After Pearl Jam released their Ten album and became super-famous, Eddie Vedder was uncomfortable about the band’s status and ran into something of a roadblock when it came to coming up with new material for the second album.
One track he had in his back pocket was something he’d been working on with his previous band, Bad Radio, but he didn’t want to bring it to the group because he thought it was too pop, too sweet. In fact, he’d already made plans to give it to Chrissie Hynde and The Pretenders. But then producer Brendan O’Brien heard Eddie messing with it and declared that it would be a perfect hit for Pearl Jam.
Initially, he was outnumbered by everyone in the group who agreed with Eddie. But he kept up the pressure and Pearl Jam finally recorded it for the Vitalogy. album. And O’Brien was right. “Better Man” has became one of the band’s most popular songs.