Temple of the Dog

Temple of the Dog

3.7 4
by Temple of the Dog

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Featuring members of Soundgarden and what would soon become Pearl Jam, Temple of the Dog's lone eponymous album might never have reached a wide audience if not for Pearl Jam's breakout success a year later. In turn, by providing the first glimpse of Chris Cornell's more


Featuring members of Soundgarden and what would soon become Pearl Jam, Temple of the Dog's lone eponymous album might never have reached a wide audience if not for Pearl Jam's breakout success a year later. In turn, by providing the first glimpse of Chris Cornell's more straightforward, classic rock-influenced side, Temple of the Dog helped set the stage for Soundgarden's mainstream breakthrough with Superunknown. Nearly every founding member of Pearl Jam appears on Temple of the Dog (including the then-unknown Eddie Vedder), so perhaps it isn't surprising that the record sounds like a bridge between Mother Love Bone's theatrical '70s-rock updates and Pearl Jam's hard-rocking seriousness. What is surprising, though, is that Cornell is the dominant composer, writing the music on seven of the ten tracks (and lyrics on all). Keeping in mind that Soundgarden's previous album was the overblown metallic miasma of Louder Than Love, the accessibly warm, relatively clean sound of Temple of the Dog is somewhat shocking, and its mellower moments are minor revelations in terms of Cornell's songwriting abilities. It isn't just the band, either -- he displays more emotional range than ever before, and his melodies and song structures are (for the most part) pure, vintage hard rock. In fact, it's almost as though he's trying to write in the style of Mother Love Bone -- which makes sense, since Temple of the Dog was a tribute to that band's late singer Andrew Wood. Not every song here is directly connected to Wood; once several specific elegies were recorded, additional material grew quickly out of the group's natural chemistry. As a result, there's a very loose, jam-oriented feel to much of the album, and while it definitely meanders at times, the result is a more immediate emotional impact. The album's strength is its mournful, elegiac ballads, but thanks to the band's spontaneous creative energy and appropriately warm sound, it's permeated by a definite, life-affirming aura. That may seem like a paradox, but consider the adage that funerals are more for the living than the dead; Temple of the Dog shows Wood's associates working through their grief and finding the strength to move on.

Editorial Reviews

Rolling Stone - David Fricke
Temple of the Dog was one of the first smash hits of the Seattle explosion; it also codified, with heart and muscle, the heavy anguish of the Puget sound.

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Temple of the Dog 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can't believe nobody's reviewed this! First off, this is a remarkable album, and if you don't own it, go out and get it now. This album would appeal to a wide audience, especially if you like Pearl Jam or Soundgarden. But there even if you like classic rock, which is my main musical focus, you should enjoy this, you can feel the Led Zeppelin influence, which is a very good thing. Well the history of this, is that this is a tribute to these musicians friend, the deceased Andrew Wood, lead singer of Mother Love Bone. Although his death was tragic, I think Andrew Wood would be happy to see his bandmates rising to such success (Pearl Jam). Wood's unfortunate death did two great things for music, gave us Pearl Jam, and Temple of the Dog. Basically, Temple of the Dog is what Pearl Jam would sound like with Chris Cornell in controll of the group, and Eddie singing background vocals. Now I am a big fan of both Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell, and i think they are the two best frontment around today, but their musical styles are much different, and this is an experiment that produces astounding results. Cornell shines, and gives us a good glimpse into the musical territory he would later explore on his brilliant solo debut album "Euphoria Morning." This is not to say that Pearl Jam's most prominent member is just shoved to the side. Vedder even duets with Cornell, and this is his recording debut World meet Eddie Vedder, Eddie Vedder, world. Anyway, it would be great to produce a follow up (possibly a tribute to Layne Stayley??) and this album is a knockout from start to finish.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just loved this record from the time I first heard (hunger strike and say hello to heaven) most people just do not care for this record. But to me it will always withstand the test of time. They say nirvana was great no where does it mention temple of the dog as an influence on (audioslave, a perfect circle,and many other side project bands). If nirvana was so great why didn't Kurt cobain,dave grohl or chris noviselic contribute their so called greatness to this album.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A very bluesy album, one that spans the gap between 90s grunge and 80s metal. Hunger Strike is a masterpiece, cornell's vocals on Pushing, in particular, are blistering and his efforts throughout first class. With so much talent, its no wonder such an impressive album was the result. An important step in the evolution of music into the 90s, with a big nod back to Led Zep in some places. A tribute to a fallen comrade, with the theme of death pervading the album and influencing the fledgling grunge scene at the time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great grunge album. Combine Pearl Jam and soundgarden and you get TOTD. I remember the 90's like yesterday. 90-96 was a period of time like no other. Now I feel like a dweeb still clad in flannel with a 2 ft long hairdoo. Were still out there though!! p.s. cant wait for new Pearl Jam album.