Album Review: Soundgarden “King Animal” 35th Anniversary Vinyl

“King Animal” 35th Anniversary Vinyl

Soundgarden

Republic Records

Producer: Adam Kasper/Soundgarden

2 LP’s

Tracks: 13

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Soundgarden’s sixth and final album “King Animal” is the latest in a series in specially packaged re-releases from the platinum selling band which celebrates the groups 35 year career. Like the previous three releases from this series “King Animal” comes pressed on 180 gram colored vinyl and is packaged in full color, dual gate fold sleeves complete with album liner notes.

The final release from Soundgarden after the group’s reformation in 2010 “King Animal” picks up roughly where its predecessor “Down On The Upside” leaves off. Not it in theme but in stylistic approach as the album features a wide range of textures and sounds giving listeners a smorgasbord of musical ear candy to digest. The latest LP release comes pressed on double white/yellow marble 180 gram vinyl which gives the albums 13 tracks a balanced warmness as it plays through your speakers. Tracks like the rawkus “Non-State Actor” and the eerie “Bones of Birds” were personal highlights as were the fast paced “Attrition” and the fanatical thumping of “Eyelids Mouth”.

Being this is not the albums first vinyl treatment aside from the addition of 180 gram vinyl it doesn’t really offer anything that the previous release didn’t already provide. This seems to be a common occurrence with these anniversary releases as none of them have offered anything extra to help entice buyers to grab another copy. With the various bonus content that was made available previously from this release I think it would have been an ideal time to house it all under one nicely packed anniversary collection however, this was not the case. Don’t get me wrong re-releases can be a really cool thing and like the subsequent 3 the packaging is second to none however they really should have given fans a reason to purchase them and “King Animal” is no exception. If you have this release already you may want to skip this one however if you haven’t gotten yourself a copy and just want the core album with no fancy extras, Then grab this anniversary edition as you won’t be disappointed.   

Track Listing:

1.) Been Away Too Long

2.) Non-State Actor

3.) By Crooked Steps

4.) A Thousand Days Before

5.) Blood on the Valley Floor

6.) Bones of Birds

7.) Taree

8.) Attrition

9.) Black Saturday

10.) Halfway There

11.) Worse Dreams

12.) Eyelids Mouth

13.) Rowing

 

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Album Review: Soundgarden “Down On The Upside” Anniversary LP

“Down On The Upside” 35th Anniversary Vinyl

Soundgarden

AM Records

Producer: Soundgarden

Co-Producer: Adam Kasper

2 LP’s

Tracks: 16

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Soundgarden’s Platinum selling 1996 release “Down On The Upside” is the latest album from the bands catalog to be included in the Seattle natives 35 year Anniversary Collection. The third in a series of vinyl releases commemorating the bands career the 16 track, 2 LP set is being pressed on limited edition 180 gram colored vinyl and comes packaged in a full color, dual gatefold sleeve complete with album liner notes.

Though this is not the first time “Down On The Upside” has appeared on vinyl it is certainly the brightest. Right away listeners will notice the heavy weight, 180 gram, limited edition Orange and Purple marble pressings which play host to some of Sound Garden’s biggest hits of the mid 90’s. Listeners will obviously want to check out “Pretty Noose”, “Blow Up The Outside World” and “Burden In My Hand” but I also would recommend “Rhinosaur” and “Dusty” as well. Visually the release pulls out all the stops as the orange and purple vinyl feature subtle marble swirls which look really cool when spinning on your turntable. The gatefold packaging is also nicely done and is printed on heavy weight card stock fitting of a special release.

Though the album is nice to look at I found it to be pretty lax in the listening dept. The sound quality was ok but it was certainly dated and could have benefited from a remix and re-master. In 1997 the band released a greatest hits compilation including the songs “Karaoke” and “Bleed Together” which we outtakes from the “Down On The Upside” sessions however, neither of those songs were included here making for a big miss in my book. The last disappointment was the fact that no digital download codes were included thus making it slightly difficult to listen on the go. If you purchased a copy of this record upon its initial release then I say stick with that and skip over this re-release but, if this is an album that has been on your list to pick up now is a great time while it is available in a limited edition release.       

