In Hiding

The standard word on 1998’s Yield is that it was a “return to form” after the experimentation of No Code. I’ve never bought that idea entirely, because it underemphasized the musical growth of the former, and overstated that of the latter. No Code had more than its fair share of innovation, but it was also extremely listenable, and not wholly out of line with past efforts. Likewise, Yield introduced many new facets to the band’s direction and sound. And what does “return to form” really mean anyway? A return to Ten? Because Yield most definitely isn’t that. Still, I suspect that there are two songs on that record that people have in mind when they invoke the “back-to-their-roots” description. The first is “Given To Fly”, the reasons for which will be thoroughly discussed on that song’s entry. The second is “In Hiding”.

On recent tours, there are usually two songs from the album that’s being promoted, that rarely get played at the same show. Usually it’s one or the other. I first noticed this phenomenon with Yield. Either “Faithfull” would get played, or “In Hiding” (with Riot Act there was “Ghost”/”Cropduster”, and on Pearl Jam “Army Reserve”/”Unemployable”). It might have to do with the fact that “Faithfull” and “In Hiding” are both brawny, anthemic structured songs, and the band typically likes to balance its shows between those types of rockers and more lithe material. The more classic rock, bombastic quality of “In Hiding” is also probably what connects it in people’s minds to the days of Ten and Vs.

The song is built around a soaring, distinctly Stone Gossard guitar riff and features typically self-examining Ed Vedder lyrics. What separates them from the early days is the feeling of having made through the storm, rather than being in the eye of it. “It’s funny when things change so much / It’s all state of mind.” “In Hiding” most explicitly articulates the shifting perspectives and outlooks of the band at that point in time. I’m not sure how much I’ve ever been interested in being told that there’s a new-found serenity or acceptance or understanding; I prefer to have that communicated implicitly, through songs like “Wishlist”, “MFC”, and “All Those Yesterdays”. So “In Hiding” has never been a favorite of mine, interesting more as an acknowledgement of personal change and growth, than as a song unto itself.


~ by Michael on May 18, 2007.

11 Responses to “In Hiding”

  1. In Hiding has to deal with a “trip” of some kind… It was the first of its kind for PJ. Severed Hand was the second.
    Ed is a psychonaut…

  2. I should preface by saying “In Hiding” is one of my Top 5 Pearl Jam songs. I remember hearing it on the radio, the night before Yield was released. The chorus made me cry. I don’t care…I’ll say it. It felt like such a monumental release of emotion, an anthem to sing at the top of your lungs. I love every second of this song. Stone’s riff is fantastic; and I also love Jack and Jeff’s low-end action on this one. The whole song, to me, feels like a giant wave (I know the whole “wave/ocean” imagery gets overplayed with Pearl Jam) and when it crashes, and Ed sings that final chorus, I really think it was, and still is, a defining moment for this band.

  3. I don’t really like Yield, becuase its too bright and upfront. You pretty much can interpret the album through one or two listens; Wishlist, Brain of J, GTF, DTE, and MFC all come off this way. to me, the most important songs on the album are both of the Ament songs and In Hiding. And i don’t think Yield was a back to basics album, it was the first of the “modern” pj albums, No Code being the “Experiment”. In Hiding could just as easily belong on Avocado or Riot Act which is why i like it more. It steers away from the brightness of the rest.

  4. That was a good read.

    ‘In Hiding’ is one of my favorites. It is very empowering musically, vocally, and lyrically.

    four days alone with nothing.
    emerge empowered…
    “the first human face you see will knock you back 50%.” -buk

  5. In an interview, Mike said that this one is a little… difficult for him to play. He said that he “follows” Stone’s fingers everytime they play it live. Also one of my favourites because is Yield stuff.

  6. It’s interesting to see all the “In Hiding” love. I wonder what the general consensus of favorites among More Than Ten’s readers will be.

  7. This is a definate favourite, again a very uplifting, empowering sort of tune that when you listen to really ‘lifts’ you.

  8. “In Hiding” was always one of my personal favorites. Pearl Jam never hid their arena rock anthem aspirations, but in the past these songs were often unmistakably tinged with testosterone. “In Hiding” represents a departure both lyrically and musically with Pearl Jam giving U2 a run for their inspirational anthem money. Stone’s guitar tone practically seems to be a template for The Edge’s roughly hewn Gibson Explorer sound in “Beautiful Day”. Eddie Vedder’s lyrics, meanwhile, have matured past the angry young man in Ten and the uncertain crossroads of No Code. Taking a cue from Bono’s messiah fetish, he sings, “It’s been about three days now since I’ve been aground / No longer overwhelmed and it seems so simple now.” It’s hard to imagine the Eddie Vedder of albums past to sing such lyrics. On No Code, it seemed the band was trying to convince themselves that turning inward was the right thing to do. Here, they’ve finally arrived.

  9. Great insight Hoaniam! Though I prefer anything from the uncertain crossroads to “In Hiding”. And the less taking cues from Bono, the better–though interesting connections to make.

  10. […] “Ed is a psychonaut.” — jtr (More Than Ten reader, see entry for “In Hiding”) […]

  11. hate bono (exept for the charity stuff part,that’s great). can’t relate him to eddie at all…

    In Hiding is a beautiful song, and you know, pearl jam isn’t all about negative introspective thoughts and past experiences…
    i really like stone’s work in In Hiding,it’s so melodious,can’t stop playing it each time i hold a guitar…

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