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8 Pearl Jam Influences: a short grunge diagram

What makes Pearl Jam sound so particular and unique? Find below some of Eddi Vedder’s band influences, as well as artists that they inspired.

Pearl Jam's influences in alternative rock and grunge

Gigaton, Pearl Jam’s eleventh studio album, came out seven years after their latest effort, the average-sounding Lightning Bolt (2013). In this infographic diagram, we can see some of the musicians that influenced these Seattle grunge rockers and also a few artists that have been influenced by them.

Pearl Jam’s musical influences

Neil Young

They recorded the album Mirror Ball with Neil Young in 1995. Also, they have shared the stage with the Canadian rock icon on several occasions. Apart from this, the classic song Rockin in the Free World has been played frequently by Pearl Jam during their live performances.

The Who

Pearl Jam are also big fans of The Who. They covered live the tracks Love Reign o’er me and The Real Me, during their 2008 performance for the VH1 Rock Honors. And as a matter of fact, Pete Townshend and his bandmates have been quite an important influence on Pearl Jam’s rock attitude and live performances.

Led Zeppelin

The influence of Led Zeppelin is hugely important for both Pearl Jam guitarists, Mike McReady and Stone Gossard. Related to this influence, Gigaton’s third single, Quick Escape, surprises with a rhythmic bass-drum base worthy of Zep’s Bonzo and John Paul Jones.

The Ramones

Another band that Pearl Jam usually covers live is The Ramones. The influence of the New York punk quartet is more noticeable since the release of the album No Code, which includes direct and raw-sounding tracks like Mankind or Hail Hail. That punk style sound continued on later albums such, as Backspacer from 2009. Also to note, they usually play a live version of I Believe in Miracles, an original Ramones track, included in their album Brain Drain from 1989.

Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd is another influence on Pearl Jam, especially in their 2000 era. In addition to this, the grunge pioneers have covered live songs like Interstellar Overdrive, Mother and Comfortably Numb on several occasions.

Artists influenced by Pearl Jam

The Strokes

When indie rock heroes The Strokes started playing, they were inspired by the classic Yellow Ledbetter, a b-side from the album Ten (1991). Also, Julian Casablancas’ singing style is inspired by Eddie Vedder’s raw vocal performances.


This is an obvious something musical influence. Creed’s friendly metal classics were always compared to Pearl Jam. It is almost impossible not to notice the similarity between Scott Stapp’s vocal style and that of Vedder. On the other hand, some of the songs written by Creed’s guitarist, Mark Tremonti, bear some similarities to the ones included in Pearl Jam’s debut album, Ten.

St. Vincent

St. Vincent has declared her love for Pearl Jam on several occasions. Perhaps the most notable signs of appreciation have been her live performances of songs like Black (a Ten’s classic) or Tremor Christ (from the 1994 album, Vitalogy).


Incubus’ complex and powerful sound has been impacted by Pearl Jam. It is known that many of the band’s members are Pearl Jam fans. As a side note to this, it is worth remembering that guitarist Mike Eizinger had to refute his alleged involvement in PJ’s album Lightning Bolt.

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