Soundgarden was an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1984 by singer and rhythm guitarist Chris Cornell, lead guitarist Kim Thayil (both of whom are the only members to appear in every incarnation of the band), and bassist Hiro Yamamoto. Matt Cameron became the band's full-time drummer in 1986, while bassist Ben Shepherd became a permanent replacement for Yamamoto in 1990. The band dissolved in 1997 and re-formed in 2010. Following Cornell's death in 2017 and a year of uncertainty of the band's future, Thayil declared in October 2018 that the band was finished; they did, however, reunite in January 2019 for a one-off concert in tribute to Cornell.
|Also known as||Nudedragons|
|Origin||Seattle, Washington, U.S.|
Soundgarden are associated with grunge, a style of alternative rock that developed in Seattle. After releasing two EPs on the Seattle-based label Sub-Pop in 1987 and 1988, their debut album, Ultramega OK was released on the California-based independent label SST Records in 1989. While the album did not sell well nationally, it gained critical acclaim and was nominated for a Grammy award in 1990. They recorded their second album, Louder Than Love, independently but had signed with major label A&M Records in the interim, and released the album as their major label debut. Unlike their debut, which had failed to chart, Louder Than Love peaked at number 108 on the Billboard 200 album chart. Released the same day as fellow Seattle grunge act Nirvana's album Nevermind, their third album Badmotorfinger would bring Soundgarden to national acclaim for the first time, buoyed by the popularity of the singles "Jesus Christ Pose", "Outshined", and "Rusty Cage", the album would reach number 39 on the Billboard 200 and has been certified double-platinum by the RIAA. Soundgarden was one of the seminal creators of grunge, a style of alternative rock that developed in Seattle, and was the first of a number of grunge bands to sign to the record label Sub Pop. Soundgarden was also one of the first grunge bands to sign to a major label (A&M Records in 1989), though they did not achieve commercial success until they popularized the genre in the early 1990s with Seattle contemporaries Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, and Nirvana.
Soundgarden achieved its biggest success with the 1994 album Superunknown, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and yielded the Grammy Award-winning singles "Spoonman" and "Black Hole Sun". In 1996, the band experimented with new sonic textures on their follow-up album Down on the Upside, which debuted at number 2 on the Billboard 200 and spawned several hit singles of its own, including "Burden in My Hand" and "Blow Up the Outside World". In 1997, the band broke up due to internal strife over its creative direction and exhaustion from touring. After more than a decade of working on projects and other bands, Soundgarden reunited in 2010, and Republic Records released their sixth and final studio album, King Animal, two years later.
As of 2019, Soundgarden sold more than 14 million records in the United States, and an estimated 30 million worldwide. VH1 ranked Soundgarden at number 14 in their special 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.