Pearl Jam started releasing special holiday singles to members of their Ten Club almost as soon as they were signed to a major label. I still have an original copy of their 1991 release, “Let Me Sleep (Christmas Time)” somewhere in the collection.
Pearl Jam continue to release records like these until 2017. The best-known of all of them was their version of the teenage death song “Last Kiss,” originally released by Wayne Cochrane in 1961, turned into a hit by J Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers in 1964 and revived by the Canadian group Wednesday in 1973.
“Last Kiss” first appeared as a Ten Club single in 1998 paired with “Soldier of Love.” The following year, it appeared on a charity album No Boundaries: A Benefit for the Kosovar Refugees. From there, it became an unlikely Top 40 hit, reaching all the way to #2 on the Billboard Charts
This year, Pearl Jam didn’t perform live once, the first time this has happened in the band’s existence. As something of an apology (I guess), the band has launched 12 Days of Pearl Jam during which all of these holiday singles will finally come to streaming music services.
Here’s the first release: a Stevie Wonder cover.