SOUNDGARDEN
ULTRAMEGA OK

LABEL
SST Records

CATALOG #
SST CD 201

RELEASE DATE
Nov 1988




Nominated for a Grammy, Ultramega OK is the only album that Soundgarden recorded for SST Records -- it spawned the Flower EP, which contains the bonus track, "Toybox."

  1. 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

  2. ALL YOUR LIES
    Music: Thayil, Yamamoto; Lyrics: Cornell
    ©1988 Loud Love Publishing (ASCAP)
    Read: [lyrics] [guitar tablature]

  3. 665
    Music: Yamamoto; Lyrics: Cornell
    ©1988 Loud Love Publishing (ASCAP)
    Read: [lyrics]

    This song is a parody of all of the so-called Satanic messages that were allegedly recorded backwards in rock music. When this song is played in reverse, Chris Cornell is screaming "I need you Santa baby" and such. There is a sound clip (AU: 2,163,330 bytes) of this available for your amusement.

    The band's take on the song:

    Chris: "One day Kim was in a trance levitating above a shopping mall," he says. "When he came down he had this crazy idea that if 666 is the number of the beast, then how all-encompassing the numbers either side of it must be! He thought that once it was played, the Pentagon would actually levitate."

    Kim: "It was a little bit of studio wizardry, actually. We just think that whole idea of metal being obsessed with black magic is totally ridiculous."

  4. BEYOND THE WHEEL
    Music & Lyrics: Cornell
    ©1988 Loud Love Publishing (ASCAP)
    Read: [lyrics] [guitar tablature]

    "That song is very industrial sounding. I love the solo; it's wild and loose. We did a backward guitar intro, which gives the song a nice sweep. Chris wrote 'Beyond the Wheel,' recorded it on a four-track, and brought us the demo. We thought it was a great trippy, heavy song. But Chris thought there was something missing from the middle section. He asked me if there was some kind of drone thing I could do to fill it up. I came up with that part that goes beeoop beeoop, which gives the song great dynamics. That solo is one of my favourite things I've ever done, and one of the best Soundgarden solos." --Kim Thayil

  5. 667
    Music: Yamamoto; Lyrics: Cornell
    ©1988 Loud Love Publishing (ASCAP)
    Read: [lyrics]

  6. MOOD FOR TROUBLE
    Music & Lyrics: Cornell
    ©1988 Loud Love Publishing (ASCAP)
    Read: [lyrics] [guitar tablature]

  7. CIRCLE OF POWER
    Music: Thayil; Lyrics: Yamamoto
    ©1988 Loud Love Publishing (ASCAP)
    Read: [lyrics]

  8. HE DIDN'T
    Music: Cameron; Lyrics: Cornell
    ©1988 Loud Love Publishing (ASCAP)
    Read: [lyrics] [guitar tablature]

  9. SMOKESTACK LIGHTNING
    Music & Lyrics: C. Burnett
    Read: [lyrics] [guitar tablature]

    "Smokestack Lightning" is an old Howlin' Wolf (Chester Burnett) song that Soundgarden modified a bit: the end includes portions from Sonic Youth's "Death Valley 69" (co-written with Lydia Lunch).

  10. NAZI DRIVER
    Music: Yamamoto; Lyrics: Cornell
    ©1988 Loud Love Publishing (ASCAP)
    Read: [lyrics] [guitar tablature]

  11. HEAD INJURY
    Music & Lyrics: Cornell
    ©1988 Loud Love Publishing (ASCAP)
    Read: [lyrics]

  12. INCESSANT MACE
    Music: Thayil; Lyrics: Cornell
    ©1988 Loud Love Publishing (ASCAP)
    Read: [lyrics] [guitar tablature]

    There exist some bootlegs of this that have the title misspelled as "Incescent Mace."

  13. ONE MINUTE OF SILENCE
    Written by J. Lennon

    Originally "Two Minutes of Silence," Soundgarden cut out Yoko Ono's part. When asked why they included it on the album, the band members had typically witty replies:

    Hiro: "We had a minute to fill on the record."

    Chris: "We appreciated the Lennon arrangement so much."

    Kim: "We thought it was so good, we could add a little something to it. It's the heavy metal version."

    Chris: "The real deciding factor was that we knew there wouldn't be any publishing problems, because you can't copyright silence."

Produced by Soundgarden and Drew Canulette. Recorded Spring 1988 with the Dogfish Mobile Recording Unit in Seattle, Washington, USA, and Newburg, Oregon, USA. Engineered by Drew Canulette and Lance Limbocker. Mixed at Dogfish Studio in Newburg, Oregon, USA, and Pace Studio, Portland, Oregon, USA.