Might as well give this a shot then, tune your music systems to...
Screaming Life / Fopp
So this is a compilation album of two early EPs, Screaming Life (1987) and Fopp (1988). While it technically only came out after 1989's Louder Than Love, it's probably best to begin here to get that authentic sound. Cornell’s voice seems almost fully formed from the moment you put the record on, and while Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron and Hiro Yamamoto go on to bigger heights later, their potential is easy to hear.
Apparently Hunted Down was Sub Pop’s hold music, and the only single released from Screaming Life. The cover of that EP features a photo by Charles Peterson who would go on to chronicle the rise of grunge with his black and white photos. Fopp was an EP with 2 and a half covers, most notable just for demonstrating that Soundgarden weren’t your garden-variety metal band, instead drawing influences from all over the place. This compilation was remastered in 2013 and some bonus tracks are available, but I’ve ignored them now.
1. Hunted Down
3. Tears to Forget
4. Nothing to Say
5. Little Joe
6. Hand of God
7. Fopp [Ohio Players cover]
8. Fopp (Fucked Up Heavy Dub Mix)
9. Kingdom Of Come
10. Swallow My Pride [Green River cover]
What they say
“Screaming Life/Fopp is music that seemed to want to save hair-metal, not do away with it. And in that sense, it’s a halting, hesitant half-triumph.” Pitchfork
“Screaming Life speaks of a band finding its way through a mire of colliding ideas and sounds that would all eventually become quintessential to the group’s sound.” Consequence of Sound
“Somewhere between their metal roots and the full articulation of the sound they'd realize shortly, Screaming Life is rooted firmly in generic post-Sabbath riffery and Chris Cornell's absent-minded howling. Suffering from equally generic production, much of the album comes off as listless or stifled, even though hints of future greatness peek through at times.” AllMusic
Interested to hear what the people of DiS think...