Some Band History
The Soundgarden saga started in Illinois. After graduating from high school, Thayil and bassist Hiro Yamamoto--along with future Sub Pop founder Bruce Pavitt--moved to Olympia, Washington, ostensibly to attend the Evergreen State College. The burgeoning music scene lured them to Seattle, where Yamamoto wound up rooming and playing in a band with drummer Chris Cornell. Thayil joined the duo during 1984, and the three musicians named themselves Soundgarden after a Seattle pipe sculpture that made noise when wind blew through it. Scott Sundquist came onboard as drummer a year later, freeing Cornell to sing out front; Sundquist was later replaced by Matt Cameron.
Loud, frenetic, and taking a page or two from Black Sabbath's book, Soundgarden appeared on a couple of local compilations before recording its own EPs Screaming Life (1987) and Fopp (1988). Despite courting from major labels, the group signed with another independent company, SST, for its 1988 debut album, Ultramega OK. Yamamoto then quit to go back to school in 1989, and was replaced by Jason Everman. The next year Soundgarden finally succumbed and signed with a major label, A&M, for its Louder Than Love album. It wasn't an instant success, but it did help to expand the group's grassroots following dramatically, and earned the band a Grammy award nomination.
A new bassist, Ben Shepherd, came onboard in 1990, and Soundgarden again increased its profile with the thundering, thrashing Badmotorfinger. With a few tracks--"Outshined," "Jesus Christ Pose," and "Rusty Cage" (which was covered in 1996 by, of all people, Johnny Cash)--earning MTV Buzz Bin exposure, Soundgarden lit off on tours with Guns 'N Roses and Neil Young, and earned a spot on the second Lollapalooza tour. An explosion seemed imminent.
And it was. After working on a few side projects--the Temple of the Dog tribute to Mother Love Bone's late singer Andrew Wood (which introduced the world to Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder) and Shepherd and Cameron's side group, Hater--Soundgarden unleashed Superunknown, a sprawling, mature album that was also the group's commercial breakthrough. It debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts and sold more than three million copies in the U.S., while the Summer of Love-styled hit "Black Hole Sun" was one of the top songs of the summer of 1994. Then awards rolled in, too: two Grammys; an MTV Video Music Award for "Black Hole Sun"; a Best Metal Band designation in both the Rolling Stone magazine reader and critics polls.
The follow-up, Down on the Upside, was nearly as good, embracing the same melodic variety and doom-laden lyricism as its predecessor. Though not quite as commercially successful, the album did find a ready radio audience for songs such as "Pretty Noose," "Burden in My Hand," and "Blow Up the Outside World," and Soundgarden did a second stint at Lollapalooza before starting its own tour. In February of 1997, the band wrapped up the Down on the Upside sojourn with two shows in Hawaii, before taking a break that was supposed to last through the summer. That break turned into a break-up two months later, as Soundgarden, amidst a flurry of side projects, decided to call it quits for good. Mehh.
Ben Shepherd - Bass
Kim Thayil - Guitar
Matt Cameron - Drums
Chris Cornell - Guitar, Vocals
- All I can say for the first song of the album is wow. The guitar and bass riffs are sick. You hear all of this in the intro of the song. Then a grungy voice provided by Chris that leads into faint screaming and a really cool bridge. This is also a song featured in the video game "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas". By far, this stands out as one of the best tracks on the album. 10/10
- This track starts off with a booming guitar intro. Then Chris whines the lyrics, but it's a good whine. This was also a single off the album. The verses make it sound like a generic song. Boring and stuff. Then the pre-chorus and then the chorus is what makes the song. Also, as the chorus goes on, Chris has this cool scream that goes "Outshined! Outshined! Outshined!" This is another highlight of the album and so far, it's two tens in a row. Have I ever done that before? 10/10
Slaves & Bulldozers
- This song has an awesome intro, almost as if a guitar solo starts the song off. The lyrics are given by Chris really smooth. But the song remains the same pace until you're about half-way through. Then the vocals are delivered and repeated with a scream. But as a downside, this song is painfully long. Coming in at 6:55, the sounds do tend to get old. I'm sure that most people would skip the song once they get to the 4 minute mark. But the guitar still kicks ass. 8/10
Jesus Christ Pose
- Usually I don't talk like a total douche but I must do it here. Here I go. This song r0xx0rz my s0xx0rz. There, I said it. Well anyway, this song has it all. Amazing Intro, Amazing riffs, Amazing Vocals. The guitar is addictive. I grew up with this song and is probably the song with the longest life on all of my Mp3 players. This is by far the the best song on the album. It ends with a creepy growl and fades in one of the best riffs I've ever heard. 10/10
- This song is extremely fast and starts off with a loud howl. It is a really fast generic grunge song. The guitar and bass stand out here. There really is nothing more to add on the subject of the song as it is only 2 minutes long. It's still a great song, but it lacks effort. It sounds a little like filler, but that isn;t nescessarily a bad thing, that just means that they didn't really do anything new. 8/10
- This song has a really cool intro with a distorted voice. This is a really cool song, it's a ballad. I also like how the guitar riffs match the tone of Chris' voice. It's really repetitive, but what is repeated is awesome. This is, once again, a track that I reallt can't say anything else about. Until the brifge comes along. That's when the song changes. It gets softer in the last minute of the song and fades out like that. Just becuase it fades doesn't mean that it stops either. It comes back and then stops out of nowhere.9/10
Searching With My Good Eye Closed
- This song starts off silent and goes into the intro, which consists of a guy saying, "This is my good eye". Then a few other indistinct statements are made until it get silent and says, "The devil says...", and then you hear a bunch of disembodied voices screaming. You think it's going to be a fast song but it's pretty slow. But the guitar riff is still kick ass, as always. IMO, this song is a little slow for my liking. But it still maintains that Alternative feel, as it goes into the bridge and finishes with screaming and crazy guitar. I guess you could say that this track leads up to a bursting point. 8/10
Room A Thousand Years Wide
- This is also a really cool song but it's not the best. It just feels like the geneeric grunge song. This is a little like Face Pollution, except it's like, 6 minutes long. Plus, it's slow too. Therefore, I'm not really a fan of this track. Not to mention, it sounds like complete filler. 7/10
- This song has a kickass riff, but the song is too slow. Plus the vocals are waaaay too whiny. I guess that you could say that this is the point in the album that starts to get, you know, mehh. It actually sounds just like the previous song. So I guess it gets the same rating. 7/10
- Woah. This song starts off with a bang. The riffs of both the bass and the guitar, stand out. This song is really fast. Then the second verse is awesome because all it is, is a high-hat and bass behind the vocals. The song is only 2 minutes long too. So it's like a better Face Pollution. You know what that means. This is the fourth 10 on the album. It's a really easy listen too. 10/10
- This is actually a nice slow song. That's good becasue I need rest from Drawing Flies. The verses are cool but the chorus is what makes the song what it is. It's cool thru because the song gets slower and slower as it progresses. Then at the bridge, it gets a little heavy but still maintains the rhythm of the song. 8/10
- This song is really whiny and I don't really like it that much. It's not really a suitable song as the last track either as it ends out of nowhere. Seriously, this song is really weak. 6/10
+ A Very Important Album For The Alternative Genre
+ Awesome Guitar
+ Chris Cornell Has A Signature Voice It Seems
+ So Many Highlight Tracks
- Too Many Slow Songs
- First Half Is Superior To The Second
Recommended Tracks AKA: The Fantastic Four
Jesus Christ Pose
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