It may be a bit late, but here we go with November's song of the month... "Room A Thousand Years Wide."
With music by Matt Cameron and lyrics by Kim Thayil, "Room A Thousand Years Wide" was originally recorded not for Badmotorfinger, as many people think, but for a special Sub Pop 7". In 1990, Soundgarden had just hired bassist Ben Shepherd to replace Jason Everman, who had replaced Hiro Yamamoto, and in celebration decided to record their first songs together for a limited edition record on their old label (Soundgarden's first two EPs, Screaming Life and Fopp, were released by Sub Pop in 1987 and 1988, and the CD reissue of both was released in 1990). The real "single" was "HIV Baby," with "Room A Thousand Years Wide" being the b-side. The release was limited to 5000 copies, with the first 1500 on grape vinyl and the remaining 3500 on standard black vinyl -- Sub Pop Singles Club members received black copies. An image of the grape vinyl can be found at the official Soundgarden website.
In 1991, the song was re-recorded for Badmotorfinger (track 8, sandwiched neatly between "Searching With My Good Eye Closed" and "Mind Riot"), a slightly different version than the one found on the 7". As can be heard on the album, a small brass section ("spastic horns," according to SPIN magazine, October 1991) is featured, with Scott Granlund playing saxophone and Ernst Long playing trumpet (they are more prominently featured later on the album in "Drawing Flies"). Melody Maker has called the track "sad" and "poignant." In a definite reference to "Room A Thousand Years Wide," Chris and Matt had the following to say in the July 1992 issue of Select:
Chris: "Heavy rock lyric writers have never inspired me. They're either party words, or really silly, juvenile politics that you've known for years, or mystical stuff... At least we don't write about wizards and starships and cyclopses... We're kind of into perverting rock language."
Matt: "We're the kind of band that uses words like 'begat'!"
"Room A Thousand Years Wide" has no video, since it really was a b-side and was never released as a single following Badmotorfinger, but it is featured on the home video Motorvision as a live performance, recorded at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle in March 1992. The images that line the left-hand side of this page were captured from that performance, and there is a video clip available below.
Sound + Vision
Listen, hear, he is inside