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4.8 out of 5 stars
Temple of the Dog
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2001
Format: Audio CD
"Now I'm warm from the candle/ But I feel too cold to burn/ He came from an island/ And he died from the street/ He hurt so bad like a soul breaking/ But he never said nothing to me/ Say hello to heaven..."
Understand, Temple of the Dog was not meant to be a commodity. IT was a one time collaboration of several talented musicians to honor the memory of Andrew Wood, the late lead singer of Mother Love Bone. Chris Cornell, Mike McCready, Matt Cameron, Jeff Ament, and Stone Gossard joined their efforts to create this album. Eddie Vedder's voice is present in certain songs. All in all, this is an amazing collection of emotion-driven ballads, mellow yet powerful, representing a tough time.
The most recognizable song on here would probably be "Hunger Strike", in which Cornell and Vedder sing separately, then together. If you are a fan of Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, or Mother Love Bone, this should interest you. I think that anyone who appreciates the mellow side of grunge rock will like TOTD. Remember it was only meant to be a one-time thing and enjoy it for all it's worth.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This is one of my favorite cd's. I am very bummed that this is the only cd they released. "Wooden Jesus" is fantastic, and of course "Hunger Strike" is great! I have a really hard time mentioning just a few songs because all of them are spectacular!!! This cd is a must have for every collection!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I used to be a big fan of today's alternative rock when I was in high school, but as I grew older I realized the lyrics were depressing, meaningless, profanity laden rants about the lead singer's unhappy childhood.

People were telling me today's alt rock couldn't compare to the stuff put out in the 90's, and after buying Soundgarden's A-sides I saw what they were talking about. Here was a band that rocked hard, produced catchy tunes, and while the lyrics were still depressing, they meant something universal and could be communicated without cursing.

I really liked Soundgarden and the song "Hunger Strike" so I decided to pick this albumn up. Songs "Wooden Jesus" and "Your Savior" mock condecending televangalists and other religious folk while "Four Walled World", "Times of Trouble" and "All Night Thing" are songs of loss and hope. Every song on here is top notch and they all flow smoothy together. It would've been better if Cornell and co. had recorded one more song, and "Reach Down" is a little long, but if you like Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, or grunge, you need to listen to this. It's amazing
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Although numerous journalists, reviewers and aficionados have a penchant for dubbing Temple of the Dog the finest album that either Chris Cornell or Eddie Vedder have ever worked on, there lies an element of misguided truth in all the bluster.

Temple of the Dog is not a difficult album to love. It showcases much of what is great about the musicians involved (Soundgarden's singer Cornell and drummer Matt Cameron; and Pearl Jam's guitarist Stone Gossard, bassist Jeff Ament, lead guitarist Mike McCready and singer Vedder), and perhaps that which is unfortunately conspicuous by its absence or under-use in each band's catalogue.

The album is a requiem of sorts to Andy Wood - former roommate of Cornell and frontman for Mother Love Bone, of which Gossard and Ament were both members. Wood's death of a heroin overdose on the eve of the release of MLB's much-vaunted debut album Apple in 1990, is seen as something of a watershed moment for the burgeoning Seattle scene - the loss of an illusory innocence for the scene itself, a wake-up call for some (and sadly not others), and precipitating the birth of Pearl Jam.

The opening two tracks, `Say Hello 2 Heaven' and the epic `Reach Down' are the two that most apparently recall Wood in both a sensitive and luminous light, with the latter giving Mike McCready free-reign to solo for over 4 minutes continuously in what was effectively his debut professional recording. Similarly, `Hunger Strike' gave Vedder his debut lead vocal recording, combining with Cornell in a duet of two of their generation's finest and most distinctive voices.

Stylistically, the album sails closer to the MLB psychedelic/funk/glam-metal than any Soundgarden or Pearl Jam record has and is a refreshing counterpoint to each band's signature sound. The album is not an ode to Wood per se - with Cornell discoursing on many subjects found in his Soundgarden lyrics: the natural world and encroaching modernity and industrialisation (`Pushin Forward Back'), social inequality (the hit `Hunger Strike') and Christian evangelism (`Wooden Jesus') alongside tracks that are obliquely about Wood (`Call Me A Dog' and `Times of Trouble'), with Cornell's most graceful and sophisticated ballad (`All Night Thing') closing the proceedings.

Temple of the Dog is an album and a project however, that prospered as a result of circumstance and timing. Had Pearl Jam's debut `Ten' already have been released when this album was conceived, the impression is that it would not have been anywhere near as good. As such, Temple is a collaborative effort guided by Cornell's vision and NOT a supergroup as some would posit - there were no particular time restraints or pressures placed on the musicians; no egos to be kept in check and most importantly no subconscious attempts to out-manoeuvre each other. As Ament concludes in the liner notes, "no analyzing. No pressure. No hype. Just music to make music. Friends and a reason."
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Well, what were you expecting? You add two of the greatest bands from the 90's (among my favorites, as well) and you get an amazing record. It's simple math, really.

