One of the most iconic frontmen of the 90s, Chris Cornell of Soundgarden has passed away. Early reports suggest the singer tragically committed suicide. One of the most influential rock singers of his generation, he was one of the key figures in the grunge movement that defined an era. As well as releasing such acclaimed albums as Badmotorfinger and Superunknown with Soundgarden, he also fronted two short-lived yet enduring supergroups; Temple of the Dog with members of Pearl Jam, and Audioslave alongside members of Rage Against The Machine. His solo career saw him perform ‘You Know My Name’, the theme for the 2006 Bond film Casino Royale. His work inspired a whole new generation of rock bands and he will be sorely missed.
Grunge supergroup Temple Of The Dog, composed of members of Soundgarden and Pearl Jam, have announced that they will tour for the very first time to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the release of their one-off eponymous album. The project originally came about to honour the memory of Andrew Wood of Mother Love Bone who was a close friend and collaborator who died of a heroin overdose in 1990. As well as a five stop tour of the US the band will also be releasing a reissue of their album.
With new drummer Dave Grohl in tow, Nirvana released Nevermind and went from being young upstarts in an underground scene to being the biggest band in the world. With songs like “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, “Come As You Are” and “Lithium”, the band was at their most inviting and radio friendly. This is the album that made Kurt Cobain a larger-than-life figure and the voice of a generation.
Pearl Jam were the most commercial and mainstream band in Grunge, but the duelling guitar interplay between Mike McCready and Stone Gossard and Eddie Vedder’s deep powerful voice silenced any doubt that they were the real deal. Their debut album Ten has remained their most loved and successful album, featuring the hit tracks “Alive”, “Black”, “Jeremy” and “Even Flow”.
It’s a miracle that Dirt was even made what with all the drugs. Unsurprisingly the band’s music had become darker, focussing on depression, addiction and death. The hit songs “Would?”, “Rooster” and “Down In A Hole” showcase the band at their very best. Tragically frontman Layne Staley would later die from a heroin overdose, but he left a lasting impression with this incredible album.
Following the success of their previous album Badmotorfinger, Soundgarden sought to experiment and explore a wider range of influences. Superunknown features alternate tunings, odd time signatures and Eastern tinges that took Grunge to new places. It’s perhaps most evident in their biggest hit, the surreal “Black Hole Sun”.