Temple Of The Dog, Temple Of The Dog

Grunge by its very nature is a pretty depressing genre.

Its stars dressed like hobos, the fans even more so. And the music was widely performed on guitars so heavily downtuned that it often descended into a sludgy dirge that made it difficult to pick up the tune at all.

Then there was all that nasty stuff like Kurt Cobain’s suicide and the drug-related deaths of Alice in Chains singer Layne Staley and Hole bass player Kristen Pfaff.

Hardly the summer of love, then.

But the death of one grunge pioneer arguably overshadows them all, even that of Nirvana’s hero-worshipped frontman.

Andrew Wood was the charismatic singer with Mother Love Bone, a group who would surely have gone on to rule the grunge scene alongside Nirvana had Wood not died of a heroin overdose in 1990.

As it happened, the remaining members of the band formed Pearl Jam and are today one of the most successful rock bands on the planet.

But while Pearl Jam were finding their feet, the band hooked up with Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell to write and record an album in tribute to Wood. The result was Temple Of The Dog – one of the most stunning rock records ever produced.

A full 22 years after its release, the record is re-released in a stunning double purple vinyl package.

If you’re a grunge fan, chances are you’ll have these songs already.

And if not, prepare to be blown away.

Cornell’s love for his friend Wood cuts through painfully on tracks like Say Hello To Heaven and Reach Down, while Hunger Strike, which features a vocal duet with Cornell and Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, still stands up as the most poignant track of the grunge era.

Pushin’ Forward Back could have been a Soundgarden hit and Call Me A Dog brings to mind some of Alice In Chains’ rare gentle moments.

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