Seattle's Best

By: Jason Colthorp
By: Jason Colthorp

In a grunge mood on a Tuesday.

The grunge movement of the early 1990's was way too short-lived.  Forget the fact it introduced an entirely new sound to the music scene, the bands that came out of it and flourished had the coolest names in decades--  "Alice In Chains," "Pearl Jam," "Soundgarden," "Nirvana," and "Screaming Trees."  Seriously, those are sweet band names the likes of which haven't been approached until "The Fluts Capacitors" in the early 2000's.

Some of the reasons why the movement didn't last was for one-- it was just that-- a movement.  They all come to an end sometime.  A big reason was the untimely deaths of Kurt Cobain (Nirvana), Andrew Wood (Mother Love Bone), and Layne Staley (Alice In Chains).  Pearl Jam (formed by members of MLB) rebuked the music establishment limiting its appeal to the mainstream and other groups just couldn't stay together, like Soundgarden and Screaming Trees.  However, this has led to other formations like Foo Fighters, led by Dave Grohl, who was the drummer for Nirvana, and Audioslave (now broken up), which was made up of SG front man Chris Cornell and Rage Against the Machine members.  Both groups kicked out great music, but it was far from what you'd call grunge.  The era also produced some of the greatest voices in Staley, Cornell, Eddie Vedder (PJ) and Mark Lanegan (Trees).  So it's unfortunate the groups didn't last.  But, the restlessness also produced some great collaborations. Cornell and members of Soundgarden teamed with Pearl Jam members to form Temple of the Dog and record one album, mostly a tribute to Wood, Cornell's former roommate.  It produced a huge hit, "Hunger Strike," that featured Vedder on vocals as well.

Screaming Trees was a great band that just couldn't catch on and if you never saw the movie Singles or bought the soundtrack, you probably never heard of them.  Here's the first track from their most successful album Sweet Oblivion released in 1992, "Shadow of the Season."   

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