In 1990 Chris Cornell was already famous for his work as frontman of Soundgarden when he decided to pay a tribute to his late friend Andrew Wood and continue his legacy with the friends he left behind from “Mother of Love” to create “Temple of the Dog” with them. So at this point we had Gossard (rhythm guitar), Ament (bass guitar) and Cornell (lead singer and frontman) and to them three other join, among them, Eddie Vedder as backing vocalist.
At the time it was considered one of the first Super Bands, where already experienced musicians got together to form an extraordinary project in a tribute to Chris former roommate, Andrew who died of an heroin overdose in the same year. After this shocking event Chris wrote two songs when touring with Soundgarden, one of them the famous “Say Hello 2 Heaven” dedicated to Andrew and play them with his former bandmates of “Mother of Love”. To this composition he added who would be the rest of the composition of Pearl Jam.
They started by recording mainly covers either to TOTD or Pearl Jam of Andrew’s songs, however soon realise they could be seen as “exploiting” the creativity of their late friend and started developing their own music. And it was when they were in a 15-day work in their first original album ,that would be homonymous with the band, that Eddie Vedder just came in one of the rehearsals and helped Chris singing “Hunger Strike” which later became one of their most famous songs.
“He sang half of that song not even knowing that I’d wanted the part to be there and he sang it exactly the way I was thinking about doing it, just instinctively”
After releasing the album, the audience did not really get it as it was a mix of 70’s Screaming Rock with the son to be Heavier Rock of Pearl Jam which at the time still did not have an audience. However the band was quite happy with the end result as it did what it was meant for, “A good tribute that our friend Andy would love”. However with the parallel growth of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden this same Album started being regarded as an unique Grunge landmark. In 1992, one year and half after being released, and when PJ was releasing “Ten” and SG “MotherFinger”, “Temple of the Dog” was also chatting top 100 in the Billboards as it has never done before, reaching Platinum.
More than an Album made by a mix of the Greatest of Grunge, it was the reason AudioSlave was later existent in 1994. Cornell understood how much he fancied this first experience with collaborating with other musicians and ended up later creating one of the most important bands of the second half of the 90’s. Many forgot to speak about this landmark that lasted for four years more intensively, and until yesterday forever. In the 23 years that passed since 1994 Chris and Eddie have been busy keeping Grunge Alive, since many of their friends were already gone in the 27 Club. It seams like Now Eddie has to wear the cape of Only Grunge Hero Alive…