Saturday, October 8, 2016

CD/DVD/Blu-Ray Review: Temple Of The Dog Gets Remixed For 25th Anniversary Release

Back in 1990, grunge music was still in its infancy. Bands like Guns N Roses, Poison and Warrant still ruled the airwaves with their slick guitar solos and power ballads. A Seattle band named Mother Love Bone was to change that with their raw, arena-filled power chords and truthful, honest lyrics, but it was not meant to be. Andrew Wood, lead singer and the driving force behind the band died from an drug overdose days before the release of the band's debut album "Apple." Emotionally crushed by the loss of their friend and musical companion, the members of the band dealt with the loss the only way they knew how, by creating new music in the studio.

Lead by rising hard rock/grunge singer Chris Cornell (Soundgarden), he gathered together Jeff Ament (bass), Stone Goossard (guitar), Mike McCready (guitar) and Matt Cameron (drums) to record some song ideas he had as a tribute to Wood. The recording sessions were the perfect remedy for them to recover from the loss of their friend. The chemistry was so good, that they decided to write and record an entire album. It was then released in early 1991 through A&M Records with little fanfare.

Then later on that year, grunge exploded with the new releases of Nirvana's album "Nevermind," Soundgarden's album "Superunknown," and Pearl Jam's album "Ten." The popularity of these albums grew so quickly that the Temple Of The Dog album began to get recognized as an all-star band release, not realizing that is was recorded prior to those other albums. With Pearl Jam and Soundgarden becoming such huge acts, the Temple Of The Dog album was left to fend for itself without a tour or self-promotion, just the video for the song "Hunger Strike" to promote it.

Now, 25 years later, it has become one of the biggest cult-grunge albums to come out of the nineties and to celebrate, Universal Music Group has released a super-deluxe edition of the album. It features a brand new remix of the original album done by Brendan O'Brien, who also did the new remix of "Ten" for its 20th anniversary. Included in the super deluxe edition  box set are 2CDs/DVD/Blu-ray along with a full-color poster and 40-page booklet of lyrics, liner notes and photos.

The original album sounds clean as the new mix modernizes the band's grunge sound with each instrument sounding crisp and clear. Three bonus alternate mixes round out the first disc, but the second disc is what fans have been waiting for. It features twelve demos and outtakes from the recording sessions, five of them have never been previously released in any form. Songs like "Angel Of Fire" and "Black Cat" are given to fans for the first time to enjoy.

The DVD showcases all of the live songs that Temple Of The Dog have performed over the last twenty-five years. Temple Of The Dog never properly toured behind the album, but Chris Cornell has stepped in with Pearl Jam to perform some songs from the album every now and then and videos of those live performances are captured on this DVD. The earliest black and white video features Temple Of The Dog in December 1990 performing "Say Hello 2 Heaven" with an unknown Eddie Vedder is standing in the shadows, singing backup.

The Blu-ray includes the original album in new high-resolution 5.1 surround and stereo mixes. It also includes some of the same live videos that are on the DVD, but in high-definition. The sound featured on the Blu-ray is outstanding and displays how special this album was as all of the stars lined-up for this special moment in music history. This new 25th anniversary edition of "Temple Of The Dog" was also released as 2-CD deluxe edition and on double-vinyl. The members of Temple Of The Dog will be hitting the road for the first time this November to perform the songs in a proper live, full-tour setting. To find out more about this absolute must-have from the early days of grunge, please visit

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