes). Pearl Jam. Epic Records. 1998. 34K. 78896.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  8. ^ Wishlist (UK cassette single sleeve). Pearl Jam. Epic Records. 1998. 665790 4.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  9. ^ Wishlist (European CD single liner notes). Pearl Jam. Epic Records. 1998. EPC 665790 1.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  10. ^ "Pearl Jam – Wishlist". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved March 10, 2022.
  11. ^ "Top RPM Rock/Alternative Tracks: Issue 3566." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved March 10, 2022.
  12. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 10, 2022.
  13. ^ "Pearl Jam: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  14. ^ "Official Rock & Metal Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 10, 2022.
  15. ^ "Pearl Jam Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  16. ^ "Pearl Jam Chart History (Adult Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved March 10, 2022.
  17. ^ "Pearl Jam Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved March 10, 2022.
  18. ^ "Pearl Jam Chart History (Alternative Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  19. ^ "Pearl Jam Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  20. ^ "RPM's Top 50 Alternative Tracks of '98". RPM. Retrieved March 10, 2022 – via Library and Archives Canada.

External linksEdit