Soundgarden is an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington in 1984 by lead singer Chris Cornell, lead guitarist Kim Thayil and bassist Hiro Yamamoto. Matt Cameron became the band's permanent drummer in 1986 while bassist Ben Shepherd became a permanent replacement for Yamamoto in 1990. Soundgarden was one of the seminal bands in the creation of grunge, a style of alternative rock that developed in Seattle, and was one of a number of grunge bands signed to the independent record label Sub Pop.
The band signed to Sub Pop and released the “Screaming Life” EP in 1987 and the “Fopp” EP in 1988. In 1988, Soundgarden signed with legendary punk record label SST Records and released its debut full-length album, “Ultramega OK.”
The band subsequently signed with A&M Records, becoming the first grunge band to sign with a major label. In 1989, Soundgarden released its first album for a major label, “Louder Than Love.” In 1990, the band was joined by a new bassist, Ben Shepherd. The new line-up released “Badmotorfinger” in 1991.
Soundgarden achieved its biggest success with the 1994 album “Superunknown,” which debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart and yielded the Grammy Award-winning singles “Black Hole Sun” and “Spoonman.”
In 1996, Soundgarden released its fifth studio album, “Down on the Upside,” that while successful, could not emulate the precedent set by “Superunknown.” In 1997, the band broke up due to internal strife over its creative direction.
In January 2010, Cornell alluded to a Soundgarden reunion. In April 2010, it was announced that Soundgarden would play Lollapalooza in Chicago in August 2010. A secret reunion concert under the name "Nudedragons" was held at the Showbox at the Market in Seattle on April 16, 2010. It was Soundgarden's first show since 1997.
“King Animal” their sixth studio album, was released in 2012 on Seven Four Entertainment and Republic Records. The album was the band's first in 16 years, and the first not to be released on A&M Records since 1988's “Ultramega OK.”