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Superunknown (20th Anniversary)

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Editors’ Notes

With Superunknown, Soundgarden left grunge behind for good. Arriving just as Nirvana were in their death throes and Pearl Jam were becoming increasingly weary of life in the spotlight, Soundgarden’s fourth album eagerly seized the mantle for arena-ready alternative rock. From the bone-cracking thrust of “My Wave” to the Beatlesesque power ballad “Black Hole Sun” to the doomy metallic monster “4th of July,” Superunknown blew Soundgarden’s musical scope wide open and foregrounded their latent pop sensibility—but not at the expense of the band’s essential, mosh-pit-baiting heaviosity.

Customer Reviews

One of the Best Rock Albums I’ve Ever Listened To

This came out in my college years. I still listen to this at least 2-3 times a year. It reminds me of the Grunge music and clothing and every thing that was right and wrong with that period. (So glad we don’t dress like that any more) It reminds me of MTV when they actually played music and music videos. The passion, anger, love and all the emotions that 20 somethings feel in the extremes are wrapped up in every song on this masterpiece. I can’t recommend it enough.

Beaten only by its predecessor.

This album is my second favorite. The sheer therapeutic value of songs like "Let Me Drown," "Mailman," "Superunknown," "Black Hole Sun," "Limo Wreck," "Fresh Tendrils" and "Like Suicide" is incalculable to a person after a day of frustration, exhaustion, loneliness or depression. I recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone mystified by the cruelty of the world, because a collection of songs like these gives all the answers.


I will forever be a true Soundgarden fan. They hold a special part in my collection. Best album!


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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