Pearl Jam has announced plans to release "The Last Kiss," one of its exclusive, fan club-only Christmas singles, to the public in order to raise money to benefit refugees of the crisis in Kosovo.The band issued "The Last Kiss," a cover of an old song by J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers, on vinyl as its 1998 Christmas single, but now Pearl Jam plans to send the song to radio on May 3. A CD single version of "The Last Kiss" will arrive in stores 3-4 weeks later. Pearl Jam will donate all of the proceeds from sales of the single to CARE, an organization seeking to provide humanitarian aid to those displaced by the military action in Kosovo. In order to insure that the needed supplies get to the refugees as soon as possible, Sony Music has agreed to make a monetary donation to CARE before the single is released. Sony, the parent company of the band's label, Epic Records, is also in the midst of assembling a benefit album for CARE that will include Pearl Jam's "The Last Kiss."
No word yet on other artists who might contribute tracks to the record, but we'll keep you posted.In related Pearl Jam and fan club news, the band has inked a deal with Universe Publishing to release a softcover version of its "Place/Date" photo album in May. Last year Pearl Jam made a hardcover edition of the book available to those in the band's official fan club (see "Freeze-Frame: Pearl Jam Images Compiled For New Photo Album").