In the past few years–nearly every one that The Second Disc has been around–there’s been a flurry of activity around the Soundgarden catalogue.
In 2010, shortly after ending a 13-year breakup, the Seattle grunge outfit released Telephantasm, a career-spanning compilation. A year later, Live on I-5 chronicled their last tour from 1996. In 2013 (a year after the release of King Animal, the group’s sixth studio album), the band’s 1990 compilation Screaming Life/Fopp (comprised of their first two EPs for Sub Pop Records) was remastered and expanded; a year later, they reissued their most successful album, Superunknown (1994), and compiled B-sides and rarities into the Echo of Miles box set. Last year saw 25th anniversary editions of both the group’s third album Badmotorfinger (1991) and the sole album by Seattle supergroup Temple of the Dog, featuring frontman Chris Cornell, drummer Matt Cameron and members of Pearl Jam (with whom Cameron now drums for, as well).
So what’s left to unearth? In fact, March sees a crucial revisitation of a key Soundgarden project: the band’s first full-length LP, 1988’s Ultramega OK.
After recording Screaming Life and Fopp in 1987 and 1988 with producers Jack Endino and Steve Fisk, the band decamped to studios in Seattle and Newburg, Oregon with producer Drew Canulette. The group found his style and approach at odds with what they were used to, and felt their strong songs (at this time, a hybrid of ’60s garage and ’70s metal) was lost in the shuffle. The group even approached Endino to remix the album for a later release, but upon signing to A&M Records and working on Louder Than Love (1990) decided to put the project on hold.
Until now. In 2016, Endino finally got the chance to remix Ultramega OK, and Sub Pop will reissue the album on March 10. The album, available on CD, double vinyl LP and cassette, will also feature six previously unreleased outtakes of Ultramega OK songs recorded with Endino in 1987, offering a truly alternative look at these songs as they were first heard. Endino and guitarist Kim Thayil will contribute liner notes, and the package will include a previously unseen photograph of the band by Sub Pop photographer Charles Peterson.
You can order this long-awaited re-entry in the Soundgarden catalogue at the Amazon links below, or at the Sub Pop Mega Mart, which will carry a “Loser” marbled blue and maroon variant of the vinyl (also available at select indie retailers).
Soundgarden, Ultramega OK: Expanded Edition (Sub Pop SP-1172, 2017)
- All Your Lies
- Beyond the Wheel
- Mood for Trouble
- Circle of Power
- He Didn’t
- Smokestack Lightning
- Nazi Driver
- Head Injury
- Incessant Mace
- One Minute of Silence
- Head Injury (Early Version)
- Behind the Wheel (Early Version)
- Incessant Mace (Short – Early Version)
- He Didn’t (Early Version)
- All Your Lies (Early Version)
- Incessant Mace (Long – Early Version)
Tracks 1-13 originally released as SST Records 201, 1988 – newly remixed by Jack Ending
Tracks 14-19 previously unreleased