Soundgarden was one of the seminal bands in the creation of grunge, a style of alternative rock that developed in Seattle, and was one of a number of grunge bands signed to the record label Sub Pop. Soundgarden was the first grunge band to sign to a major label (A&M Records, in 1988), though the band did not achieve commercial success until they popularized the genre in the early 1990s with Seattle contemporaries Nirvana, Alice in Chains, and Pearl Jam.
Soundgarden, 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 key sonic signatures -- the gutsy wail of vocalist Chris Cornell and the winding riffs of guitarist Kim Thayil -- were what brought them out 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.
Soundgarden’s first ever live performance was in Seattle, WA at Top of the Court, in December 1984, as a trio with Cornell on drums. Through the 80s, the band was a non-stop music machine in Seattle, playing regularly at places like the Central Tavern and Moore Theater. The bands very first single “Hunted Down/Nothing To Say” was released, issued as a limited edition, in 1987.
In 1988, Soundgarden began to spread out extensively and tour after signing with a small label and releasing debut album 'Ultramega Ok'. In the early 90s they gained recognition and soared through the decade until disbandment.
As of 2012, Soundgarden had sold over 10.5 million records in the United States, and an estimated 22.5 million worldwide.
Although I'm not really a huge fan of grunge, I was quite partial to their mega hit "Black Hole Sun" when it was released in 1994. I am also impressed with their cover of Budgie's heavy riff classic "Homicidal Suicidal" which I have included as a bonus track with this post.
This post consists of a MP3 rip (320kps) taken from the Banana CD bootleg and includes full album artwork and select band photos from the late 80's. Also included are covers of alternative bootleg releases of this concert held in San Francisco in 1988 - namely 'Nose Bleed' (Youth Records release, see below) and 'Earache My Eye' (Grapefruit Release).
01. Hunted Down
02. All Your Lies
03. Mood For Trouble
05. Thank You
07. I Awake
08. Kingdom Of Come
09. Head Injury
10. Circle of Power
11. Incessant Mace
12. Earache My Eye
13. Homicidal Suicidal (Bonus Budgie Cover)
Chris Cornell (Vocals, Rhythm Guitar)
Kim Thayil (Lead Guitar)
Hiro Yamamoto (Bass)
Matt Cameron (Drums)
Soundgarden Link (129Mb) New Link 19/02/2015