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Down on the Upside

SoundgardenAudio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)

Price: $4.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 16 Songs, 1996 $7.99  
Audio CD, 1996 $4.99  
Vinyl, 1996 --  
Audio Cassette, 1996 $18.99  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Pretty Noose 4:11$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Rhinosaur 3:14$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Zero Chance 4:18$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Dusty 4:34$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Ty Cobb 3:05$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Blow Up The Outside World 5:45$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Burden In My Hand 4:50$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Never Named 2:27$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Applebite 5:09$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. Never The Machine Forever 3:36$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. Tighter & Tighter 6:06$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen12. No Attention 4:26$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen13. Switch Opens 3:52$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen14. Overfloater 5:08$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen15. An Unkind 2:08$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen16. Boot Camp 2:59$1.29  Buy MP3 

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“When I think of Soundgarden, I think of a sound, I think of one entity, one organic thing,” says singer and guitarist Chris Cornell, “but I guess that the exciting part is that it’s always been really varied.”

Hailed as grunge innovators, Soundgarden redefined rock music for a generation. In the 80s and 90s, the ... Read more in Amazon's Soundgarden Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Down on the Upside + Badmotorfinger + Louder Than Love
Price for all three: $19.43

Buy the selected items together
  • Badmotorfinger $7.14
  • Louder Than Love $7.30

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 21, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: A&M
  • ASIN: B000002G5K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,458 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
71 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easily Soundgarden's best. May 17, 2002
Format:Audio CD
I own every full-length Soundgarden release, but Down on the Upside is without a doubt the best of them. To understand its greatness, one must look at their earlier work.

Soundgarden's early work on Sub Pop and SST certainly stands on its own as genre fare but isn't as accessible and therefore isn't always as listenable as their major-label releases; Badmotorfinger, Soundgarden's first, was a brilliant album technically and lyrically but is really a 'one mood' album which seems to paint itself into a corner fairly quickly; Superunknown, their second, was a commercial smash hit and has some nice tunes, but is a little too easy and too overproduced, weaker than Badmotorfinger artistically and radio-friendly enough that the ultimate 'conversation' gets lost beneath the gloss and the hooks.

Down on the Upside, on the other hand, is an absolutely stunning, mature album. Down on the Upside covers lots of ground -- from post-punk aggro to trippy, swaying, sighing laments to hook-laden, heavy Seattle-esque grooves that easily outshine the best hooks on Superunknown -- and each new note is easily taken in stride. It is on Down on the Upside that Soundgarden finally sound like veteran, established musicians. Production is perfect for the material -- showcasing Thayil's sunlight-tinged riffs and Cornell's voice while managing to stay loose and natural, not forced or clinical as their earlier major-label releases (especially Superunknown) could sometimes sound.

I find Down on the Upside to be reminiscent of Faith No More's Angel Dust, Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti or Sonic Youth's Washing Machine -- all are albums which demonstrate a kind of confident, relaxed subtlety and mastry that can take your breath away.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Raw, loud and trippy March 12, 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Compared to other Soundgarden albums, this one tends to be more raw and bass-heavy than others. It also tends to be a bit more slower and psychodelic than its predicessors, which is why it will take you 3-4 times to really get used to the feel of this release.
I honestly didnt care for DOWN ON THE UPSIDE that much after its first two listenings, but being a hardcore Soundgarden fan, I HAD to give it another chance.....And Im glad I did.
PRETTY NOOSE is your typical radio-friendly type of rock with its upbeat tempo, but after that, Chris Cornell & Company take you on a journey through psychadelic songs (BLOW UP THE OUTSIDE WORLD, APPLEBITE, SWITCH OPENS), a punk song (TY COBB), acoustic laidened tracks (BURDEN IN MY HAND and ZERO CHANCE) and my favorite track, NO ATTENTION has the energy and brutality to leave you wanting more.
After listening to the solo release of Chris Cornell, I can see why Soundgarden broke up...This is truely a release that was done completely as a band. You have slower, emotional songs (BOOT CAMP) and heavy rockers (RHINOSAUR) all in the same breath...A very good final studio recording by the best band in the 90s.
Just give it a chance.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Definitive End of the Grunge Age May 14, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
DOWN ON THE UPSIDE is the finale album from one of the Seattle Three that typified the Grunge Age (Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and Nirvanna) - and can be seen as the swan song of Grunge itself. It eschews the vaguely Zepplinish angle of its predecessor SUPERUNKNOWN, in favor of a raw, up-front approach that befits its genre.
First and foremost in its songs are straight rock like "Pretty Noose" or "Rhinosaur" (the former has an almost Tool-like sound - think "Undertow").
But this album has another side. Songs like "Zero Chance" "Burden in My Hand" and "Switch Opens" are largely acoustic, and keep the album from grating. or becoming too monotonous. The former two, in particular, are wonderful in their simplicity and heartfelt lyrics. The latter is done in a very strange rhythm that gives it a catchy, experimental feel.
On the note of experiment, there is "Applebite", a five-minutes-odd song that seems to be built from third or fourth-generation recordings.
"Ty Cobb" is an angry song that is its own chapter in the album. It begins with 22 seconds of peaceful acoustic music and then, with absolutely no warning, lunges into punk at breakneck speed. Strangely enough, one can hear a banjo or mandolin somewhere in the mix, about halfway through the song, that gives it a sarcastic tinge of folk.
The album builds up to "Tigher and Tighter", which is probably the conceptual peak of the album. From there we find several angles ("No Attention", a song of loathing, and "Overfloater", which rails against dismal, sluggish apathy).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Completely stunning exit piece February 10, 2007
Format:Audio CD
This is the kind of album that makes me wish Soundgarden was still around - about the only memory I had of them when they were still together (when I was still a kid) was the video for Black Hole Sun. Happens with a lot of bands with me, really; by the time I listen to their albums and appreciate their music, they've been well broken up.

Anyhow, although I only have this, Badmotorfinger, and Superunknown, this is by far my favorite, and probably still would be if I owned Ultramega OK and Louder Than Love. Took me a while to get used to it, but I find that the album has incredible diversity that just blows away the already considerable diversity present on its two predecessors - with a range from metal (or grunge, whatever you want to call Soundgarden) (Pretty Noose, Rhinosaur, possibly Blow Up The Outside World, and Never The Machine Forever), punk (Dusty, Ty Cobb, No Attention, Never Named), and psychedelic / Soundgarden's strange but great mix of metal and psychedilic / acoustic-tinged ballads (Zero Chance, Blow Up The Outside World, Burden In My Hand, Applebite, Tighter & Tighter, Switch Opens, Overfloater, An Unkind, Boot Camp). These are just general ideas of the kind of genres that Soundgarden touch upon here - it's tough to lump all these songs into one specific genre, it's more like a blending of a bunch of them on most of the songs.

Finally, if I had to pick a few of the songs on here to dissect, it'd be these:

Pretty Noose - the one I know that got radio play, since it had that familiar feeling when I first heard it. Catchy, yet abnormal, riff and great vocals by Chris Cornell; rhythm section keeps it together pretty well.

Burden In My Hand - on of the more radio-friendly songs on here, like Pretty Noose, but still certainly not a sell-out.
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