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Into the Wild

Cover to the Compact Disc version of the album
Soundtrack by Eddie Vedder
Released September 18, 2007
Recorded 2007 at Studio X, Seattle, Washington
Genre Folk rock
Length 33:04
Language English
Label J
Producer Adam Kasper, Eddie Vedder
Professional reviews
Vinyl LP
Artwork for the 2007 vinyl edition

Into the Wild is the first solo studio album by Pearl Jam vocalist Eddie Vedder based on his contributions to the soundtrack for the film Into the Wild (2007). It was released on September 18, 2007 through J Records.



Director Sean Penn hand-picked Vedder to provide the music for the film. Previously, Vedder had contributed two songs to the soundtrack for the 1995 film, Dead Man Walking, and a cover of The Beatles' "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" to the soundtrack for the 2001 film, I Am Sam, both of which starred Penn.


The songs for the soundtrack were recorded in 2007 at Studio X in Seattle, Washington. Vedder worked with producer Adam Kasper, who had previously worked on Pearl Jam's 2002 album, Riot Act, and 2006 album, Pearl Jam. The album was mixed by Kasper and Vedder.

After viewing a rough cut of Into the Wild, Vedder quickly went to work writing songs for the film.[8] After three days, Vedder gave Penn a range of material to work with. Penn placed into the film what Vedder had given him, and Vedder then went on to work on more material that Penn could add to the film.[9] Vedder said that Penn "gave [him] a lot of freedom," and added that "the biggest thing was trust, which was just kind of unspoken."[10] Vedder also said that having to write songs based on a narrative "simplified things." He said, "There were fewer choices. The story was there and the scenes were there."[9] Vedder said that the songwriting process "grew" as Penn would ask him for more material.[10]

Vedder described the recording process as a "factory." He said, "I'd just sit in the chair, and they'd hand me a fretless bass, and they'd hand me a mandolin, and they'd take a second to do the rough mix, and then I'd write the vocal, and it was just quick."[11] On the recording sessions as a whole, Vedder stated, "It was like I kinda went into some weird space for a week or two, and then I woke up out of this daze, and it was done. I don't really remember it."[11]

Music and lyrics

Vedder's songs written for the film feature a folk sound. Thom Jurek of Allmusic called the soundtrack a "collection of folksy, rootsy tunes where rock & roll makes fleeting appearances."[1] Vedder is primarily responsible for the songs in the film while film music composer Michael Brook is acknowledged in the film's credits for composing the film's original music. Vedder said, "Michael made great choices with the way he orchestrated the score...Our pieces of music meshed together pretty well for not having approached it in a way of making sure these puzzle pieces fit. They just did."[8]

Vedder's cover of the song "Hard Sun" (originally written by Gordon Peterson who performed under the name of Indio on the 1989 album, Big Harvest) features backing vocals by Corin Tucker of Sleater-Kinney. Vedder collaborated with singer-songwriter Jerry Hannan on the song "Society", written by Hannan. Both songs appear in the film along with a slew of other folky ballads by Vedder.

Vedder's songs help narrate the story of American wanderer Christopher McCandless. After graduating as a top student from Emory University, and after a foray into the Western United States and Mexico, McCandless decided to give up all of his savings and money and hitchhike to Alaska to live in the wilderness with little food and equipment, hoping to live a period of solitude. Nearly five months later, he died of starvation near Denali National Park and Preserve. Vedder said that he "realized the songs could now become another tool in the storytelling."[8] On writing the songs about McCandless, Vedder stated, "It was startling how easy it was for me to get into his head. I found it to be uncomfortable how easy it was, because I thought I'd grown up."[9]


Additional musicians and production

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Eddie Vedder, except where noted. 

# Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Setting Forth"     1:37
2. "No Ceiling"     1:34
3. "Far Behind"     2:15
4. "Rise"     2:36
5. "Long Nights"     2:31
6. "Tuolumne"     1:00
7. "Hard Sun"   Indio 5:22
8. "Society"   Jerry Hannan 3:56
9. "The Wolf"     1:32
10. "End of the Road"     3:19
11. "Guaranteed[I]"     7:22

^  I "Guaranteed" contains the hidden track "Guaranteed" (Humming Vocal) at 4:40.

