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Live On I-5

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iTunes Review

This album is Mastered for iTunes. Recorded during their 1996 tour in support of Down on the Upside and scrapped since the band broke up, Live on I-5 is now a retrospective look back on one of the ’90’s most influential and important hard-rock bands. The cover of the Beatles’ “Helter Skelter” is shockingly sedate and seductive and much like the rest of this live album is surprisingly cautious for a hard-rock band. But Soundgarden were never completely comfortable with being put atop the hard-rock mantle and if there’s a slight reluctance in the anthemic power of their hit “Fell on Black Days”, it’s one that makes their music that much richer, since the band thrives on nuance. Even the cover of Iggy & The Stooges’ “Search and Destroy” has a slightly measured approach that allows the song to breathe in ways not previously understood. The band lets loose more on the recent material. “Ty Cobb”, for example, has fresh anger running through its assault. The “Exclusive” version of the album includes five bonus tracks from rehearsals, including a freaked-out version of The Doors’ “Waiting for the Sun” among the nuggets.


Formed: 1984 in Seattle, WA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '10s

Soundgarden made a place for heavy metal in alternative rock. Their fellow Seattle rockers Green River may have spearheaded the grunge sound, but they relied on noise rock in the vein of the Stooges. Similarly, Jane's Addiction were too fascinated with prog rock and performance art to appeal to a wide array of metal fans. Soundgarden, however, developed directly out of the grandiose blues-rock of Led Zeppelin and the sludgy, slow riffs of Black Sabbath. Which isn't to say they were a straight-ahead...
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