The Deluxe and Standard edition LP versions of Eddie Vedder’s acclaimed second solo album, May 2011’s Ukulele Songs, are now out on UMe/Republic Records. This new release marks the first time the album has been pressed on vinyl since its initial LP release a decade ago.
The Deluxe Edition LP features the original 16-track Ukulele Songs album on high-grade 180-gram black vinyl in expanded packaging that includes a 16-page booklet and a special lithograph. The Standard Edition LP has also been pressed on 180-gram black vinyl.
Ukulele Songs comprises a fine mixture of original material penned by Vedder that he initially performed live, alongside vintage classics and standards. A recast, uke-driven version of “Can’t Keep,” which originally appeared as the opening track on Pearl Jam’s hard-charging November 2002 album Riot Act, opens the proceedings, while newer-bred original songs like the resigned lament of “Sleeping By Myself,” the charming love orbit of “Satellite,” the hopeful brightness of “Light Today,” and the instrumental interlude “Waving Palms” all set the table for the 35-minute album.
Guest vocalists appear on a pair of key Ukulele tracks, both of them fine covers of notable standards. First, Glen Hansard (The Frames, Once) adds his Irish folk DNA to “Sleepless Nights,” which was written by Felice and Boudreaux Bryant and remade by The Everly Brothers in 1960, in addition to later being covered by the likes of Emmylou Harris, Patty Loveless, and Elvis Costello.
The LP’s other noteworthy covers include stirring takes on Billy Rose and Edward Eliscu’s “More Than You Know,” Michael Edwards and Bud Green’s “Once In A While,” and the album-closing reading of Fabian Andre, Wilbur Schwandt, and Gus Kahn’s “Dream A Little Dream.”
Produced by Eddie Vedder and Adam Kasper (Foo Fighters, Soundgarden), Ukulele Songs peaked at No. 4 on the U.S. Billboard 200, hit No. 2 on the U.S. Top Rock Albums on Billboard, and achieved Gold status in Canada.
Elsewhere in Eddie Vedder news, Pearl Jam are currently on tour in the US, playing the dates they were originally scheduled to perform when their most recent album, Gigaton, was released in 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Nearly two years later, Pearl Jam have finally hit the road, with their updated routing also including four additional concert dates in Fresno, Sacramento, Las Vegas, and Camden, NJ.