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Soundgarden Share Well-Polished ‘Black Hole Sun’ Demo From 1994

Song will also appear on their forthcoming reissue of ‘Superunknown’

Kory Grow Apr 17, 2014
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Soundgarden, 'Superunknown'.  Courtesy A&M Records

Soundgarden, ‘Superunknown’.
Courtesy A&M Records

Soundgarden have offered a glimpse into the creation of one of their biggest hits, “Black Hole Sun,” by sharing a previously unreleased demo of the song, which will later be a part of the deluxe reissue of their 1994 high water mark Superunknown. The demo track, which surfaced via Pitchfork, closely resembles the one that eventually came out as a single, though it’s missing the soaring guitar intro. In addition, frontman Chris Cornell holds onto the song’s lyrics a little longer than he does on the original. But mostly, it’s fairly complete, right down to the vocalist’s megaphone-like recitations of the title.

The demo is one of many that will appear on the Superunknown reissue due this summer in varying degrees of deluxe-ness. The most ostentatious edition ”“ or “Super Deluxe” to keep with the band’s “super” title constructions ”“ contains five discs containing 16 demos, rehearsals, B-sides and a version of the album mixed in Blu-ray Audio 5.1 surround sound. That edition also comes with liner notes by Rolling Stone’s David Fricke, rare photos and reimagined art.


The group also has a special, Superunknown­-related release planned for Record Store Day, April 19th. A box set of vinyl 10-inches, Superunknown: The Singles contains all of the singles that came out around the time of the album and their attendant B-sides.

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To support the release, the band is also hitting the road with another band that had a big record in 1994, Nine Inch Nails. The bands will be touring together in July and August.

Soundgarden showed off a little bit of what fans could expect with their set at the iTunes Festival during South by Southwest. At that gig, they played Superunknown from start to finish for the first time ever. Cornell greeted fans by scanning the crowd with an iPhone and explaining that nearly every song on Superunknown was in a different guitar tuning, which requires breaks between songs. But Rolling Stone’s report said it went smoothly. “The only thing missing was a Cornell stage dive as an exclamation point,” it said.

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