May 21, 1996. Soundgarden releases their fifth studio album, Down on the Upside. They would break up less than a year later.
Soundgarden – Pretty Noose – NBC Studios (Saturday Night Live) May 18, 1996
Soundgarden – Pretty Noose NBC Studios (Saturday Night Live) May 18, 1996Posted by Area Grunge on Friday, December 11, 2020
Lead single "Pretty Noose" dropped before the album, hitting the radio airwaves in March of 1996. It's one of the tracks the band played on 'Saturday Night Live' on May 18, 1996. I know, because I was on a school trip in Montreal and opted to stay in the hotel room instead of going out on St. Catherine St. because I wanted to see Soundgarden on SNL and also because I'm a huge nerd.
Given the constant conflict the band experienced with producer Michael Beinhorn while working on 1994's 'Superunknown,' it's no surprise they opted to self-produce 'Down on the Upside.' Sessions took place from November of '95 until February of '96 at Stone Gossard's Studio Litho in Seattle.
The cover art for third single "Blow Up the Outside World" was originally going to be used as the cover of the album proper. Instead, the band opted for a photograph of themselves in silhouette, snapped by photographer Kevin Westenberg. Westenberg is known for iconic shots of artists like Thom Yorke of Radiohead and Nick Cave.
The fourth and final single from the album would be Soundgarden's final single for sixteen years. After joining the Lollapalooza tour in the summer of '96, the band struck out on their own worldwide headlining tour. Tensions within the band would lead to their breakup in April of 1997.