Soundgarden/A Sides(1997)

Hey Folks! How about a Greatest Hits Review?? Better yet how about doing a tribute to the  Dynamic Duo known as The Greatest Hits Guru’s! The one and only BMellis and Rockin Roberts!

You know my deal with these Greatest Hits Record Company Cash Grabs right? No sense rehashing that story yet again. But A Sides by Soundgarden was different as out of the 17 tracks I had 11 which is still a pretty high percent of material owned but there’s 6 tracks I never really heard plus the cd upon release back in 1997 was for $8.99 so I broke rank and purchased this! Basically when this came out there was nothing to buy and I was itching to spend some dough on music!

Out of all the bands that came onto the radar in the early 90s well my radar that is Soundgarden to this day I still consider the best! Sorry Robbo and to all you Pearl Jammers out there! I dig PJ don’t get me wrong but for some reason Soundgarden just resonated with me more especially Chris Cornells vocals! (Easily in my all time top 5 vocalists,do you care? Hahaha)

Chris Cornell(vocals) Kim Thayil(guitar) Ben Sheppard(da bass) and Matt Cameron(awesome drummer guy) take my Kraft Hair Metal Cheese Slices and shred them down into a sound of their own!

NOTHING TO SAY-This is early Soundgarden friends! The sound is a little tinny but still sounds pretty good considering the major labels hadn’t come calling yet! Nothing To Say has a total Black Sabbath vibe! Big loud plodding guitar riffs, slow bombastic drums,a cranky bass vibe! Yep even with Cornell’s vocals I can totally hear a 1975 Ozzy laying down the vocals on this tune! One more thing of note in regards to this track I can also picture a young Rockin Roberts and BMellis sitting in Rockins Basement (say 1993ish)puffing like there’s no tomorrow on a bong that BMellis bought with his allowance, eating Doritos and Drinking Beers! Wait a minute …..I think they were doing that last weekend!!

FLOWER-Soundgarden start this off all trippy! Cornell is tripping on something and before you know it the boys launch into a a real snazzy jazzy grungey swing feel! Ha you’re not gonna pigeon-hole these boys as one hit wonders!

LOUD LOVE-Remember  seeing an add for Loud Love in RIP Magazine around late 1990 or so but I just ignored it as I was too busy securing tickets for the Poison Show in Winnipeg January of 1991! WTF was I thinking….?? Exactly I wasn’t ! Loud Love you can hear Cornell developing his vocal chops and the band refining their musical flex chops as the songs progress….

HANDS ALL OVER-6 minutes of Soundgarden getting all trippy and Cornell tosses out a “Don’t Touch Me!” It’s real clear and apparent that these guys have the musical chops and they weren’t gonna be asking us  if you want fries with that! Nope that’s not happening and this song is a mid tempo Blitzkreig thru the left overs of Hair Metal Bands gone bad! More like getting your senses steamrolled! Cool guitars and different time changes

GET ON THE SNAKE-Great Title! Ha! A cool little groover of Thayil and his guitar and man these guys say “Hunger and Mean” in the track and I believe em! Sheppard and Cameron lead the charge. Cool, towards the end of the song riff and roll mashed up with the drums! Boom… done!

JESUS CHRIST POSE- The first time I heard Jesus Christ Pose was in Oinks car around late 1991! Actually this was more than likely the first time I ever heard Soundgarden period! I never heard hard rock delivered this way and I was blown away by Cornells voice and the riveting lockage of guitars and drums in this song! Listen to the bass by Sheppard and Cameron’s drums that  propel this song into mass greatness.  These cats are Groovin in a sound of their own! Jesus Christ Indeeed!

OUTSHINED-Slow delivery and I love the riff! The riff of the guitars push along with Chris and his voice! What a great delivery! When I listen to Outshined I wanna break things no doubt but then I puss out! This song with its Sludgey Pudgey Pace is just what the Grunge Doctor ordered! “Outshined  ….Outshined …..Outshined” sings Cornell followed by Cameron’s hard smack the snare sound…..genius I say!

