Pearl Jam Ten engineer Dave Hillis criticized “Yellow Ledbetter” in a new Cobras & Fire podcast interview.
“I used to have all the lyrics all over the console because of the punching in and stuff and whatnot, so I’d know where to come in or come out. But, you know, yeah, honestly, my opinion, I didn’t know what the hell it was, I didn’t know what they were doing, I didn’t really get any direction…
The whole thing seemed very classic-rock to me, which was not very popular, not what I was thinking of at the time or attracted to at that moment, and I really didn’t get where they were going with all of this. I mean, honestly, I was like, ‘Well, I’m glad the guys at least had some success with getting deal with Mother Love Bone, but I don’t know what this is going to do.’ I honestly didn’t get it.”
Pearl Jam recorded “Yellow Ledbetter” during the Ten sessions, but surprisingly left it off the album. Nearly a decade later the song finally was released as a single, becoming one of Pearl Jam’s signature hits and a song they end many concerts with. Ultimate-Guitar transcribed Hillis’ comments.