Time flies when you’re making history. When listening today to the uncanny way in which songs such as “Spoonman”,”Fell on Black Days”,”Black Hole Sun”,”My Wave”,”The Day I Tried to Live”, and “Superunknown” on Soundgarden’s March 1994 Superunknown somehow bridged the evolution of rock over the preceding quarter century, it feels like merely twenty-eight months have passed, not years.
When it came time for Soundgarden to enter the studio in 1993, the song stash was empty, a daunting creative challenge to main songwriter Chris Cornell. All of the ripe musical fruit had been harvested for the series of singles, EPs, and three preceding albums including Badmotorfinger, but Chris found the untilled earth liberating as well, fertile musical ground. No doubt one of the strongest aspects of the songs that Cornell, crunchy angular guitarist Kim Thayil, thundering bass player Ben Shepherd, and powerhouse drummer Matt Cameron came up with on Superunknown twenty-five years ago was their unapologetic admiration for the Vol.4-era Black Sabbath sound and unabashed dynamics of Led Zeppelin. The late Chris Cornell is my guest from the In the Studio archive. – Redbeard