Track Listing:

1.) Pretty Noose

2.) Rhinosaur

3.) Zero Chance

4.) Dusty

5.) Ty Cobb

6.) Blow Up The Outside World

7.) Burden In My Hand

8.) Never Named

9.) Applebite

10.) Never The Machine Forever

11.) Tighter and Tighter

12.) No Attention

13.) Switch Opens

14.) Overfloater

15.) An Unkind

16.) Boot Camp

Soundgarden to Celebrate 35th Anniversary with Album Of The Month Series

Alternative Hard-Rock Pioneers Set To Celebrate Their 35th Anniversary In 2019 With Innovative Album Of The Month Series And Additional Historical Releases, Beginning With Limited-Edition 25th Anniversary 2LP Edition Of Superunknown

Recognized as one of the most influential bands in rock music the world over, the generation-changing, multiplatinum-selling, Grammy® winning Soundgarden will be celebrating their 35th anniversary in 2019 in grand style.

To that end, A&M/UMe kicks off a year-long commemoration of the storied career and ongoing influence of these immortal Seattle hometown icons with the unveiling of an Album of the Month series done in conjunction with The Sound of Vinyl. Each month The Sound of Vinyl will release a different Soundgarden album on limited-edition color vinyl. 

The first entry in this new program debuts in April, honoring the 25th anniversary of Superunknown with a new special edition of the album, pressed on 180-gram translucent red and gold vinyl. For a limited time, fans can pre-order the complete Album of the Month series of LPs as an exclusive bundle, with a discounted price, and an exclusive lithograph designed and signed by Soundgarden’s long time creative director Josh Graham. Details of the album series, along with specialcontent and other interactive features celebrating the 35th anniversary of Soundgarden, can be found at http://soundgarden35.com.

Released in March 8, 1994, Superunknown debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart andhas since been certified as having sold over 5 million copies in the United States alone. Superunknownfeatures such genre-defining and genre-defying hits as the churning anthem “Black Hole Sun,” the foreboding “Fell On Black Days,” the eclectic individuality of “Spoonman,” the optimistic rush of “The Day I Tried To Live,” and the off-kilter crest of “My Wave.”

Buttressed by Chris Cornell’s four-octave vocal range, Kim Thayil’s one-man guitar army, and the unmatchable in-tandem rhythm section of bassist Ben Shepherd and ace drummer Matt Cameron, Soundgarden emerged from the burgeoning Seattle music scene of the late-’80s and early-’90s totrailblaze the way for a movement that continues to resonate across the popular-music spectrum to this very day. Hailed as grunge innovators, Soundgarden’s sound has always reached beyond mere genre labels to redefine rock music for a generation.

Indeed, the deep roots of Soundgarden’s unmistakable sonic stamp can be mapped directly to the sprawling landscape of the Pacific Northwest. It’s an atmospheric feeling once shared quite vividly by the band’s late frontman, singer/guitarist Chris Cornell. “When I think of Soundgarden, I think of a sound, I think of one entity, one organic thing,” Cornell theorized, “but I guess that the exciting part is that it’s always been really varied. The band is dripping with it — that indescribable longing. It’s not about the society, it’s not about the people, it’s not about the city. It’s some other thing.”

Formed in Seattle in 1984, Soundgarden went on to create a series of groundbreaking, best-selling rock albums until initially dissolving in 1997, then later reforming for a period of time in the 2010s. Soundgarden started their career recording for the legendary Sub Pop label, who at the time were known for their own Single Of The Month club, releasing their very first 7-inch single, “Hunted Down,” in June 1987, followed by their debut EP Screaming Life that October. After a brief run on SST, Soundgarden signed to A&M Records and subsequently released four indelibly classic albums between 1989 and 1996 — 1989’s Louder Than Love, 1991’s Badmotorfinger, 1994’s Superunknown, and 1996’s Down On The Upside —with an additional full-lengther, King Animal, having arisen in 2012 after the band reformed.

Further Soundgarden 35 announcements will be forthcoming, so keep your eyes (and ears) peeled. With the 30th anniversary of their hard-charging major-label debut Louder Than Love just around the corner, 2019 looks to be another banner year for Soundgarden, who remain one of the most revered bands on the planet. Their undeniable influence and esteemed legacy grow stronger and stronger every day.

Soundgarden SUPERUNKNOWN – 25TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION (2LP)
 

SIDE 01

1. Let Me Drown
2. My Wave
3. Fell On Black Days
4. Mailman

SIDE 02

1. Superunknown
2. Head Down
3. Black Hole Sun

SIDE 03

1. Spoonman
2. Limo Wreck
3. The Day I Tried To Live
4. Kickstand

SIDE 04

1. Fresh Tendrils
2. 4th Of July
3. Half
4. Like Suicide
5. She Likes Surprises