RUSTY CAGE-Dig the swirly sound of the guitars and the drive of course of the drums! Cornell takes what could be a song going off the rails and ropes it in! Dig the middle stop n start 3/4s through this song with slamming drums while Cornell says the ” Dogs are looking for their bones!”

SPOONMAN-Summer of 1994! Spoooooooonman! What a track and I guess The Garden Boys nabbed the original Spoonman and had him slam da spoons on this track! This is a great headphones song. Love the percusion sonics going around my noggin or am I just concussed! Ha!  Great song ,great everything about it! The cool thing is even though it was played all the time I never got sick of it! Love the rumble of the instruments driving and pushing the pace…

THE DAY I TRIED TO LIVE-Big Epicy tune! Drums,guitars,bass and vocals Rock this boat in a civilized rock kinda way. Kinda chugs along and man Cornell once again shows off his voice and delivers a reaaaaaaal good vocal!

BLACK HOLE SUN-This is the biggie track from the Superunknown album! For sure Siree when I think of huge rock tracks from 1994 this is the deal! It’s  a slow builder done of course with a bunch of drop tunings and a echoish slow sizzle of a guitar riff at the beginning and the slow builds and builds Into the euphoric climax of the chorus! Soundgarden take a page of a late of  80s power rock buildup and take it to a new level! Thayil would probably knock my block off about this theory of mine but yeah seriously look at these Country Rock artists/bands now! It’s 1989 Hair Metal delivered in 2015 with a fiddle and a Cowboy Hat! Good on those Country guys! Myself ..Meh! Actually I would tell Thayil this is Tbones theory! Ha…….Tbones my throw under the bus guy!

FELL ON BLACK DAYS-What an opening riff! Thayil and Cornell can play guitars. Thayil looks bizarre not your typical looking rock star right? So this proves the theory that you gotta have the chops as you ain’t got the looks! Cornell,everyone myself included always talks about his awesome singing but no one ever talks about his rhythm guitar  playing! People take notice Cornell can play! Watch the video for proof!

PRETTY NOOSE-What a fantastic track! Like the whatever instrument there doodling around with at the beginning is that a Metal Sitar at the beginning? Ha! When Cameron smacks his snare and Cornell starts singing I’m hooked! Pretty Noose is a jammer of a song and was the opening track on Down On The Upside and goes to show you that you don’t have to  rocket out of the gates at a 1oo mph but can still do a heavy Sludgey groove that can hook an old cheese metaler to take notice! Cornell,man sounds like he’s always about to lose a lung I mean I love it when he sings the line ‘ and I  don’t know what you got me hanging from!” Cornell sounds toasted but that vibe fits  this tune!

BURDEN IN MY HEAD-Cameron cues in some acoustic and we’re taking a boozey acid trip with Cornell into the desert and hey you sure  you want to drink that water there is it there? While we’re at it is she leading us to the fountain of nothing…mmmm sounds like it! Sheppard plays a snazzy Paul McCartney bass line during the chorus!

BLOW UP THE OUTSIDE WORLD-Mellow Start kinda like more like a Beatles White Album cranked thru a Marshall on 10! Chill verses and cranked up Chorus!

TY COBB-Hard Head Fuck You All ….hollers Cornell and this is one cool little under 3 minutes of an Ass Kicker track! What a great song title! Ty Cobb just rocks fast and hard! Cameron proves once again that always behind a great band is the drummer who slams the gears into overdrive and Cameron delivers on Ty Cobb! Listen to him ride that cymbal during the chorus! If you need a swift hard early am boot in the ass look,no further than Ty Cobb! Awesome move that this track is included! BMellis finish your breakfast and crank Ty Cobb!

BLEED TOGETHER-Boom and this is an end of the album rocker! No frills just a straight ahead easy produced sounding track! Tons of musical time changes …great little nugget of a track!

IN CONCLUSION-1997 BMellis and Rockin Roberts are at a crossroads in life! Do they retire the flannel jackets they been sporting for 3 years and toss a hail Mary pass into the end zone for a MusicalTouchdown! Hell Yes! Thats the great thing about bands like Soundgarden it’s timeless music and just like The Greatest Hits Gurus they keep on buying the Hits! So who am I to judge! I shouldn’t but i will hahaha! They like da hits so be it!

