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Pearl Jam Set the Date for Self-Titled Disc

Veteran grunge rockers to release eighth studio effort in May

March 1, 2006 3:13 PM ET

Pearl Jam will release their eighth, self-titled studio album on May 2nd. Produced by Adam Kasper (Soundgarden), the follow-up to 2002's Riot Act was recorded in Seattle and will be the band's first for J Records.

"A couple of rock songs, a couple of ballads -- it's not rocket science," says Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard about the new disc. But his hopes are high: "It feels like a new opportunity for us. We're proud of the songs, and we think they have a chance to do a little better commercially."

Pearl Jam is the band's most collaborative effort yet: They produced the album together, each member will receive writing credits and for the first time ever guitarist Mike McCready contributes lyrics, to the album closer "Inside Job." Gossard has also contributed two of his own songs, "Parachutes" and "Life Wasted."

The first single, "World Wide Suicide," penned by frontman Eddie Vedder, hits radio March 8th. On the same day, the song -- which McCready has described as "very punky and Who-ish" -- will be made available as a free download on the band's Web site, pearljam.com.

Pearl Jam, who have sold more than sixty million albums since their 1991 inception, will launch a spring world tour in support of the album. Details will be announced later this month.

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A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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