On April 16, 1991, a supergroup of kinds generally known as Temple of the Canine launched a self-titled album with little fanfare that might ultimately change into a shock hit. However the actual story of this disc really begins on March 19, 1990. That was the day that Mom Love Bone vocalist Andrew Wooden handed away from a heroin overdose and impressed the musicians that might come collectively to pay tribute to his musical legacy.
It began with Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell, who heard the information and was moved by his friendship with Wooden to make use of music as a type of catharsis and expression to cope with the sentiments in regards to the singer’s passing. The vocalist was on the highway on the time and instantly penned the tracks “Attain Down” and “Say Howdy 2 Heaven” about Wooden.
Cornell advised Seattle radio station KISW-FM, “I figured it will be this great point, as a result of I’d be away from house and I would not have to have a look at locations the place I noticed him or see issues that might remind me of him and I believed it will be actually nice however it was terrible as a result of I could not speak to anyone. So I began writing songs. That was the one factor I might actually consider to do. The songs I wrote weren’t actually stylistically like one thing my band Soundgarden can be used to taking part in or be pure for us to do, however it was materials that Andy actually would have favored, so I did not actually wish to simply throw it out the window or put it away in a field.”
Temple of the Canine, Stay in Seattle (1990)
From there, he would attain out to Mom Love Bone members Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament to see in the event that they felt it will be okay to document the songs and gauge their curiosity in participating. “I used to be attending to be associates with these guys earlier than he died, really, and it simply appeared like perhaps it was a good suggestion,” stated Cornell. “So anyway, these guys had materials that that they had labored on earlier than and since he died. It type of at first was this requiem factor however it ended up simply type of being, ‘Let’s make a document,’ this cool collaboration and that is what it type of turned out to be, actually.”
Ament acknowledged, “It was a extremely good factor on the time for us too, as a result of Stone and I have been nonetheless making an attempt to determine what the hell we have been doing. It form of put us in a band state of affairs the place we might play and make music, and I believe in some methods it was a lot enjoyable that we did not wish to cease.”
On the time, the beginnings of Pearl Jam have been simply coming collectively. The band had simply transitioned from the title Mookie Blaylock, however had nonetheless but to launch their breakout disc, Ten. The truth is, Eddie Vedder had simply flown in to audition for the band at the moment.
As, Cornell, Ament and Gossard began on the venture, they included Soundgarden’s drummer Matt Cameron and Pearl Jam’s guitarist Mike McCready and pulled in Vedder for help on a couple of songs.
Cornell acknowledged of the now legendary vocal collaboration on “Starvation Strike,” “[Eddie] was at one in every of our rehearsals for Temple of the Canine as a result of he had flown up right here. It was the week he was making an attempt out for [Pearl Jam] I suppose, and he advised me afterwards that he actually favored that tune and the factor about that tune amongst a few others that have been stylistically the vocals actually weren’t something that I had achieved earlier than, on a document anyway. It wasn’t actually the way in which I used to be used to singing, and I believed his voice suited that tune rather well and I believed it will be a fantastic duet … He sang half that tune not even understanding that I might needed that half to be there and he sang it precisely the way in which I used to be fascinated about doing it, simply instinctively.”
Temple of the Canine, “Starvation Strike” Music Video
Because it turned out, Vedder would seem on “Pushin Ahead Again,” “Your Savior” and “4 Walled World” as nicely, however his involvement was one thing completely serendipitous. “Once I requested him, it appeared like he was flattered,” stated Cornell. “It wasn’t something any of us had deliberate. He was simply there and he is a fantastic man and an incredible singer. I used to be like it is a enjoyable venture, so why not have him concerned as nicely?”
That spirit remained all through the method. Gossard acknowledged, “The entire state of affairs was simply so non-pressure crammed. No person anticipated this to be something, so after we simply went in and did it, the document firm wasn’t round. We mainly paid for it ourselves to start out out with.” The band turned across the disc in about 15 days.
The group recorded the album at London Bridge Studios in Seattle with producer Rick Parasher in 1990 and determined to deal with authentic materials fairly than overlaying Wooden’s songs due to the politics that is likely to be concerned.
However as acknowledged, the album arrived with little fanfare when it first dropped in 1991. That was earlier than Soundgarden’s Superunknown and Pearl Jam’s monster debut Ten catapulted each bands to new heights. By 1992, A&M had the concept to reissue the disc with “Starvation Strike” as the only and to shoot an accompanying video that includes the band members who have been now amongst MTV’s most requested acts.
Temple of the Canine, “Say Howdy 2 Heaven” — Stay (1990)
“Starvation Strike” would skyrocket up the charts and change into a High 5 single at rock radio. “I keep in mind considering that this was a extremely lovely tune after I heard it,” acknowledged Mike McCready in a Guitar Faculty piece. “Chris Cornell confirmed me the riff. I had a ’62 reissue Strat and I needed to make use of the fourth-position tone setting — between the bridge and center pickups — for the start of the tune as a result of I like that softer sound. Then I kicked it to the entrance pickup for the heavier a part of the tune. That is one in every of many wonderful songs written by Chris.”
The success of the tune additionally aided album gross sales because the as soon as stagnating disc topped out at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 charts and went on to be a platinum vendor. The follow-up single, “Say Howdy 2 Heaven,” additionally reached the highest 5 at rock radio, however a 3rd single, “Pushin Ahead Again,” did not observe the success of the primary two tracks.
The album additionally featured the aforementioned “Attain Down,” one of many two tracks Cornell penned to start out the venture. McCready remembers, “That was my first lead on an album, and I used to be so excited. I might been in a studio earlier than, however by no means to document an album or something. I did that in a single take! I soloed via the entire thing and ended up with the headphones wrapped round my face. I used to be completely flushed. The guitar work in that observe represents one in every of my proudest moments.”
Through the years, each Cornell and Pearl Jam have often dipped into the Temple of the Canine catalog, pulling out not solely “Starvation Strike,” but in addition “Attain Down,” “Name Me a Canine,” “All Evening Factor,” “Pushin Ahead Again,” “Picket Jesus” and “Say Howdy 2 Heaven” for reside units. Anytime there is a cross pollination of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden members, it sometimes yields nice anticipation for a Temple of the Canine reprise.
In 2016, the members of Temple of the Canine launched a particular twenty fifth anniversary version of the basic album and performed a run of touring dates in assist. This could be the primary prolonged touring ever in assist of the album because the all-star collective have been unable to tour upon the disc’s preliminary launch.