Soundgarden Announce Very Special New 2018 Release

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Soundgarden have confirmed that they will reissue their A-Sides Greatest Hits collection on Record Store Day on April 21st. It is a vinyl release, and will be limited to 5,000 copies.

Soundgarden first released A-Sides in 1997 following their breakup. Kim Thayil said in a February 1998 interview with Guitar World, “I think [the songs] accurately reflect the history of Soundgarden as a marketable commodity. And they reflect the songs that we wrote which were popular with the radio stations that played them, to the record company that sold them, to the fans that bought them. There are a few songs that are missing from the list and I think if the band itself did a retrospective it might be a little less appealing.”

He also said, “We verbalized many years ago that we didn’t want to bend for the marketplace. Our business was to always do what we liked and have the market bend to us. It was just a matter of time. You know what the bitch about the Seventies was? Fucking baby-boomers and 40-nothings. The eighties sucked way worse than the Seventies. The Seventies had Richard Hell & The Voidoids, The Stooges, the Sex Pistols. The coolest thing in the Eighties, in terms of mainstream rock and roll, was the Police.

They were cool musicians. All the great stuff in the Eighties was the underground stuff and metal, from Metallica to Husker Du, to the Butthole Surfers to Black Flag, Big Black to Sonic Youth, Soundgarden to Tad. What was on the radio just sucked. I did not listen to the radio or watch TV during that time at all. If you look at major label music or radio of the Eighties, it was embarrassing. You had these stupid little New Wave flock of haircut bands. Then you had the clown-at-my-birhtday-party-shit that passed as metal. It was the Partridge Family with fuzzy guitars, and it stunk. I’m glad we killed that stuff. Us, and a lot of other Seattle bands that put a dagger into the heart of Hollywood rock.”

90’s Soundgarden photographer Kevin Westenberg posted on Instagram in January:

“SOUNDGARDEN are currently in the process of releasing the first material since Chris’s untimely passing. Turns out that the initial greatest hits collection, ‘A-Sides’ was never released on vinyl. Now that vinyl is “back”, this album on vinyl will soon be re-released. Of course this makes perfect sense especially for sound quality. Release date TBC.

Sourcing new unseen photos and refining the older photos in the original package is now under way with various images being looked at for inclusion. I went through a period 20-25 years ago where I felt that with certain artists, a black background was the purest form of expression. In my mind it was also representative of the anti-white background. This represented the opposite of commerciality, which also allowed visual focus on the artists face, expression and enhanced the dark mood of the era. The void and black space always meant more to me in my earlier works, than the parts of the photo one could see.

If there was ever a subject that would fit this prerequisite, it was Soundgarden and my vision of what Soundgarden was for me as a band. This set up was also part of the 18 hour marathon shoot at the Ok Hotel for the DOWN ON THE UPSIDE campaign. Good Times. Photo: Kevin Westenberg. #kevinwestenberg #realfilmrealwestenberg #soundgarden #chriscornell #benshepherd #kimthayil #mattcameron #hiroyamamoto #grunge #metal #love #throwback #instagram #badmotorfinger #ultramegaok #superunknown #downontheupside #asides #filmsnotdead #bw #blackandwhite #classic #goodtimes”

  • Olga Stewart

    This part cracks me up. :).: ‘They were cool musicians. All the great stuff in the Eighties was the
    underground stuff and metal, from Metallica to Husker Du, to the
    Butthole Surfers to Black Flag, Big Black to Sonic Youth, Soundgarden to
    Tad. What was on the radio just sucked. I did not listen to the radio
    or watch TV during that time at all. If you look at major label music or
    radio of the Eighties, it was embarrassing. You had these stupid little
    New Wave flock of haircut bands. Then you had the
    clown-at-my-birhtday-party-shit that passed as metal. It was the
    Partridge Family with fuzzy guitars, and it stunk. I’m glad we killed
    that stuff. Us, and a lot of other Seattle bands that put a dagger into
    the heart of Hollywood rock.”’

    • Christina Hurst

      He forgot Dinosaur Jr. Lol. The police…too funny

    • Trovoid

      I remember one of them in Soundgarden saying that they all had great “bullshit detectors” which was why they never released a bad album. Kim cracks me up when he starts to ramble and vent. It seems he is as picky as I am about music and absolutely hates cliches.

      • Olga Stewart

        That’s how I feel about movies.

        Which usually means that I watch more classic movies than anything else.

        • Trovoid

          I also get very picky about movies (and shows). Now that I think about it, I’m picky about life in general 🙂

          • Olga Stewart

            I think it’s a good thing to be picky.

            It means that you won’t settle for anything less than what you think is the best thing for you.

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      • iLeonD

        They ignored the bullshit detectors on King Animal.

        • Trovoid

          I thought King Animal was a pretty solid album. Of course they were never going to top the BMF, Superunknown, DOTU trilogy but I thought it was a better album than a lot of their peers newer albums. Just my opinion.

          Halfway There would have probably been more appropriate on a CC solo album and their single BATL wasn’t all that great. However, I think there are some really strong tracks on there.

          • flankton

            I can’t stand non state actor. It’s the only soundgarden song in their entire catalogue that I skip. It sounds like dog shit. A bad b side from audioslave. But other than that, king animal is excellent. It’s obvious they werent jamming though like they used to. It was 4 people writing their own complete songs on their own

          • Trovoid

            Non State Actor isn’t my favorite but I don’t think it’s any worse than Been Away Too Long or Halfway There. Yeah that’s true but even in the 90s Soundgarden was mostly all about individual writing. JCP was a team effort and it shows. Same with By Crooked Steps. That was more of a collaboration and sounded like classic Soundgarden.

            The Johnny Cash song wasn’t anything special but that was just a project song. I get what you mean though, Chris was mellowing out. Unless we get demos in the future we will never know what the new SG album might’ve sounded like. I wouldn’t doubt that he was burnt out though. He kept up well in his fifties but he was never going to recapture the energy from a time period like 1988-1993.

          • flankton

            I love the mellow chris cornell, Johnny cash song and his last solo record. Much more honest sounding to me, than most of the reformed soundgarden stuff. Hopefully there are some demos that will come to light though

          • Trovoid

            I do as well but I will always be in awe of the young, primal Chris Cornell. I thought you were implying that you didn’t necessarily like the mellow Chris but I understand now. You just feel that he had changed too much to do the SG act any longer, makes sense. He was aging gracefully and the direction he was going in was mature and made sense.

            If we had a recording of 27 year old Chris singing Great Gig in the Sky it would be beyond incredible. I really want to hear the version of Ring Them Bells that he sang with Heart. Basically I want to hear anything of his that hasn’t been released. His ex-wife Susan said he did a bunch of different home recordings over the years that nobody has heard. I’d kill for those.

  • Gary Reilly

    He’s absolutely spot on. The image of popular 80s rock – the MTV image at least – is one of glam rock bands more interested in their hairspray and what they were wearing than the actual content of their music. There were exceptions like GnR, but if you wanted to listen to real quality the underground stuff was usually the way to go.

  • iLeonD

    Every decade has its great artists and hit songs. The two don’t always meet at the same time. Kim has missed the plot on that fact. Still going to try and be one of the 5,000 who snag A-Sides on vinyl!

  • dakotablue

    So the “new” part of this release is the art and photos and vinyl, not music? If so, kind of a misleading headline (made me think it was some tracks they’d been working on with Chris before he died or something). Oh, and a few of the 80s bands I heard on the radio include the Cure, Clash, X, Echo and others that were definitely not sucking.