While “Jeremy” was what tipped me over into buying Ten, this barnburner was the first Pearl Jam song I ever loved.
As part of the Singles soundtrack, which turned me on to not just Pearl Jam, but also Smashing Pumpkins (which took) and Mudhoney (which didn’t); reminded me that the Screaming Trees were pretty awesome; and premiered not one but two Paul Westerberg solo songs, “State of Love and Trust” knocked me out from pretty much the beginning.
Which was much to my surprise. By the time the Singles soundtrack came out in the tumultuous summer of 1992 I know that I’d seen the videos for both “Alive” and “Even Flow” without anything truly registering, and the only reason I got the damn thing was because of the two Westerberg songs anyways — which I figured I’d mine for the next set of mixtapes I was going to start after my other ones were stolen from my car in the Blue parking lot — so Pearl Jam wasn’t even an afterthought.
But fuck all that: just listen to how Stone Gossard and Mike McCready’s guitars come roaring from the beginning, new drummer Dave Dave Abbruzzese riding his snare drum hard as shit and Eddie Vedder leads off with the title like he’s singing about the state of the union. Which I guess he was, in a way.
And I listen for the voice inside my head
Nothin’, I’ll do this one myself
It’s just all snarl and roar: barely controlled guitars squealing every which way, sometimes echoing the melody line that Vedder is singing, and sometimes he’s singing the guitar solos McCready playing, and there’s even a breakdown in the middle where the song seems to fall apart, but only for a bit — it’s really more of a respite, a bit of gathering of breath before they all go apeshit for the last minute or so.
All these years later, “State of Love and Trust” definitely foreshadows the ferocious rockers on Vs. and Vitalogy, the sound of a band that had begun to truly gel and was ready to show everybody what they really could do. Which, of course, is another reason I think, that I mistrusted Ten at first: nothing on that record — with the possible exception of “Porch,” which was also clearly a sketch for a live jam — rocked out in quite the same way as “State of Love and Trust.”
“State of Love and Trust”
“State of Love and Trust” live in Los Angeles, 1992
“State of Love and Trust” MTV Unplugged, 1992
“State of Love and Trust” Boston, 1994
“State of Love and Trust” live in Italy, 2006
The Certain Songs Database
A filterable, searchable & sortable somewhat up to date database with links to every “Certain Song” post I’ve ever written.
Certain Songs Spotify playlist
(It’s recommended that you listen to this on Spotify as their embed only has 200 songs.)
Support “Certain Songs” with a donation on Patreon
Go to my Patreon page