If you are a fan of Pearl Jam, you probably know that "Given to Fly" was the band's biggest hit. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for six weeks and reached number one on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.
As you may have expected, it has plenty of melodic moments. However, the song also has plenty of gritty cuts, too.
"Given to Fly" opens with an eerie guitar riff that sounds a lot like a riff from Led Zeppelin's "Going to California." The track continues with the melody's lyrical message, which speaks of freedom.
It's no wonder that the song has garnered so much love from fans. Like a lot of Pearl Jam's best tracks, it has a darker tone than its stadium rock counterparts.
"Given to Fly" was written by Eddie Vedder. In addition to the music, Vedder contributed lyrics. Those lyrics describe the protagonist as a man who had been given the ability to fly. His purpose was to spread his message of freedom. He is isolated, and feels trapped in a bad time. But even in his distress, he still receives love.
The band teamed up with Neil Young for a Pearl Jam/Young collaboration album called Mirror Ball. The song "Wishlist" was a standout on that record. Another highlight from the album is the title track.
After a four-year break, Pearl Jam returned in 2006. With the release of their self-titled album, they gained more bite. They were even able to re-create the frenetic energy of Vitalogy. Their fourth album debuted at number one.