SOUNDGARDEN
A-SIDES

LABEL
A&M Records

RELEASE DATE
Nov 04 1997

PERSONNEL
Chris Cornell: voc, gtr
Kim Thayil: guitar
Matt Cameron: drums
Ben Shepherd: bass
Hiro Yamamoto: bass

The first Soundgarden album to be released since the band broke up on April 9, 1997, A-Sides is an introduction to Soundgarden's singles since 1987's "Nothing To Say." It is the only full-length Soundgarden release not available on vinyl. Check out the press release.

The liner notes are packed with photos of the band in its many incarnations (see images at left) and include the standard details for each track. The black and white photo of Matt Cameron was one of several shot in Rotterdam in October 1996 by Jan Van Oldenmark. Sub Pop co-founder Jonathan Poneman contributes a lengthy introduction to the album and its tracks.

  1. NOTHING TO SAY
    Music: Kim Thayil; Lyrics: Chris Cornell
    ©1990 Loud Love (ASCAP)
    Read: [lyrics]

    "Nothing to Say" was Soundgarden's first b-side, appearing on side 2 of the "Hunted Down" single.

    "This song was originally from an unsigned-band compilation tape made by a KCMU disc jockey. It was called Bands That Will Make Money -- it had a little piggy bank on the cover and was distributed to all the record companies. Labels started calling us when they heard the song. I was working at Seattle Filmworks along with Mark Arm from Mudhoney, Bruce Fairweather from Mother Love Bone, and Owen Wright from My Sister's Machine. I got this phone call while I was doing some splicing and it was Chris. He said, 'You're not going to believe this -- A&M called!.' The rest is history." --Kim Thayil

  2. FLOWER [single]
    Music: Thayil; Lyrics: Cornell
    ©1988 Loud Love Publishing (ASCAP)
    Read: [lyrics] [guitar tablature]

    "This song marks the first time I ever blew on a guitar. I put the guitar down on the ground near the amp to get a humming feedback, as opposed to a squealy one, and blew across the strings in rhythm with the drums. There's probably some obscure Mississippi blues guitarist like 'Blind Lemon Pledge' who's done that before, but 'Flower' is the first time any rock band had recorded the sound of someone blowing across the strings. It sounds like a sitar." --Kim Thayil

  3. LOUD LOVE [single]
    Music & Lyrics: Cornell
    ©1989 Loud Love Music (ASCAP)
    Read: [lyrics] [bass tablature]

    The quasi-title track for the album, "Loud Love" was released many times as a promo, appearing on 12", cassette, and CD in 1989. It also showed up on the one-time "hot" medium, CD3, in Japan, with "Big Dumb Sex." In addition, it was the base of the Loud Love and Loudest Love EPs.

    "The intro was a feedback melody. Many people think we used an E-bow. I've seen transcriptions that have said to use an E-bow. The truth is, I've never even seen an E-bow. I simply stood in front of the amp, got the note ringing until it was feeding back, and slid my finger up the fret on the string and dragged the feedback with it." --Kim Thayil

  4. HANDS ALL OVER [single]
    Music: Thayil; Lyrics: Cornell
    ©1989 Loud Love Music (ASCAP)
    Read: [lyrics]

    "The video for that song was one of the lamest ever made. It really sucked. What I liked about the song was that it was just one simple riff -- one note, one chord -- but with a lot of dynamics. In some ways it's simple and basic; in other ways, it's very sophisticated in how it was layered. We don't really have many songs that are like 'Hands All Over.'" --Kim Thayil

  5. GET ON THE SNAKE
    Music: Thayil; Lyrics: Cornell
    ©1989 Loud Love Music (ASCAP)
    Read: [lyrics] [guitar tablature] [bass tablature]

    "Get on the Snake" was released three times as an A&M promo for the Lost Angels soundtrack, where it appears.

    Kim Thayil says: "In 'Get on the Snake,' we developed a great riff, but it turned out to be in 9/4 time. You can't dance to it, but it sort of sneaks up on you anyway."

