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Temple of the Dog

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Album Review

Featuring members of Soundgarden and what would soon become Pearl Jam, Temple of the Dog's lone eponymous album might never have reached a wide audience if not for Pearl Jam's breakout success a year later. In turn, by providing the first glimpse of Chris Cornell's more straightforward, classic rock-influenced side, Temple of the Dog helped set the stage for Soundgarden's mainstream breakthrough with Superunknown. Nearly every founding member of Pearl Jam appears on Temple of the Dog (including the then-unknown Eddie Vedder), so perhaps it isn't surprising that the record sounds like a bridge between Mother Love Bone's theatrical '70s-rock updates and Pearl Jam's hard-rocking seriousness. What is surprising, though, is that Cornell is the dominant composer, writing the music on seven of the ten tracks (and lyrics on all). Keeping in mind that Soundgarden's previous album was the overblown metallic miasma of Louder Than Love, the accessibly warm, relatively clean sound of Temple of the Dog is somewhat shocking, and its mellower moments are minor revelations in terms of Cornell's songwriting abilities. It isn't just the band, either — he displays more emotional range than ever before, and his melodies and song structures are (for the most part) pure, vintage hard rock. In fact, it's almost as though he's trying to write in the style of Mother Love Bone — which makes sense, since Temple of the Dog was a tribute to that band's late singer Andrew Wood. Not every song here is directly connected to Wood; once several specific elegies were recorded, additional material grew quickly out of the group's natural chemistry. As a result, there's a very loose, jam-oriented feel to much of the album, and while it definitely meanders at times, the result is a more immediate emotional impact. The album's strength is its mournful, elegiac ballads, but thanks to the band's spontaneous creative energy and appropriately warm sound, it's permeated by a definite, life-affirming aura. That may seem like a paradox, but consider the adage that funerals are more for the living than the dead; Temple of the Dog shows Wood's associates working through their grief and finding the strength to move on.

Customer Reviews

All Chris fans, this is his peak

Simply put, Temple of the Dog is where you will hear the best singing from one of the best singers of all time. Period. Chris Cornell trademark for screaming is never more refined than on this cd. Of course you should give credit to the other band members as well, Eddie Vedder, members of MLB and Matt Cameron. But it seems as though Chris's talent becomes so prominent that you completely forget the whole purpose of this cd, to dedicate it to Andrew Wood. But that doesnt mean you arent allowed to enjoy these songs because you absoletely should and you WILL. Say Hello 2 Heaven is one of the key tracks as the melody is soothing and I find myself completely caught up in the ending. Every song here deserves recognition as well. It is just so beautiful...

Amazing Album Simply Put

This is a great album by *two great bands. Whoever thought of putting Soundgarden and Pearl Jam together to record an album is a genious. The musicians are so similar and sound so tight together, Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder voices anchor each others so well on all these songs (espiaclly on "Hunger Strike"). If theres one thing i'd wish for it's for another Temple of the Dog album.

Tribute To Andrew Wood

A remarkable album considering the circumstances of it's recording. A way to mourn the loss and celebrate the spirit of Andrew Wood.One of the best albums to come out of the Seattle music scene in the early 90's. "Hunger Strike" is an anthem.


Formed: 1990 in Seattle, WA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s

Temple of the Dog was a one-album project conceived in 1990. The purpose of Temple of the Dog was to pay tribute to the late Andrew Wood, the lead singer of Mother Love Bone, who died of a heroin overdose in 1990. Following his death, Mother Love Bone broke up, but Wood's bandmates Jeff Ament (bass) and Stone Gossard (guitar) decided to continue working together. Before Ament and Gossard formed a new band, they assembled Temple of the Dog, recruiting Chris Cornell (vocals) and Matt Cameron (drums)...
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Temple of the Dog, Temple of the Dog
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Customer Ratings

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