Release and reception

The soundtrack debuted at number eleven on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart, selling about 39,000 copies in its first week.[12] As of July 2008, the album has sold 369,000 copies in the United States according to Nielsen SoundScan.[13]

Into the Wild received generally favorable reviews from music critics according to Metacritic, where it holds a 67 after 14 reviews.[14] Rolling Stone staff writer David Fricke gave Into the Wild three and a half out of five stars, saying that Vedder "[tosses] his weighty baritone onto earthy, folky tracks that temper the romance of absolute freedom with an eerie foreboding."[5] Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly gave the album a B. She said "a real sense of the wide-open road permeates these nine original compositions." She ended her review by saying that "though the album is flawed (some tracks on the 33-minute disc are so brief that they never leave the ground), there is still something here that's compelling enough to stand alone."[3] David Marchese of Spin gave the album three and a half out of five stars. He said, "The handful of somber, droning mood pieces don't really transcend their film-contingent origins, but on the actual full-length songs...Vedder's incantatory vocals and campfire instrumentation evoke the eerie beauty of untouched land."[6] Jonah Weiner of Blender gave the album three out of five stars. He said, "It’s the sound of a 24-year-old accepting death, as imagined by a lifelong misfit aging gracefully."[2] Allan Jones of Uncut gave the album three out of five stars. He said, "Eddie here answers what you might be inclined to describe as the call of the wild with a series of mostly handsome, jangly folk-rock ballads."[7]

Jamie Fullerton of NME gave Into the Wild a five out of ten. In the review, Fullerton states that "due to Vedder’s interest in all things anti-corporate, McCandless’ renouncement of materialism is celebrated rather than the fact that he eventually died." He also says that it is "accomplished but occasionally overbearingly earnest."[4] Allmusic staff writer Thom Jurek gave the album two and a half out of five stars, saying that "musically there isn't enough imagination to distinguish [the songs], to set the tension of dynamic in motion."[1]

"Hard Sun" was the most successful song from Into the Wild on the rock charts, reaching number 13 on the Modern Rock charts. Both "Hard Sun" and "Guaranteed" had accompanying music videos. Vedder won a 2008 Golden Globe Award for the song "Guaranteed" from Into the Wild.[15] At the 2008 Grammy Awards, "Guaranteed" received a nomination for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media.[16] "Guaranteed" was also nominated for a 2008 World Soundtrack Award in the category of Best Original Song Written Directly for a Film.[17] At the 2009 Grammy Awards, "Rise" received a nomination for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Solo.[18]

Vedder was nominated for a Golden Globe for his contributions to the film's original score in 2008.[15]


Chart positions


Chart (2007) Position
Top Internet Albums[19] 2
US Billboard 200[20] 11
Portuguese Albums Chart[21] 19
New Zealand Albums Chart[22] 34
Australian Albums Chart[23] 39
German Albums Chart[24] 68
Irish Albums Chart[25] 68
Chart (2008) Position
Italian Albums Chart[26] 6
Swiss Albums Chart[27] 28
French Albums Chart[28] 31
Belgian Albums Chart (Vl)[29] 40
Chart (2009) Position
Dutch Albums Chart[30] 30
Belgian Albums Chart (Wa)[29] 74


Year Single Peak chart positions
US Mod
2007 "Hard Sun" 13 23


Eddie Vedder in concert at the Auditorium Theatre. (2008-08-21)

Vedder promoted the Into the Wild soundtrack with his first solo tour, which began in April 2008. The April leg of the tour, dubbed the "April Fools Tour", began in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada at The Centre on April 2, 2008 and was composed of ten dates focusing on the West Coast of the United States.[33][34] Vedder continued the tour with a second leg in August 2008 composed of fourteen dates focusing on the East Coast and Canada.[13] The second leg of the tour began in Boston, Massachusetts at the Boston Opera House and ended in Chicago, Illinois at the Auditorium Theatre.[35]