  6. JESUS CHRIST POSE [single]
    Music: Cameron, Shepherd, Thayil, Cornell; Lyrics: Cornell
    ©1991 Walpurgis Night Music/Noyes/In One Ear And Out Your Mother Music/You Make Me Sick I Make Music (ASCAP)
    Read: [lyrics] [guitar tablature] [press release] [song of the month]

    "That was our first single off Badmotorfinger, but it never got any airplay because of the references to Jesus. And MTV wouldn't play the video because they didn't like the idea of a girl on the cross. There are no guitars in the video at all. There's not even a picture of a guitar in the video. It's like this hard, rock-fast, punk-metal video that has no instruments in the whole thing. And it's a six minute video! The song's groove reminds me of helicopter blades. I bent the strings at the beginning and end of the song. That's all I remember." --Kim Thayil

    When asked about the "Jesus Christ Pose" itself, Chris says: "You just see it a lot with really beautiful people, or famous people, exploiting that symbol as to imply that they're either a deity or persecuted somehow by their public. So it's pretty much a song that is nonreligious but expressing being irritated by seeing that. It's not that I would ever be offended by what someone would do with that symbol."

  7. OUTSHINED [single]
    Music & Lyrics: Cornell
    ©1991 You Make Me Sick I Make Music (ASCAP)
    Read: [lyrics] [guitar tablature] [bass tablature] [song of the month]

    "All I can remember is that they cut the guitar solo to make the video 'single-length.' I thought that was a stupid thing. Here we are, a guitar band, and the guitar solo -- it may not be a great guitar solo -- was edited out just for the video. That's ridiculous. It was a heavy song and our most popular video, even though it was a crap video. It never kicks in or explodes; there's no dynamics. The band never loosens up and explores the riff because the solo was taken out." --Kim Thayil

  8. RUSTY CAGE [single]
    Music & Lyrics: Cornell
    ©1991 You Make Me Sick I Make Music (ASCAP)
    Read: [lyrics] [guitar tablature]

    "The tuning on that song was pretty nutty. It's recorded with a wah wah in the low position used as a filter. That was the first time we did anything like that. It was Chris' idea; he wanted to get that weird tone that you can't really dial in on an amp. But if you use the wah wah as a filter, it gets an incredibly weird sound. And if you listen to that riff, especially if you've heard the original demos of it, it almost sounds backward." --Kim Thayil

  9. SPOONMAN [single]
    Music & Lyrics: Cornell
    ©1994 You Make Me Sick I Make Music (ASCAP)
    Read: [lyrics] [guitar tablature] [song of the month]

  10. THE DAY I TRIED TO LIVE [single]
    Music & Lyrics: Cornell
    ©1994 You Make Me Sick I Make Music (ASCAP)
    Read: [lyrics] [guitar tablature]

  11. BLACK HOLE SUN [single]
    Music & Lyrics: Cornell
    ©1994 You Make Me Sick I Make Music (ASCAP)
    Read: [lyrics] [guitar tablature]

  12. FELL ON BLACK DAYS [single]
    Music & Lyrics: Cornell
    ©1994 You Make Me Sick I Make Music (ASCAP)
    Read: [lyrics] [guitar tablature]

  13. PRETTY NOOSE [single]
    Music & Lyrics: Cornell
    ©1996 You Make Me Sick I Make Music (ASCAP)
    Read: [lyrics] [guitar tablature]

  14. BURDEN IN MY HAND [single]
    Music & Lyrics: Cornell
    ©1996 You Make Me Sick I Make Music (ASCAP)
    Read: [lyrics] [guitar tablature] [bass tablature]

  15. BLOW UP THE OUTSIDE WORLD [single]
    Music & Lyrics: Cornell
    ©1996 You Make Me Sick I Make Music (ASCAP)
    Read: [lyrics] [guitar tablature]

  16. TY COBB [single]
    Music: Shepherd; Lyrics: Cornell
    ©1996 You Make Me Sick I Make Music (ASCAP)/Stupidditties (ASCAP)
    Read: [lyrics] [guitar tablature]

    Supposedly "Ty Cobb" was originally titled "Hot Rod Death Toll," but the title was changed when one of the members said it reminded him of Ty Cobb (played baseball with the Detroit Tigers in the early 1900s; still has the all-time highest lifetime batting average (.367)). The song showed up in some of Soundgarden's live performances before the album was released, most notably the 1995 Reading Festival. It features a 20-second intro written by Ben Shepherd and includes mandolin and mandola performances by him and Chris Cornell.

  17. BLEED TOGETHER [single]
    Music & Lyrics: Cornell
    ©1996 You Make Me Sick I Make Music (ASCAP)/MCA Music Publishing
    [lyrics]

    "Bleed Together" is the only "previously unreleased" song on the album, having appeared previously as a b-side to "Burden In My Hand". It is being touted as the first single from A-Sides, recorded at Studio Litho and Bad Animals in Seattle.