Soundgarden reunion: good idea or disaster?

Soundgarden

On the surface, it seemed like a pretty good bit of news to get on New Years Day 2010: Soundgarden is on the reunion trail.

Just before Christmas we were discussing frontman Chris Cornell’s cringe-worthy new Timbaland-produced album in the office. The consensus that we came to was that a restraining order needs to be slapped on Mr Cornell immediately, forbidding him to do anything new at all, musically speaking, lest he trample further on his own musical legacy.

While it sounds drastic, we decided it would be in his own best interest, as well as the best interests of the countless 30-something-year-olds who grew up in the grunge-era. “Come along quietly, Chris. We think you’ve done quite enough damage as it is”. 

One possible exception that did come up in our imaginary restraining order was a full Soundgarden reunion. But here’s the thing: do we really trust Chris Cornell – the man who released a cover of Billie Jean, for fuck’s sake – with a Soundgarden reunion?

It’s true that there are precedents. Alice in Chains have reformed – with a new singer, no less – and released a very worthy album with Black Gives Way To Blue. They’ve walked a difficult line and managed to be both true to the sound and spirit of the band and respectful of the memory of the late Layne Stayley, while still moving forward with new musical ideas. Just how they managed to do it, I have no idea – it’s a modern musical miracle as far as I’m concerned (as well as a kick-arse album).

Faith No More is another great example. They haven’t recorded any new material or indicated that they will, but their live shows on the 2009 European festival circuit have been greeted with almost universal fan approval. We’ll get to check it out ourselves when they headline the Soundwave Festival in Australia in just a few weeks.

The difference between Alice In Chains, Faith No More and Soundgarden is that the aforementioned legends had not been doing anything to piss on their reputations while not active, while Chris Cornell seems unable to stop himself from doing the same.

What do you think? Will a Soundgarden reunion suck or not? Should Chris Cornell be banned from any further musical collaborations, or will Kim Thayil et al be able to keep him in line?

Here’s some thinking music for you while you decide:

~ by goatlady on January 2, 2010.

9 Responses to “Soundgarden reunion: good idea or disaster?”

  1. Actually, both heard his cover live at the Enmore last year and loving that Swedish bootleg that’s getting about, I think he totally owns Billie Jean. I don’t even think about it as a Michael Jackson song anymore, (except that epic 12 minute remix by … whoever it was in the late 90s)

  2. True, true.

    I can’t bring myself to listen to it. I don’t want to know.

  3. i just enjoyed watching the jesus christ pose clip again.
    plus, for me its all about getting kim thayil and matt cameron writing music together again. chris cornell is good as a familiar voice but i’ll be basking in the guitar more..

  4. Soundgarden were one of my fav bands in their day, still for every good song they had a few dogs as well. I found only half the albums were any good. Back together well it won’t send me into a wild fit!

  5. I don’t care if they don’t do any new shit. In fact, I kinda hope they don’t, because their existing catalogue is so great. I just want them to tour the world and play their old songs. RATM and Faith No More have done he same, and that’s the way it should be.

    I disagree about Alice in Chains – they should not have messed with the memory. They should have renamed the new band.

    btw the Billie Jean cover is awesome. But I dislike most of Chris’ solo stuff, and Audioslave was mediocre at best.

  6. I love Soundgarden more than anything, and even with their reunion in August, I think it’s a great idea for them to play some live shows for the fans, but as for releasing a new album, who knows ?

    I agree with em, every single album from Ultramega to Down on the Upside is fucking amazing. I just want them to go around the world and play every single song from every single album back to front everywhere.

  7. It’s a good thing…. probably anyway back to 1989:
    http://wallernotweller.wordpress.com/2010/08/11/review-soundgarden-louder-than-love-am/

  8. […] in January I pondered whether the Soundgarden reunion was a good idea or not. As it turns out, some of you thought yay, some of you thought nay, but in the end it was ok. Chris […]

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