From strutting psychedelia to grief-stricken laments, we run through the career high-points of grunge’s first legendary frontman - From the Guardian
Shemps drummer/singer Chris Cornell, meanwhile, left his kit behind and swiftly metamorphosed into the first defining frontman of the grunge era, matching Thayil’s dark guitar with a leonine howl that channelled the spirit of the great metal wailers – Plant, Osbourne, Gillan – without any of the hoary, macho baggage.
Cornell’s roommate during Soundgarden’s early days was Andrew Wood, the flamboyant frontman with glammy Seattle rock band Mother Love Bone, who had just completed their debut album when Wood overdosed on heroin in 1990.
Wood’s death hit the nascent grunge scene hard, and Cornell the hardest: as therapy for the loss, he entered Seattle’s London Bridge Studios that autumn with some of Wood’s former bandmates – bassist Jeff Ament and guitarist Stone Gossard – to record some songs he had written in tribute to their late friend, under the name Temple of the Dog.
The group’s mission to revitalise metal was made literal as they reworked one of Black Sabbath’s most magnificent riffs – the closing highlight of 1971’s Master of Reality.
Soundgarden struggled with the success that followed Superunknown, and while their subsequent album Down on the Upside had many highlights – the darkly psychedelic Pretty Noose, the potent gloom of Blow Up the Outside World – internal ructions soon tore the group apart.