For those who don't know of the tragic story, well, you can probally read what the reviewers have said, but I will tell you anyways. By 1990, the grunge movement was growing rapidly by the day. Mother Love Bone was a band whos famous/infamous members included Jeff Ament (PJ bass), Stone Gossard (PJ rhythm guitar), and Andy Wood. On March 19,1990 Andy Wood died of an apparent heroin overdose.

Long story short, Chris Cornell (Soundgarden vocals), a good friend of Andy Woods, brought together Matt Cameron (Soundgarden drums), Mike McCready (Pearl Jam lead guitar), Stone Gossard (Pearl Jam rhythm guitar), and Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam vocals), for this intensly emotional album. It is nothing like the great album Soundgarden put out later that year, Badmotorfinger, but sounds more like an album Pearl Jam would have put out in the middle of their career.

If there is one thing that stands out on this album, its most definitely the vocals that Chris Cornell so gracefully exerts. The pain of Say Hello 2 Heaven, the famous duo with Vedder on Hunger Strike, the bluesy tone in Call me A Dog, and the operatic power on Times of Trouble and Four Walled World is just flatout amazing. Never, in other album, does a singer produce this many high caliber performances. Cornell is truly one of the greatest rock vocalists to have lived.

Unfortunately the only songs from this album to get significant radio-play are Say Hello 2 Heaven and Hunger Strike. This album is full of gems. Reach Down with its intensity and nasty guitar licks from McCready. Call me A Dog with its romantic aura, and a scream that is the father of all screams. Times of Trouble with its depressing harmonica, and Cornells somber, yet powerful baritone. Wooden Jesus with its passionate metaphors. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the lyrics on this album. Great stuff. Metaphors galore. Four Walled World is a vocal showcase in which Cornell will wail you out of your chair.

