June 30, 1992: the Singles soundtrack is released and an enduring time capsule of ’90s grunge and alternative rock is created instantly.


Singles Soundtrack: The Ultimate Mix Tape

The ’90s had their fair share of killer movie soundtracks that captured the zeitgeist of the decade. The soundtrack to Clerks comes to mind, as does Last Action Hero. But the timing of the Singles soundtrack is what makes its relevance so definitive.


Released at the beginning of the summer of ’92, the soundtrack brought to the masses the grunge sound that had exploded out of Seattle in the previous year. But it wasn’t just grunge acts on the track list. Alternative rock as a whole was well represented, and artists on the Singles soundtrack would go on to help shape the sound of the decade.


Singles on cassette

I used the mix tape analogy purposefully, as I owned the Singles soundtrack on cassette. And did I ever play the hell out of it. If you recall, the soundtrack dropped in early summer, but the movie didn’t hit theaters en mass until late summer, on September 18. And the movie had even more music that didn’t make it onto the soundtrack!


All these years later, I think I’ve seen the movie approximately one time. The soundtrack I’ve spun through hundreds of times. I’m not saying the film isn’t good or memorable or important, mind you. I’m just saying that the soundtrack is enduring. It captured the musical spirit of the early ’90s and it captured my musical imagination.


To celebrate 30 years of the Singles soundtrack, I’m going to take you song-by-song through the release. And once I do, if you’re feeling nostalgic, there is a 25th Anniversary edition you can pick up on double album or double CD. Too bad it’s not available on double cassette.

  • "Would?"

    The first track is an Alice In Chains song that would wind up as the last track on their Dirt album later in ’92.

  • "Breath"

    An outtake from Pearl Jam’s Ten sessions, and not the last one we’ll hear here.

  • "Seasons"

    It would be years before Chris Cornell would flex his muscles as a solo artist post-Soundgarden, and that’s part of what makes this amazing performance so special.

  • "Dyslexic Heart"

    Ironically, it was a non-Seattle artist that would get their song christened with a single and video.

  • "The Battle of Evermore"

    A Led Zeppelin cover from The Lovemongers, aka Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart. And it’s live!

  • "Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns"

    Originally found on Mother Love Bone‘s self-titled 1990 release. Haunting, heartbreaking, hopeful.

  • "Birth Ritual"

    A Soundgarden outtake from Badmotorfinger. That album’s loss is this album’s gain. What a ripper.

  • "State of Love And Trust"

    The other Ten outtake and, in this writer’s humble opinion, the greatest of all Pearl Jam songs.

  • "Overblown"

    Mudhoney supplying the Seattle grunge scene’s unofficial anthem.

  • "Waiting For Somebody"

    Paul Westerberg back once again, repping the not-from-Seattle contingent.

  • "May This Be Love"

    See, it wasn’t just about grunge. Seattle’s own Jimi Hendrix made the soundtrack, too.

  • "Nearly Lost You"

    You’ll find this one on Screaming TreesSweet Oblivion, too. They weren’t too keen about the soundtrack cutting into their own album’s sales.

  • "Drown"

    And here we have Chicago’s own Smashing Pumpkins bringing it all home with one of their all-time greatest feedback-drenched opuses.

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