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Album: TenReleased: 1991
This is the last song in what Eddie Vedder calls the "Momma-Son" trilogy. It continues the story that begins with "Alive," where a boy learns his dad is actually his stepfather, and continues with "Once," where the boy goes crazy and kills people. In "Footsteps," he is sentenced to death and looking back at his wasted life from a jail cell.
Guitarist Stone Gossard wrote the music as part of an instrumental demo before the band had a lead singer; he called the song "Troubled Times." Gossard and Jeff Ament were in a promising band called Mother Love Bone, which disbanded when their lead singer died in March 1990. Teaming with Mike McCready, they asked Jack Irons to join on drums, and although he couldn't do it, he thought Vedder might make a great lead singer for the group and delivered the demo to him, which got Eddie the job when they heard the vocals he added to the tracks. The three songs ended up sounding very much like the demos after they were recorded for the album.
Chris Cornell from Soundgarden recorded his own vocals over the instrumental track for this song, which became the Temple of the Dog song "Times Of Trouble." Temple of the Dog was formed by Cornell, Gossard, Ament and Mike McCready as a tribute to Andrew Wood, the lead singer Mother Love Bone; Gossard and Ament were in the band when Wood died of a heroin overdose. Eddie Vedder contributed vocals to the Temple of the Dog song "Hunger Strike
" on the day he flew in to meet his new bandmates for the first time.