All Night

A few promotional posters for No Code included “All Night” and “Black, Red, Yellow” in additional to tracks that would ultimately end up on that record. But while the latter was issued as the b-side to “Hail, Hail”, “All Night” wouldn’t be heard for seven more years, as the opening song on the rarities compilation Lost Dogs. For shame! I can, and have, played Monday morning QB with lots of Pearl Jam tracks, but the slighting of “All Night” for the better part of a decade is something I probably cannot be consoled about.

I remember seeing that poster and wondering about the song, whose titled suggested the soulful Temple of the Dog track “All Night Thing”. I imagined Pearl Jam’s song would be a quieter track, perhaps even romantic (more on that later). But I never thought that although it was scrapped from No Code, presumably in the 11th hour, that it wouldn’t surface even once: not as a b-side, soundtrack cut, or even soundchecked. The usual arguments could probably be made that it just didn’t feel right with the rest of the album, but No Code was an unusually eclectic set. Perhaps it vied with “Sometimes” for album opener, and there just wasn’t a better place to sequence the song once it lost that battle. Whatever the reasons, at least “All Night” has finally emerged.

Recorded during a severely hot (and deadly) stretch of Chicago summer days, “All Night” is similarly dense, humid, blistering. Though not one of Vedder’s more striking lyrical compositions, it’s one of his earliest and most successful experiments with vocal layering. Harmonies shift subtly over static chords, while the band creates an enormous amount of tension in what could be an electrifying set opener should Pearl Jam ever decide to dust it off. In direct contrast to “Help Help”, which I just chronicled, “All Night” is all about momentum, a head full of steam. “Why be satisfied / We’ve got all night!” Indeed! How could the band have been satisfied sitting on this for so long?


~ by Michael on May 31, 2007.

3 Responses to “All Night”

  1. It was a tough call for awhile, but I’m ready to say that All Night was the biggest and best suprise on Lost Dogs for me. I love it. I think it would have been a fantastic opener for No Code, but perhaps C13 is right…maybe it was up against Sometimes and it didn’t win. Also, it might be a stretch, but All Night and Hail Hail have a similar intro and might have been too much of a combo for the front end of No Code. That said, I’m glad it was finally released on LD. That driving, unrelenting tempo pumps me up every time I hear it.

  2. I don’t know if this one would fit in No Code. “Sometimes” sounds better for an opener to the most experimental album of Pearl Jam. But this doesn’t mean that “All Night” isn’t a very good song…It is good and maybe his place as an opener to a B-side compilation is the most suitable for it. Unfortunately “All Night” still waits its live debut. Who knows? Last year we’ve got Education, this year maybe this 😀

  3. Maybe the reason it didn’t make the record was because PJ was never fully satisfied with the original version.

    Stone said in the liner notes “I think this version is now a little more stripped down (than the original version) “, so it could sound much different for all we know.

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