Vinyl Blog #22. Soundgarden -Badmotorfinger (25th Anniversary Edition)
Back in 1990-91, I was a teenager who was heavily influenced by the music of the previous generation which didn't bother me. I still listen to music from the 70's and 80's with a certain reverence just like any self-respecting rock fan should. But not until the Seattle grunge explosion, did I really find MY generation's musical revolution. No one saw it coming, and it came quickly, wiping the last ten years of hair metal bands, and synth pop mall music off the face of the earth. At the time, the sonically heaviest album on my radar was the now classic "And Justice For All" by Metallica. It was frightening and made me feel like I might have a chance of going straight to hell for listening to it. Metal was dangerous, and I was attracted to it big time!
Now, back to grunge. When Soundgarden released the masterpiece "Badmotorfinger" in the fall of 1991, it resembled nothing that I had heard before. The album was brooding, heavy in theme, and sometimes a bit bizarre. It challenged me as the listener while drawing me in for another listen. Songs such as "Slaves & Bulldozers" and "Searching With My Good Eye Closed" leveled me as a youngster. These two tracks are still my favorite to this day. Many of the music critics at the time, compared them to Led Zeppelin, which I didn't really understand. Aside from the higher range vocals, I saw no resemblance. They felt more like Black Sabbath in terms of vibe but didn't sound anything like either band. Now looking back in retrospect, this critique makes a bit more sense, in that Soundgarden stylistically is eclectic like Zeppelin. None of their albums sound the same. And that's why I love this band so much. Soundgarden is never boring or predictable.
As most Soundgarden fans already know, the now legendary Terry Date produced Badmotorfinger. He was also the producer of Pantera's "Vulgar Display Of Power", which came out a few months later in 1992. My friends and I listened to these albums together quite often in the years to come. Pantera and Soundgarden were the new definition sonic heaviness in the early Nineties. As I mentioned before, I felt like I could go straight to hell for listening to this music. And I liked it. The decibels alone crept down into my cells, shattered my consciousness, and rebuilt it new again. That's why these bands remain, what I like to call "life long music".
It blows my mind, that this album is 25 years old. Time is flying by, but Soundgarden remain timeless. And I believe that this was the focus of the band the entire time they were writing their songs. I bought this copy of Badmotorfinger in Cleveland Ohio before a recent Red Fang show at The Beachland Ballroom. The remaster sounds better than ever on 180 gram, with revamped artwork in a gatefold cover. Dare I say, it looks better than ever as well. The Soundgarden camp is doing an excellent job with these reissues, and I highly recommend them. This music was recorded analog and was always meant to be listened to on vinyl. Dig it. And go get it.