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10-27 Soundgarden release new song


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Soundgarden

Soundgarden made a place for heavy metal in alternative rock. Their fellow Seattle rockers Green River may havespearheadedthe grunge sound, but they relied on noise rock in the vein of the Stooges. Similarly, Jane's Addiction were toofascinated withprog rock and performance art to appeal to a wide array of metal fans. Soundgarden, however, developeddirectly out of thegrandiose blues-rock of Led Zeppelin and the sludgy, slow riffs of Black Sabbath. Which isn't to say theywere a straight-ahead metal band. Soundgarden borrowed the D.I.Y. aesthetics of punk, melding their guitar. drivensoundwi ...read more

Soundgarden made a place for heavy metal in alternative rock. Their fellow Seattle rockers Green River may havespearheadedthe grunge sound, but they relied on noise rock in the vein of the Stooges. Similarly, Jane's Addiction were toofascinated withprog rock and performance art to appeal to a wide array of metal fans. Soundgarden, however, developeddirectly out of thegrandiose blues-rock of Led Zeppelin and the sludgy, slow riffs of Black Sabbath. Which isn't to say theywere a straight-ahead metal band. Soundgarden borrowed the D.I.Y. aesthetics of punk, melding their guitar. drivensoundwith an intelligenceand ironic sense of humor that was indebted to the American underground of the mid-'80s.Furthermore,the band rarely limiteditself to simple, pounding riffs, often making detours into psychedelia. But the group's keysonic signatures -- the gutsy wail ofvocalist Chris Cornell and the winding riffs of guitarist Kim Thayil -- were what broughtthemout of the underground. Not onlywere they one of the first groups to record for the legendary Seattle indie Sub Pop,butthey were the first grunge band tosign to a major label. In fact, most critics expected Soundgarden to be the bandthatbroke down the doors for alternativerock, not Nirvana. However, the group didn't experience an across-the-boardsuccessuntil 1994, when Superunknown becamea number one hit.

For a band so heavily identified with the Seattle scene, its ironic that two of its founding members were from theMidwest.KimThayil (guitar), Hiro Yamamoto (bass), and Bruce Pavitt were all friends in Illinois who decided to headtoOlympia,Washington, to attend college after high-school graduation in 1981. Though none of the three completed college,allof thembecame involved in the Washington underground music scene. Pavitt was the only one who didn't play -- hefoundedafanzine that later became the Sub Pop record label. Yamamoto played in several cover bands before forming a bandin1984with his roommate Chris Cornell (vocals), a Seattle native who had previously played drums in several bands.Thayilsoonjoined the duo and the group named itself Soundgarden after a local Seattle sculpture. Scott Sundquist originallywastheband's drummer, but he was replaced by Matt Cameron in 1986. Over the next two years, Soundgarden gradually builtupadevoted cult following through their club performances.

Pavitt signed Soundgarden to his fledgling Sub Pop label in the summer of 1987, releasing the single "Hunted Down"beforetheEP Screaming Life appeared later in the year. Screaming Life and the group's second EP, 1988's FOPP,becameundergroundhits and earned the attention of several major labels. The band decided to sign to SST instead of amajor,releasingUltramega OK by the end of 1988. Ultramega OK received strong reviews among alternative and metalpublications,and thegroup decided to make the leap to a major for its next album, 1989's Louder Than Love. Released on A&MRecords,LouderThan Love became a word-of-mouth hit, earning positive reviews from mainstream publications, peaking at 108on thecharts,and earning a Grammy nomination. Following the album's fall 1989 release, Yamamoto left the band to return toschool.JasonEverman, a former guitarist for Nirvana, briefly played with the band before Ben Shepherd joined in early 1990.

Soundgarden's third album, 1991's Badmotorfinger, was heavily anticipated by many industry observers as apotentialbreakouthit. Though it was a significant hit, reaching number 39 on the album charts, its success was overshadowedby thesurprisesuccess of Nirvana's Nevermind, which was released the same month as Badmotorfinger. Prior toNevermind,Soundgarden hadbeen marketed by A&M as a metal band, and the group had agreed to support Guns n' Roses onthe fall1991 Lose Your Illusiontour. While the tour did help sales, Soundgarden benefited primarily from the grunge explosion,whosemedia attention helpedturn the band into stars. The band was also helped by the Top Ten success of Temple of theDog, atribute to deceasedMother Love Bone singer Andrew Wood that Cornell and Cameron recorded with members of PearlJam.

By the spring release of 1994's Superunknown, Soundgarden's following had grown considerably, which meant thatthealbumdebuted at number one upon its release. (A year before its release, Shepherd and Cameron released aneponymousalbum bytheir side project, Hater.) Superunknown became one of the most popular records of 1994, generating agenuinecrossover hitwith "Black Hole Sun," selling over three million copies and earning two Grammys. Soundgarden returnedin 1996with Down onthe Upside, which entered the charts at number two. Despite the record's strong initial sales, it failedtogenerate a big hit,and was hurt by grunge's fading popularity. Soundgarden retained a sizable audience -- the album didgoplatinum, and theywere co-headliners on the sixth Lollapalooza -- but they didn't replicate the blockbuster successofSuperunknown. Aftercompleting an American tour following Lollapalooza that was plagued by rumors of internalfighting,Soundgarden announcedthat they were breaking up on April 9, 1997, to pursue other interests.

During the late '90s and 2000s, each member kept very busy. Cornell released three solo albums, also recording andtouringasAudioslave with former members of Rage Against the Machine. Cameron toured his Wellwater Conspiracy project,andalsoplayed and recorded with Smashing Pumpkins and Pearl Jam. Thayil collaborated with a wide range ofartists,includingCameron, Dave Grohl, Steve Fisk, and Boris. Meanwhile, Shepherd helped out with Wellwater Conspiracy, andalsoplayed andrecorded with Mark Lanegan of Screaming Trees. Finally, in 2010, the band announced a reunion with a fewliveshows duringthe summer (including that year's edition of Lollapalooza) which preceded a compilation, Telephantasm, inthefall.Telephantasm was initially available as a double-disc set on September 28, with a single-disc version appearing aweeklater(the single disc was also included via Guitar Hero on September 28). In 2011, Soundgarden released their first livealbum,Liveon I-5, which featured material recorded during the band's supporting tour for Down on the Upside. All of thisactivitywouldbe the prelude to Soundgarden's full-on return in 2012, when they released their sixth album, King Animal, in thefall ofthatyear. « hide

Similar Bands: Nirvana, Alice In Chains, The Stooges, Pearl Jam, Chris Cornell

LPs
King Animal
11/13/2012

3.5
567 Votes
Down on the Upside
1996

3.7
960 Votes
Superunknown
1994

4.3
2,349 Votes
Badmotorfinger
1991

4.1
1,546 Votes
Louder Than Love
1989

3.5
578 Votes
Ultramega OK
1988

3.3
425 Votes
EPs
Songs from the Superunknown
1995

3.2
27 Votes
Satanoscillatemymetallicsonatas
1992

3.5
19 Votes
Loudest Love
1990

3.8
16 Votes
Fopp
1988

2.9
54 Votes
Screaming Life
1987

3.7
67 Votes
Live Albums
Live on I-5
2011

3.1
41 Votes
Compilations
Echo of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across the Path
2014

3.8
11 Votes
Telephantasm
2010

3.9
60 Votes
Fresh Deadly Rarities
2000

4.1
8 Votes
A-Sides
1997

3.9
212 Votes
Alive in the Superunknown
1995

4.1
9 Votes
Screaming Life/Fopp
1990

3.5
77 Votes

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