Soundgarden was able to carve a niche for hard rock in the evolving genre of alternative rock, drawing on influences from Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath combined with intelligence and humor pulled from the underground rock movement.
One of the first bands released on Seattle’s iconic Sub Pop label, they looked to be the first band to break through commercially from the alt rock world, but it was not the case as Nirvana eclipsed them in 1991. Itv was not until 1994 that Soundgarden would have a major successful release with Superunknown. Leading the album was Black Hole Sun, a major international hit that was one of two singles from the album to win a Grammy. After their following album Down on the Upside also delivered multiple hit singles, the band broke up, suffering from internal strife.
After their breakup in 1997, the band members from Soundgarden spent a decade working on other projects. In 2010 Chris Cornell announced that the band was reforming. The band first released a compilation album, before recording new material in 2012.
There was to be no more new material from the band. In 2016 the band announced that they had several songs written for a new record, but in 2017 Chris Cornell was discovered dead in a Detroit hotel room, victim of an apparent suicide. Soundgarden cancelled the remainder of their tour.
After two years of debating the future of the band guitarist Kim Thayil announced that the band name Soundgarden would be retired. Other than appearing at a tribute concert for Cornell, the surviving band members have not played together.