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Soundgarden Bio

Chris Cornell - Lead Vocals

Kim Thayil - Guitarist

Ben Shepherd - Bassist

Matt Cameron - Drummer


Soundgarden were one of many bands who gained enormous popularity in the grunge era. Coming out of Seattle, Soundgarden was a highly punk-influenced metal band who relied on the blistering riffs of guitarist of Kim Thayil. Along with Thayil there was vocalist Chris Cornell, bassist Hiro Yamamoto and drummer Matt Cameron. The band emerged into the underground scene in the 80s, and although they were not popular at the time, still made great impressions in concert. With their group experimentation into various psychedelic, indie and alternative melodies they consistently produced impressive and critically acclaimed studio albums.


In 1987, the band released "Screaming Life", their first EP. They earned underground success with a great single "Hunted Down" and caught the interest of a number of labels. 1989 was Soundgarden's breakthrough year. Officially signed to A&M Records, they released alternative hit album "Louder than Love", which managed to peak the charts at 108 and receive a Grammy Nomination. That year bassist Yamamoto called it quits, only to be replaced in 1990 by Ben Shepherd.


Soundgarden's third album, "Badmotorfinger" had all the makings of a punk/rock classic, but due to competitors like the groundbreaking "Nevermind" from Nirvana, it was somewhat ignored. To improve band sales, Soundgarden decided to go on tour with Guns n' Roses during the fall of 1991, as they supported their Use Your Illusion albums which had been released that year. By the end of 1991, grunge had become the cultural phenomenon and the group fell into that category.


The year 1994 would see the band releasing their largest selling album of all time, "Superunknown". The album sold over 3 million albums that year and took in two Grammies. With the hard-rocking single "Blackhole Sun" and the album's raw sound, they had a grunge classic. They followed that up with 1996's "Down on the Upside" which reached number 2 on the charts. Although the album was successful, the public and media had lost interest in grunge music. Soundgarden closed their career with an American tour, before announcing their breakup on April 9, 1997.


Ben Lewis

July 2006

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