Sunday, November 4, 2012

Song Of The Week: 11/4/12

Song: "Big Dumb Sex"

Artist: Soundgarden

Album: "Louder Than Love"

Year: 1989

"Big Dumb Sex" was written by Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell as kind of a parody of glam rock, hair metal and all the "cock" rock bands of the 80's. He basically said what those bands all wanted to say without using cheesy metaphors for sexual intercourse. Lyrically, the song shows that Soundgarden could also be humorous and not always dark and depressive. Soundgarden is one of the forefathers of the Seattle "grunge" movement and is one of the most successful and influential bands in heavy rock music. They are closely tied with the famous Seattle record label Sub Pop with whom they released their first two EP's, 1987's "Screaming Life" and 1988's "Fopp". 1988 also saw the band release it's first full length album, "Ultramega OK". In 1989, Soundgarden signed to major label A&M Records and released "Louder Than Love". It was after this release that original bassist Hiro Yamamoto left the band and was replaced with Ben Shepherd rounding out the band's line-up, Cornell on vocals and rhythm guitar, Kim Thayil on lead guitar, Shepherd on bass and Matt Cameron on drums. In 1991, the band released "Badmotorfinger". Thanks to the singles "Jesus Christ Pose", "Outshined" and "Rusty Cage", as well as the emergence of fellow Seattle bands, Alice In Chains, Nirvana and Pearl Jam, Soundgarden began to propel into the mainstream of what was going on in the music scene. Their appearance on the 1992 Lollapalooza Tour further solidified them in the alternative music scene, playing along side bands like Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Ministry. The "grunge" movement was now what was relevant in music and the "hair" metal days were dead and buried, thank God!! In 1994, Soundgarden would release it's landmark album, "Superunknown". This album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 charts, thanks in part to the hit singles, "Spoonman", "The Day I Tried To Live", "Black Hole Sun", "My Wave" and "Fell On Black Days". This album was certified five times platinum and won several awards, including Grammys and MTV Video Music Awards. What should have seemed like the best of times for this hard working band, also proved to be the worst of times. In the process of making 1996's "Down On The Upside", internal conflicts began to arise within the band, especially between Cornell and Thayil. Cornell wanted the band to expand in different musical directions while Thayil did not want to compromise the heavy sound that they were known for. To the listener, Soundgarden just made another great album featuring tracks like "Pretty Noose", "Burden In My Hand" and "Blow Up The Outside World". On the inside, however, the cracks within the band were becoming unfixable. In 1997, Soundgarden announced to the world that they had broken up. They released a singles compilation called "A-Sides" to sum up their career. From 1998 till 2009, the members of Soundgarden worked on various projects. Cornell focused on his solo albums and also joined the remaining members of Rage Against The Machine after their frontman Zack de la Rocha departed. That supergroup was called Audioslave and they had a short, but successful career as a band. Thayil would go on to work with people like the Dead Kennedy's frontman Jello Biafra as well as former Nirvana members Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl. Matt Cameron focused on his side band, Wellwater Conspiracy for a while, then wound up joining Pearl Jam. Shepherd also worked with Wellwater Conspiracy then played bass for Mark Lanegan. In October of 2009, all four members of Soundgarden showed up at a Pearl Jam concert in California. It marked the first time that all four members appeared together in over ten years. It also sparked rumors of a possible reunion. Those rumors were changed to truth in January of 2010 when Cornell announced that Soundgarden would be riding again! In April of 2010, Soundgarden played their first live show since 1997. They also announced that they would be headlining that year's Lollapalooza festival. "Telephantasm: A Retrospective" was released that year as well, basically a new compilation of Soundgarden hits. 2011 saw the release of the band's very first live album entitled "Live On I-5". It was also announced that the band was officially working on a new album. A new song, "Live To Rise", was featured on the soundtrack to the movie "The Avengers" as well. Currently, Soundgarden has been touring and are excited, as well as their legions of fans, to announce that their brand new album, "King Animal", will be released in November of 2012.

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