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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 have spearheaded the grunge sound,butthey relied on noise rock in the vein of the Stooges. Similarly, Jane's Addiction were too fascinated with prog rock and performance art to appeal to a wide array of metal fans. Soundgarden, however, developed directly out of the grandiose blues-rock of Led Zeppelin and the sludgy, slow riffs of Black Sabbath. Which isn't to say they were a straight-ahead metal band. Soundgarden borrowed the D.I.Y. aesthetics of punk, melding their guitar-driven so ...read more

Soundgarden made a place for heavy metal in alternative rock. Their fellow Seattle rockers Green River may have spearheaded the grunge sound,butthey relied on noise rock in the vein of the Stooges. Similarly, Jane's Addiction were too fascinated with prog rock and performance art to appeal to a wide array of metal fans. Soundgarden, however, developed directly out of the grandiose blues-rock of Led Zeppelin and the sludgy, slow riffs of Black Sabbath. Which isn't to say they were a straight-ahead metal band. Soundgarden borrowed the D.I.Y. aesthetics of punk, melding their guitar-driven sound with an intelligence and ironic sense of humor that was indebted to the American underground of the mid-'80s. Furthermore, the band rarely limited itself to simple, pounding riffs, often making detours into psychedelia. But the group's keysonic signatures --the gutsy wail of vocalist Chris Cornell and the winding riffs of guitarist Kim Thayil -- were what brought the mouth of the underground. Not only were they one of the first groups to record for the legendary Seattle indie Sub Pop, but they were the first grunge band to sign to a major label. In fact, most critics expected Soundgarden to be the band that broke down the doors for alternative rock, 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 the Midwest. Kim Thayil(guitar), Hiro Yamamoto (bass), and Bruce Pavitt were all friends in Illinois who decided to head to Olympia,Washington, to attend college after high-school graduation in 1981. Though none of the three completed college, all of them became involved in the Washington underground music scene. Pavitt was the only one who didn't play -- he founded a fanzine that later became the Sub Pop record label. Yamamoto played in several cover bands before forming a band in 1984 with his roommate Chris Cornell (vocals), a Seattle native who had previously played drums in several bands. Thayil soon joined the duo and the group named itself Soundgarden after a local Seattle sculpture. Scott Sundqvist originally was the band's drummer, but he was replacedby Matt Cameron in 1986. Over the next two years, Soundgarden gradually built up a devoted cult following through their club performances.

Pavitt signed Soundgarden to his fledgling Sub Pop label in the summer of 1987, releasing the single "HuntedDown"beforetheEPScreamingLifeappeared later in the year. Screaming Life and the group's second EP, 1988's FOPP,becameundergroundhits andearned the attention ofseveralmajorlabels. The band decided to sign to SST instead of amajor,releasingUltramega OK by the end of 1988. UltramegaOK received strongreviewsamongalternative and metalpublications,and thegroup decided to make the leap to a major for its next album, 1989'sLouder Than Love.ReleasedonA&MRecords,LouderThan Love became a word-of-mouth hit, earning positive reviews from mainstream publications,peaking at108onthecharts,andearning a Grammy nomination. Following the album's fall 1989 release, Yamamoto left the band to returntoschool.JasonEverman,aformer guitaristfor 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. Thoughitwasasignificant hit, reaching number 39 on the album charts, its success was overshadowedby thesurprisesuccess of Nirvana'sNevermind,whichwasreleased the same month as Badmotorfinger. Prior toNevermind,Soundgarden hadbeen marketed by A&M as a metal band, andthe grouphadagreedto support Guns n' Roses onthe fall1991 Lose Your Illusiontour. While the tour did help sales, Soundgarden benefited primarilyfromthegrungeexplosion,whosemedia attention helpedturn the band into stars. The band was also helped by the Top Ten success of TempleoftheDog,atribute todeceasedMother 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 thatthealbumdebutedatnumberoneupon its release. (A year before its release, Shepherd and Cameron released aneponymousalbum bytheir side project,Hater.)Superunknownbecameone of the most popular records of 1994, generating agenuinecrossover hitwith "Black Hole Sun," selling over threemillioncopies and earningtwoGrammys. Soundgarden returnedin 1996with Down onthe Upside, which entered the charts at number two. Despite therecord'sstrong initialsales, itfailedtogenerate a big hit,and was hurt by grunge's fading popularity. Soundgarden retained a sizable audience -- thealbumdidgoplatinum,andtheywere co-headliners on the sixth Lollapalooza -- but they didn't replicate the blockbustersuccessofSuperunknown.Aftercompleting anAmericantour following Lollapalooza that was plagued by rumors of internalfighting,Soundgardenannouncedthat they werebreaking up on April 9,1997, topursue other interests.

During the late '90s and 2000s, each member kept very busy. Cornell released three solo albums, also recordingandtouringasAudioslavewithformermembers of Rage Against the Machine. Cameron toured his Wellwater Conspiracy project,andalsoplayed andrecorded with SmashingPumpkinsandPearl Jam. Thayil collaborated with a wide range ofartists,includingCameron, Dave Grohl, Steve Fisk, and Boris.Meanwhile, Shepherdhelped outwithWellwater Conspiracy, andalsoplayed andrecorded with Mark Lanegan of Screaming Trees. Finally, in 2010, theband announced areunion withafewliveshows duringthe summer (including that year's edition of Lollapalooza) which preceded acompilation,Telephantasm,inthefall.Telephantasmwas initially available as a double-disc set on September 28, with a single-disc version appearingaweeklater(thesingle disc wasalso included viaGuitar Hero on September 28). In 2011, Soundgarden released their first livealbum,Liveon I-5, whichfeatured materialrecordedduring the band'ssupporting tour for Down on the Upside. All of thisactivitywouldbe the prelude to Soundgarden's full-onreturn in 2012, whentheyreleased their sixthalbum, King Animal, in thefall ofthatyear. « hide

Similar Bands: Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam, Melvins, Chris Cornell, Led Zeppelin

LPs
King Animal
11/13/2012

3.5
653 Votes
Down on the Upside
1996

3.7
1,071 Votes
Superunknown
1994

4.3
2,624 Votes
Badmotorfinger
1991

4.1
1,736 Votes
Louder Than Love
1989

3.5
659 Votes
Ultramega OK
1988

3.3
481 Votes
EPs
Songs from the Superunknown
1995

3.2
29 Votes
SatanoscillatemymetallicsonataS
1992

3.6
24 Votes
Loudest Love
1990

3.8
20 Votes
Fopp
1988

2.9
62 Votes
Screaming Life
1987

3.6
79 Votes
Live Albums
Live on I-5
2011

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

3.8
13 Votes
Telephantasm
2010

3.9
67 Votes
Fresh Deadly Rarities
2000

4.1
10 Votes
A-Sides
1997

3.9
221 Votes
Alive in the Superunknown
1995

4.1
10 Votes
Screaming Life/Fopp
1990

3.5
83 Votes

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