While Soundgarden never escaped the grunge tag they were saddled with in the ‘90s, they at least transcended it in part by being one of the genre’s most adventurous groups. They formed in Seattle in the late ‘80s with a steady influence of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin riding their grooves. With Chris Cornell’s banshee wail guiding a sludgy mix of music inspired as much by classic rock as punk, Soundgarden began making waves with their 1991 album, ‘Badmotorfinger,’ which helped usher in alternative rock’s loud, guitar-based sound (along with fellow Seattle residents Nirvana and Pearl Jam). But it was 1994’s ‘Superunknown,’ their only No. 1 album, that catapulted them to success with its super-ambitious mix of hard-rock crunch lined with psychedelic shadings. They broke up after 1996’s ‘Down on the Upside,’ reuniting in 2012 with a new album and tour.
- Selected Discography: ‘Badmotorfinger’ (1991), ‘Superunkown’ (1994), ‘Down on the Upside’ (1996)
- Related Artists: Chris Cornell, Nirvana, Pearl Jam
- Further Reading: Top 10 Albums of 1991, 2013 Golden Gods Awards, Chris Cornell Covers Led Zeppelin and John Lennon