Carry on Boys!

A Sides is an awesome set of tunes and it was great to revisit these Gems all these years later! Cornell is the deal with the voice while Thayil,Chamberlain and Sheppard kick out the jams!

One of the best!

 

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29 thoughts on “Soundgarden/A Sides(1997)”

      1. Yeah or Paul Stanley! It gets rough when a singer has to change his style due to age! Either that or they get fired and the band gets a younger guy, a-la Journey, or Queensryche, or even Priest for a little while.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I might have owned this, at one time? I don’t now, for whatever reason, though I do still have a couple of their records kicking around here. Thi set was amazing. Look at all those songs! True brilliance. Love it. Timeless indeed. Thanks Deke!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WOWZERS STOP THE PRESS AT ARENA ROCK….BMELLIS IS PRESENT!
      Thanks for,dropping in dude and Yep your right they are good value but Ya see my spin on it right?
      You and Rockin Roberts are great material man…….Greatest Hits Gurus!

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      1. Yes. I think Chris Cornell must be wayyyyyyy better in the studio, as his voice still sounds amazing on new songs. Although, only seeing them live once may not be a proper guage. But honestly, Thayil sucked. Out of tune, screechy, out of synch with the songs. But both him and Cornell seemed to get better as the set went on. Maybe they both had an off day. I am a bigger Soundgarden fan than Jane’s Addiction, but Jane’s Addiction kicked Soundgardens ass completely that day.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Brian, I have read reviews going back to the late 80’s and early 90’s — almost all of them state that Soundgarden were notoriously mediocre live. Sometimes good…most of the times not so much.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I read a few reviews from the last year or 2 of Soundgarden and all the reviews were stating how awesome Soundgarden was in concert. I think as a dude who grew up with the band, I realllllly wanted them to be good, but I had to be honest and say they sucked. Either others based their review on wanting to make it better than it was, or they had an off day.

        Good to hear others going way back did not think they were great either.

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    1. Had a Arena Rock Reader Named Clinton who saw that show Mike and he said Monster Truck and Glorious Sons stole the show while Extreme he said were pretty good while Janes Addiction and Soundgarden phoned it in….

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      1. Heard the exact same thing too, Deke. Glorious Sons in particular. Monster Truck, as always. The guys from Glorious Sons went on stage barefoot and had no idea how hot it was…they were hotfootin’ it alright! Or so they said on the radio.

        Big Music Fest was kinda a bust this year. They were supposed to have Rod Stewart and Blondie but that day was cancelled.

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      2. I thought Jane’s Addiction kicked ass. And they had 3/4 naked girls on stage. Perry’s voice was still awesome, and the band played great. Monster Truck and Glorious Sons are both newer bands that rock. I missed their sets at the Fest, but have seen them both in small bars and they killed it.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Big Music Fest bands were chosen by a bunch of old dudes that don’t know how to guage what concert goers want. There is no way the core audience of Blondie/Rod Stewart (50 plus years old) is going to stand out in the 90 degree hot sun for 8 hours.

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    1. Thanks dude! What a stomper of a tune…and thanks for singling that one out as when I just read it the last line went haywire due to my typing! Edit edit….ha…crazy I reread these things what sometimes seems like a zillion times yet it’s only when I publish it than do I notice typos gone haywire!…people must think I do Meth! Hahaha

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks …..King Animal they put out a few years back wasn’t to bad at all but it’s like a lot of bands when they have a 2o year gap between releases you always go back to there original stuff

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      1. It’s a very long album and I think it works better on vinyl. I found that if I broke up my listening experience into four sides, it worked as an album. Kind of like their “difficult epic”. Just my experience.

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      2. I believe it is a double vinyl.
        I think the record company had little control on the band. They(and I) would have probably trimmed that album down to 10-12 songs. It would have been more killer and less filler. That album would have gone from a 7 to a 9 with some trimming. It actually has about 5 great songs, 4 or 5 good and the rest filler in my opinion.

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