|1. Say Hello 2 Heaven|
|2. Reach Down|
|3. Hunger Strike|
|4. Pushin Forward Back|
|5. Call Me A Dog|
|6. Times Of Trouble|
|7. Wooden Jesus|
|8. Your Savior|
|9. Four Walled World|
|10. All Night Thing|
I find it frankly mindboggling that anyone lacking the musical sense to appreciate this album would bother reviewing anything but their own reasons for continuing to live. Every single note is deeply emotive and powerful; I can't think of a single album I liked more since, and prior...I'd have to go back to Zeppelin at least, and maybe even to Sgt. Pepper.
Knowing the backstory of the album just makes it even more powerful. Those who dismiss it as pretentious or self-absorbed can be no more than emotionally crippled automatons living in a dull gray world of banality and mediocrity; nothing else could explain such an attitude toward this wonderful 55 minutes.
When the Stainds and Nicklebacks and Days of the News and Limp Bizkits and Creeds (*spit*) of the world are nothing more than long-forgotten and painful memories of a bad parody of real music, this genuine, heartfelt, quality rock, played from the soul and with ridiculous levels of talent to boot, will remain as the little unheard-of album that set the standard for decades to come.
Today's crop of corporate-constructed, mass-produced dreck don't even possess the presence of mind to know that they should pray to whatever diety they hold dear that maybe someday they might get lucky and create something with a thousandth of the power, talent, and value of this incredible album.
For the record, I became a Soundgarden fan in the fall of 1989, upon the purchase of "Louder Than Love." After seeing Soundgarden open for Voivod (Godz) in March of 1990, I became a complete obsessive about Cornell and crew. Also saw the band debut new bassist Ben Sheppard, when they opened for Danzig in August 1990.
I heard through the grapevine that the Temple of the Dog record was in the pipeline and couldn't wait...it was delayed a few times and I finally got my hands on it in April 1991. It was my favorite record of the year when I graduated college in May 1991, and sped off down the road after final finals to see The Replacements tear up Nashville at the end of their career...
Everyone at the record store I worked at was shocked by Chris Cornell's range of emotion and "lighter" side. They couldn't believe this was the same guy who'd been shrieking on "Lounder than Love" and "Ultramega OK."
Well...I could. I actually LISTEN to music, instead of just hearing it...heh, heh, heh!
The standout moment on this record: After the meandering solo (McCready ain't no Michael Schenker or Ulrich Roth), Chris comes back in for what is essentially an accapella, multi-tracked, extravaganza. His repeating of the chorus here displays a vocal prowess that can only be compared to one other vocalist in pop history...Aretha Franklin. He IS preaching the gospel here, folks...and I KNOW it scares you, and you want to run and hide, but if you stick around, a pantheon of eternal beauty will open before your mind.
Matt Cameron rocks on this. One of his best performances, and probably the best drum sound he's ever gotten on tape.
This weekend retreat project birthed Pearl Jam (face it, they sound more like Temple of the Dog than Mother Love Bone)...