The point is, this is truly one of the greatest albums of the 90's, and is sad that it doesn't receive the attention it should. It might take you a few trips to find it in a store, but I assure you that upon buying it you will be mystified, whether it is by Cornells undeniable vocal talent, McCreadys screaming guitar, the lyrics, or simply the many great melodies that appear on this album. o_O
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Cornell as a songsmith says he is proud of this work, and the other TOD members must be as well. And some might say it is just soundjam plus pearlgarden, but it ain't. This is a far superior thing than just the sum of two parts, like a dialectically new creation in a more developed state.
It is amazing how the process of mourning and grieving a close friend would give such a masterpiece. Here is such a commitment to the memory of a prodigy that the music flows just like a feeling. The opener tune "Say Hello 2 Heaven" is heavenly in deed, with a cool starting arpegio followed by a heavy riff, great songcraft (..words never listen teachers they never learn...). Next "Reach Down" the hardest song of the set, still goes on the passed friend memory, and has a wonderful guitar solo interlude, twin guitars (McCready, Gossard, Cornell?)and in some bars a third one added. "Hungerstrike" depicts the first appearance of Vedder, who happened to rehearse with their future mates, sharing in great form the frontman duties with Cornell, whose vocals reach a wide pitch register through out the record. I like the lyrics (...I don't mind stealing bread from the mouths of decadence but I can't feed on the powerless when my cup's already overfilled....but I'm growing hungry...). "Pushing Forward Back" is a grinding tune composed by Gossard/Ament written by Cornell. But hey, none of the remaining songs are fillers, everyone is a piece of art and feeling on its own right. Try "Call me a Dog", I cannot help humming the chorus thru' all my working day (...and when it's my time to throw the next stone I'll call u beautiful if I call at all ...), Cornell's vocals are really impressive. He won't reach as higher a note as say Gillan or Byron, but what strenght and feeling, changing effortlessly to the bass registers. "Times of trouble" is another cowork of Gossard and Cornell, the acoustic guitar arpegios gives a sense of solemnity, and the lyrics shows their concern about the skag risks. "Wooden Jesus" makes you think of fake religious preachers, I ain't sure what Chris really means, but I, too, geez will cut you in on 20% of my future sin. "Your Savior" is a grungy tune, again a cowork, depicts a funkier edge on the guitar riffs underneath Cornell's great voice. "Four Walled World" rhythmically takes you back to the SH2H or CMAD territories, another great song. Last but not least "All Night Thing" softer tune to take us out of an amazing set o songs. What's left to say? Aye! the rhythm section never looses a note, Ament's bass and Cameron's skins beating and cymbals chimimg throughout all the songs are perfect. Although comparisons are hateful, I would rate Cameron in the same quality of drummers as Ginger Baker, Ian Paice or the late Keith Moon, a small step ahead of the also late Bonzo. Thank you Temple of the Dog for this masterpiece, I share your grieve and won't ask for more. Thanx my daughter for asking me to buy you this cd.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2008
Format: Audio CD
In Seattle, the grunge movement had already gone underway a few years before it was made a national phenomemnon in the early nineties. These earlier years of the Seattle scene were alot less produced, and alot more underground sounding. Also, they scream in a lot of ways about flipping off the establishment and embracing the demons and not to mention, are excellent records. Many names on the scene at this time went on to bigger and better successes once the ball got rolling, but one of the big names in Seattle before the grunge boom was a band called Mother Love Bone. Their ride was cut short when lead singer met an all to common demise in '91.
When the scene boomed, it was apparent to many that a tribute needed to be payed to the man, and his contributions to the scene in general. The remaining members of the band put this one together, with a few of their friends from Soundgarden, and an up and comer at the time, Eddie Vedder.
I'm sure many have heard the song HUNGER STRIKE on the radio, as it still continues to get frequent radio play, but the rest of this album is an absolute classic, with song for song being a collection of hidden gems.
The album is a good line between the early grunge scene and the scene that became a huge commercial success. I recommend this to anyone who is new to bands like Soundgarden and Pearl Jam etc. and I also recommend going back a ways to bands like Mother Love Bone and any of the above bands albums before 1991. You will notice that a lot of them are a lot more free spirited, and I always see this album as one that ushered in some darker days... but thats what made grunge popular in the first place, no? A must have for alternative and grunge fans... Temple of The Dog.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
And I say that without the slightest shred of pretense or hype. I bought this CD the day it came out in 1991, and through the ensuing 13+ years it has just kept getting better.
I find it frankly mindboggling that anyone lacking the musical sense to appreciate this album would bother reviewing anything but their own reasons for continuing to live. Every single note is deeply emotive and powerful; I can't think of a single album I liked more since, and prior...I'd have to go back to Zeppelin at least, and maybe even to Sgt. Pepper.
Knowing the backstory of the album just makes it even more powerful. Those who dismiss it as pretentious or self-absorbed can be no more than emotionally crippled automatons living in a dull gray world of banality and mediocrity; nothing else could explain such an attitude toward this wonderful 55 minutes.
When the Stainds and Nicklebacks and Days of the News and Limp Bizkits and Creeds (*spit*) of the world are nothing more than long-forgotten and painful memories of a bad parody of real music, this genuine, heartfelt, quality rock, played from the soul and with ridiculous levels of talent to boot, will remain as the little unheard-of album that set the standard for decades to come.
Today's crop of corporate-constructed, mass-produced dreck don't even possess the presence of mind to know that they should pray to whatever diety they hold dear that maybe someday they might get lucky and create something with a thousandth of the power, talent, and value of this incredible album.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I originally bought this album in early 1991 long before Nirvana released Nevermind and Pearl Jam released Ten. I was then and still am now a huge fan of Chris Cornell. I loved Soundgarden then and bought anything that Cornell was involved in. Mother Love Bone was a favorite as well. When I initially listened to this album I had some songs that were my favorites but was not initially a fan of the whole album. After listening to the album several times there were songs that initially didn't pop out that I liked. This is a great album from start to finish. Hunger Strike of course became a hit almost a year after it was released because of the popularity of the Seattle bands at that time. Their are some other true gems on this album Call Me A Dog is a great song for Cornell to unleash his powerful voice. Times of Trouble still gives me chills to hear it now. That song is followed by two great songs that may not appear to be that great until you listen to them a few times but Wooden Jesus and Your Saviour are classics in my book. Cornell was going threw some very troubling issues at that particular time when these songs were written and recorded because he wrote a lot of songs during that time about faith. He also had the two songs on Soungarden's Badmotorfinger album, Jesus Christ Pose and Holy Water, that used religious imagery as well. If you don't have this album buy it and if you do have it pull it out once in a while and remind yourself how good this album is.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This is a fantastic album because it wasn't made to be put out and then toured in support of or to make Temple of the Dog superstars. This album was made for the sake of making music, it was in memory of Andrew Wood the late frontman of Mother Love Bone. Andrew's loss was so much to Chris Cornell, Jeff Ament, and Stone Gossard that they decided to get together in tribute for him. They all shared the same pain and most of that loss and frustration is put into these songs, but is therapy to them, they needed to get it all out. Even though this is mostly Chris' album Matt Cameron from Soundgarden(at the time)and Mike McCready come in to complete the lineup. Eddie Vedder has a guest spot on a few songs and he would go on with Mike, Jeff, and Stone to complete Pearl Jam, known at the time as Mookie Blaylock, who would've known this album would be history in the making? I won't point out tracks and say their good points because I think this album should be listened to as a whole instead of the singles. To sum up Jeff's message in the album sleeve, "Real Music. NO Analyzing. No Pressure. No Hype. Just music to make music. Friends and a reason. Chemistry. Beauty. Life Rules!!" I think that jeff pretty much summed this album up, now you have to buy it and feel exactly what they were feeling.
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