SUB-POP-200 was released in December 1988 as 3 12" LPs packaged
with a 20-page booklet -- the release was limited to 5000
copies. Originals sell for upwards of US$75 in some stores. In
November 1991, the compilation was reissued on compact disc. On
September 12, 1995, it was reissued a second time on CD in a small
cardboard box. According to Suzy Davenport of Sub Pop, "We've reissued
the Sub Pop 200 CD with a new booklet that's like a CD-size
version of the book that came with the original three-LP boxed
set. Lots of cool Charles Peterson photos and funny staff pictures."
The album features 20 bands, including those who are now considered to be the defining bands of the "Seattle sound": Soundgarden, Nirvana, Mudhoney, Green River, Screaming Trees, etc. The truth is that all of the bands on this comp are or were incredibly influential. The track list, separated to represent the layout of the original 6 sides of the vinyl release, is as follows:
Soundgarden's contribution to the compilation, "Sub Pop Rock City," appears nowhere else (aside from a comp that was released in Germany in 1989 under license from Sub Pop). It was more of a joke than anything else. In Guitar School magazine (May 1994), Kim Thayil explains:
"We wrote that song with [Kiss'] 'Detroit Rock City' in mind. I wrote the riffs and jammed a bunch of grooves together. I thought we'd make it a little 'butt rock.' It's the only time you'll here a boogie riff in a Soundgarden song; we threw it in mostly for humour."
"While we were in the studio recording Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman from Sub Pop were very concerned about what we were doing. They'd call the studio and we wouldn't answer. Jack Endino, who produced the track, just left the answering machine on. We took the messages from Bruce and Jonathan and sampled sections of them to come up with the fake conversation that's on 'Sub Pop Rock City.'"