Formed in 1984 in Seattle, Washington, Soundgarden were one of the key bands in the development of grunge, and its transition from underground subculture to mainstream genre. Drawing influence from classic rock, garage rock, post-punk, and heavy metal, and delivering music with distorted guitars, bass-heavy riffs, and pounding drums, they are for many the archetypal Seattle grunge band. Their first album showed enough promise to earn them a deal with A&M Records. Louder Than Love in 1989 was their debut for the label, and it was widely acclaimed, but only managed to reach 108 on the Billboard 200. Badmotorfinger in 1991 was their breakthrough album, as it peaked at an improved 39 in the charts, and became regarded as one of the first albums to be given the grunge label. 1994's Superunknown was even more successful, reaching the top of the US charts, and going on to sell over 5 million copies in the USA alone. Its success owed much to the introduction of increased emphasis on melody, and an overall more accessible sound. They managed to release another excellent album two years later, although Chris Cornell’s drug problems, and a number of internal conflicts, led to the band breaking up in 1997. Since the band’s demise, most former members have enjoyed success in music with a variety of other projects.
Followers: Alice In Chains, System Of A Down, 3 Doors Down, Nickelback, Godsmack, Bush, Theory Of A Deadman, Stone Temple Pilots, L7, Queens Of The Stone Age
Influenced By: Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, MC5, Jimi Hendrix, Alice Cooper, The Beatles, Kiss, The Stooges, The Velvet Underground
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