RARHOF: Soundgarden

By Wyatt Lester Posted April 17, 2013

This issue’s pick for my rock and roll hall of fame is “Soundgarden”. The group was created by frontman Chris Cornell in 1984 out of Seattle, Washington with a sound that obtained the heavy chords of 80s bands like Motley Crüe, a loud aggressive stage presence, and an equalizing tender tone in Cornell’s voice that has a pitch range to match Skid Row’s, Sebastian Bach. Its heavy 80s metal meets early 90s grunge with a dash of the excellent vocal work of a one man acapella. Ranging from their depressed ballads such as “Black Hole Sun” to their heavy hitting hits like “Outshined” the band can arrange any emotion you want to express through their music. The band holds a plethora of talent that includes singer and rhythm guitarist Chris Cornell, lead guitarist Kim Thayil, drummer Matt Cameron, and bassist Ben Shepherd who are all members from the early days till now.

The band’s success includes two Grammies, six studio albums, VH1’s #14 spot on the greatest hard rock bands of all time, and a good amount of credit for helping create the grunge era of music. The band had many killer tracks released over the years but some internal conflict and issues with how they should sound broke up the group. They all went on to solo careers in 1997 and frontman Chris Cornell went on to create another self made band named Audioslave. The band’s success kept him occupied until 2010 when the band came back together to make their sixth studio album “King Animal” which had a music video on the album directed by Dave Grohl, a man who is known for his original music video ideas.

I want to highlight a song of theirs that is an absolute favorite of mine, coming from their album ‘Superunknown’ is “Black Hole Sun”. A psychedelic song with melodic guitar hooks and chilled-out lyrics as if the band has nothing better to do than sing a sarcastic song to make you feel questionable about everything you’ve ever known.

Soundgarden’s best songs include “Black Hole Sun”, “Outshined”, “Spoonman”, and a recent hit “Live to rise”. They have a similar sound to Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and many psychedelic aspects of Led Zeppelin. It’s filled with heavy lower stringed licks and a solid return for the band.