  1. ^ a b c Jurek, Thom. "allmusic ((( Into the Wild > Review )))". Allmusic. Retrieved March 21, 2009.  
  2. ^ a b Weiner, Jonah. "Eddie Vedder: Into the Wild". Blender. Retrieved on May 20, 2009.
  3. ^ a b Greenblatt, Leah (2007-09-13). "Into the Wild". Entertainment Weekly.,,20056673,00.html. Retrieved 2009-05-20.  
  4. ^ a b Fullerton, Jamie. "Eddie Vedder: Into the Wild OST". NME. October 30, 2007. Retrieved on May 20, 2009.
  5. ^ a b Fricke, David (2007-09-05). "Eddie Vedder: Into the Wild". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2009-05-20.  
  6. ^ a b Marchese, David. "Eddie Vedder, Into the Wild (J Records)". Spin. November 26, 2007. Retrieved on May 20, 2009.
  7. ^ a b Jones, Allan. "Eddie Vedder: Into the Wild". Uncut. Retrieved on May 20, 2009.
  8. ^ a b c Sandler, Adam. "Films thrive on singular musical vision". Variety. December 11, 2007.
  9. ^ a b c Cohen, Jonathan. "Q&A: Penn, Vedder go where the "Wild" things are". Reuters. October 26, 2007.
  10. ^ a b Gilchrist, Todd. "Interview: Sean Penn and Eddie Vedder". IGN. September 21, 2007.
  11. ^ a b Grossman, Lev. "Nature Boys". Time. September 13, 2007.
  12. ^ Katie Hasty, "Reba Outmuscles Kanye, 50 To Score First No. 1". Billboard. September 26, 2007.
  13. ^ a b Cohen, Jonathan. "Eddie Vedder Plots East Coast Solo Tour". Billboard. July 2, 2008.
  14. ^ Into the Wild by Eddie Vedder.
  15. ^ a b "65th Golden Globe Awards Nominations & Winners". Retrieved 2008-01-13.  
  16. ^ "50th Grammy Awards - 2008". Retrieved 2008-02-20.  
  17. ^ "Nominees World Soundtrack Awards 2008 announced". Retrieved 2008-08-20.  
  18. ^ "The 51st Grammy Awards Nominations List". Retrieved 2008-12-03.  
  19. ^ "Top Internet Albums: Into The Wild (Soundtrack)". Billboard. Retrieved 2009-04-02.  
  20. ^ "Eddie Vedder – Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Retrieved 2007-11-13.  
  21. ^ "Into the Wild (Album)". Retrieved 2009-04-02.  
  22. ^ "SOUNDTRACK / EDDIE VEDDER — INTO THE WILD (ALBUM)". New Retrieved 2007-11-13.  
  23. ^ "SOUNDTRACK / EDDIE VEDDER — INTO THE WILD (ALBUM)". Retrieved 2007-11-13.  
  24. ^ "Chartverfolgung / Eddie Vedder / Longplay". Retrieved 2008-07-29.  
  25. ^ "Irish Album/Singles Chart". Retrieved 2008-02-19.  
  26. ^ "Classifice Artisti — Archivio". FIMI. Retrieved 2008-03-05.  
  27. ^ "Schweizer Hitparade". Retrieved 2008-02-19.  
  28. ^ "French Single/Album Chart / Eddie Vedder / Longplay". Retrieved 2008-02-19.  
  29. ^ a b "Belgian Single/Album Chart / Eddie Vedder / Longplay". Retrieved 2009-04-02.  
  30. ^ "Dutch Single/Album Chart / Eddie Vedder / Longplay". Retrieved 2008-02-19.  
  31. ^ "Eddie Vedder – Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved 2007-11-13.  
  32. ^ "Eddie Vedder "Hard Sun" Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 2009-07-30.  
  33. ^ Reuters. "Eddie Vedder to Start Solo Tour". Entertainment Weekly. February 15, 2008.
  34. ^ Powers, Ann (2008-04-04). "It’s a lot to live up to: The Pearl Jam frontman opens his first solo tour with an intimate yet powerful performance in Vancouver". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-09-20.  
  35. ^ Kreps, Daniel (2008-07-02). "Tour Tracker: Eddie Vedder, Goo Goo Dolls and Alice Cooper". Rolling Stone. RealNetworks. Retrieved 2008-09-20.  

External links


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