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Screaming Life is the debut EP by the grunge band Soundgarden, released in October 1987 on Sub Pop. It was recorded in Seattle's Reciprocal Studios by Jack Endino, who also produced Nirvana and Mudhoney. The first 500 copies of the EP were pressed on orange vinyl; after that, they were released on standard black. The EP is somewhat unrepresentative of Soundgarden's later sound, being more akin to "standard" rock n' roll music, much like Kingdom Of Come on the band's next EP, Fopp (later to be combined with the Screaming Life EP and released as a single-CD album).


The song "Hunted Down" was the first song on Sub Pop's "hold music" tape: according to guitarist Kim Thayil, "you would call them up, and when they put you on hold you heard "Hunted Down".


"Nothing To Say" is Soundgarden's first B-side, the A-side of the single being "Hunted Down". The song also appeared on the KCMU compilation tape "Bands That Will Make Money".


"Hand Of God" has an interesting backstory. Jack Endino found old rolls of quarter-inch tape at a garage sale, and some contained recordings of a preacher giving sermons in the early 1950s, but according to Endino the labels were near-illegible so the name of the preacher was lost. Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell had the idea to have a preacher on "Hand Of God", which led Jack to bring in the quarter-inch tape. The recording was synched it up to the eight-track machine, copied to an empty track and by coincidence or because, as Endino says, "God smiled upon us", the tape rolls matched perfectly with the track. Cornell added his own preacher-style words in the bridge, those being "Let it be known today that if you've got two hands you're supposed to pray". Endino still has no idea who the preacher is or where it was recorded.


Track listing

  1. "Hunted Down" (Cornell/Thayil) - 2:42
  2. "Entering" - 4:36
  3. "Tears To Forget" (Yamamoto/Thayil) - 2:00
  4. "Nothing To Say" (Cornell/Thayil) - 4:00
  5. "Little Joe" (Cornell/Thayil) - 4:31
  6. "Hand Of God" (Cornell/Thayil) - 4:27

References

The Unofficial Soundgarden Homepage [1] (http://web.stargate.net/soundgarden)


 
 

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