Saturday, August 10, 2013

Chris Cornell with his Head in the Oven

1994, A&M
produced by Michael Beinhorn

Chris Cornell - vocals, guitars
Ben Sheppard - bass
Kim Thayll - guitars
Matt Cameron - drums
Artis the Spoonman - spoons

  • Day I Tried to Live/ Like Suicide/ Kickstand
  • Spoonman/ Cold Bitch
  • Black Hole Sun/ Like Suicide/ Kickstand
  • My Wave/ Spoonman/ Birth Ritual
  • Fell on Black Days/ Kyle Petty, Son of Richard
This came out when I was in Middle School, like most of the must have grunge, and post-grunge "alternative" music from the 90s. Soundgarden hit it big with this album. Although some hipster fans prefer Badmotorfinger, no one can deny the number of hit singles, good reviews, and Billboard #1 debut. Superunknown recieved 5 out of 5 stars from Allmusic, Q, and Rolling Stone. They definitely hit their stride here, it is a much more complete and diverse album.

The things the band had stated were influences on this album are interesting also. Aside from Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, which permeate throughout all their work, Ringo Starr, Sylvia Plath, and druids were also counted among influences, according to band members. I guess if your major influence is Led Zeppelin, druids make sense. And if you're going to write lyrics from a dark and miserable place, Sylvia Plath is probably your best friend.  

The band was marketed as a Grunge band like Nirvana, and Alice in Chains, which I never understood. Actually, I never understood the genre Grunge to begin with. None of the famous Seattle grunge bands sounded anything alike. Nirvana was far more punk rock than Pearl Jam or Soundgarden, Alice in Chains was far more miserable and muddled and actually sounded like something grunge ought to sound like, like that crap you find behind the washer at the laundromat. Soundgarden was a metal band with a melody, and a singer right out of the Judas Priest line of 80's metal singers. But, they were creative enough to feature a jug band spoon player on Spoonman, and delve into some psychedelic sounds on Black Hole Sun.