Prepared for the first big story in 2010? Well, that infamous Seattle quartet Soundgarden are reforming this year for a string of concerts. Whether you’re being bitchy and saying that it’s because Chris Cornell’s collaboration with Timbaland didn’t work out, or due to their impromptu reunion last year at a Pearl Jam gig, this is fantastic news.
Arguably the finest band of the 90’s ‘grunge’ movement, Soundgarden had a unique sound with Cornell’s screeching vocals and Kim Thayil’s inventive, Eastern-tinged guitar work. When the group went their seperate ways in 1997, Cornell released a solo record (the beautiful Euphoria Morning, go and get a copy!), then joined formed Audioslave before going solo once again.
Matt Cameron went on to become the drummer for Pearl Jam, which may be a sticking point in touring plans for Soundgarden, since he’s committed to Pearl Jam for their tour. According to Billboard:
Also still amorphous are plans for some kind of Soundgarden best-of and/or reissues of its back catalog. In addition, Thayil and Shepherd have long discussed compiling a Soundgarden boxed set, which would include a wealth of unreleased studio material.
For many years after Soundgarden split, the instrumentalists were said to have had little contact with Cornell and reportedly turned down an offer to reform for Sub Pop’s 20th anniversary concerts in Seattle in 2008. Cornell was not on hand for an impromptu live performance on March 24, 2009, at Seattle’s Crocodile Cafe, when Cameron, Thayil and Shepherd played the Soundgarden songs “Hunted Down,” “Nothing to Say” and “Spoonman” with Tad Doyle on vocals.
I’ll confess, I almost splurged when I heard the news. I only properly got into Soundgarden after they split up, so an oppotunity to hear them perform classic songs live would be fantastic. And of course, the possibility of some new material from the band would be amazing. OK, that hasn’t been promised, but there’s every chance if they’re all touring together!
This might even be bigger than the Led Zeppelin reunion! I love the prospect of a box set with unreleased music on it. More details of tour plans as I get them, but in the meantime, an official website has sprung up which will presumably keep us all up to date.