Soundgarden – Down on the Upside: #545 of best 1,000 albums ever!

Soundgarden - Down on the Upside

So why is Soundgarden’s Down on the Upside on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?

I’ve had a bit of an odd relationship with Soundgarden over the years. While I’ve never disliked them, they haven’t one of my favorite bands, either. Thinking it through, it’s likely because I tend to be drawn toward punk rock music versus metal, all things being equal (though to be sure there’s a ton of metal music I like very much – and you can see a bunch of metal albums that have been highlighted on the best 1,000 albums ever project).

But there’s something about Soundgarden’s unique sound – and especially Chris Cornell’s great voice – that kept me coming back.

For my money, the slow-ish, sludgy guitar riff on “Pretty Noose,” mapped against Cornell’s vocals, represents the best that Soundgarden has to offer. And best of all, it’s got a great, catchy chorus (“And I don’t like what you’ve got me hanging from…”) with outstanding vocal harmonizing.

“Burden in My Hand” is a slow-burning, bluesy number that mixes in neo-psychedelic elements and showcases Soundgarden’s versatility. The haunting guitar work and Cornell’s emotional delivery create an atmosphere that’s both heavy and introspective.

There’s a great soft/loud dynamic on “Blow Up the Outside World.” Frankly, I enjoy the “soft” part of the song the most – it’s strange and interesting. The “loud” bit is good too, and builds to a really nice crescendo.

Some stats & info about Soundgarden – Down on the Upside

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, Metal, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, Grunge, Seattle Bands
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating3 out of 5 stars
  • When was Down on the Upside released? 1996
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #545 out of 1,000

Soundgarden’s Down on the Upside on Spotify

A lyrical snippet from Soundgarden’s Down on the Upside that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe

Common ruse, dirty face, pretty noose is pretty hate, and I don’t like what you got me hanging from.

What’s the most interesting thing about Soundgarden’s Down on the Upside that most people don’t know?

Down on the Upside is considered by many to be one of Soundgarden’s most experimental albums, incorporating elements of punk, alternative, and hard rock. It is also notable for being the band’s last studio album with Chris Cornell (who passed away in 2017). It also features the use of unconventional instruments, such as the Theremin, which adds to the experimental vibe.

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.