"Jeremy," the haunting and riveting single from Pearl Jam's debut release, Ten, struck an intense chord with generation X at the start of the 1990s. A song about a kid growing up feeling alone and isolated from schoolmates and family who later lashes out paints a harsh picture at the realistic life many teenagers go through. Who would have ever thought that this story, most notably understood through the band's only produced video, would later impact the world public via the media down the road as a foretelling of many school shootings, including the Columbine crisis. "Jeremy" is drenched in distortion and grunge appeal, with the vibrant presence of Eddie Vedder's compelling lyrical message delivered in angst-ridden fashion. Two other imaginative tracks appear on this single, never to be packaged on a long-play album. "Footsteps" is a pretty song about relationships and the pain of breaking up, as well as the challenge of moving on. It's a pretty acoustic tune featuring Vedder and guitarist Stone Gossard, recorded live for the show Rockline in May of 1992. "Yellow Ledbetter" is a brilliant composition spirited by Vedder's anonymous lyrics and Mike McCready's memorable guitar riffs. Certainly the highlight of the album, this is the only place the listeners will find the studio version. "Ledbetter" has been an ongoing request at shows during the band's history and due to the overwhelming demand was released again in live format on another single. This small collection is a pleasure to listen to and very enjoyable from beginning to end.
by Shawn M. Haney