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.
This didn't make the cut for Pearl Jam's debut album Ten, but was used as the B-side of the "Jeremy" single. In 2003, a live version appeared on the compilation Lost Dogs.
Jonah from Thornhill, Canadawhats the show where he goes, "so this is act 3"?
Doug Cataldo from Chatham, Nji think this is one Eddie's deepest songs, it sounds very good especially with the hermonica in it.
Danny from Atlanta, GaThere is an international version of TEN that has 3 extra songs. Wash, Alive (Live - the video version), and Dirty Frank. It is Yellow with the black stick figure logo on the front. Footsteps was NOT one of the 3 tracks, it is in fact on the original international single (as mentioned aby Elliot)... The performance of Footsteps itself was from Live Rockline (radio show) performance. That single was released in the US years later along with every International single in the PJ archive.
Elliot from St. Louis, MoFootsteps was not on the American release of TEn. The only bonus track on that one was Master/slave, found at the beginning of Once, and at the end of Release. Footsteps is track 3 on the single for Jeremy. Track 2 is Yellow Bedletter.
Nick from Melbourne, AustraliaThere was an overseas realease of the Ten album that had 3 bonus tacks on it. I think it was a Japanese release.
Chris from Topeka, KsAre you sure that this is on the ten album? because I have that album and it's not on my album, and I then looked up all of their cd's on cdnow and found that it was on the Lost Dogs Cd on the second cd track #4.
Fiona from Philadelphia, PaEddie's voice never sounded better! So much better than "Times of Trouble".