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  • A best-of album from Soundgarden is like a best-of album from Led Zeppelin: it’s ridiculous. In many ways Soundgarden is the Led Zeppelin of the grunge era. Both bands are about power and mystique, each offering up a relentlessly heavy edge that overshadowed their contemporaries like Manute Bol standing next to Spud Web. Also, both bands went extinct way too soon. In Soundgarden’s case, they issued only five albums and two eps. While their earlier work (1985-1989) was an inchoate combination of sweaty hard rock and shifty punk music, sometime during the process of the “Louder Than Love” album (1989) the band just locked into a sound that can never be duplicated. Everything that followed this period (-1997) was simply brilliant. So, who can argue with a greatest hits collection? My main gripe is that their record label has been incredibly stingy about their treatment of this band’s catalog – not to mention the Temple of The Dog album, which should be remastered and offered with live tracks/outtakes. This is not just great music, it’s music that defines an era, defines the feeling you get when you look back on this part of your life. And why is the awesome “Birth Ritual” from the Singles soundtrack or “Heretic” from Pump Up The Volume missing? Whatever media giant owns Soundgarden’s catalog needs to remaster everything and release something from the live vaults. It’s been 12 damn years since this release! Gimme a break.

    Posted on February 23, 2010