It’s hard to believe that the legendary Seattle band’s commercial breakthrough album is nearly drinking age, but: Soundgarden’s Superunknown turns 20 this year and is getting not one, but two 20th anniversary releases this summer.

The album’s deluxe edition, out June 3, will feature the remastered album along with a second disc of demos, rehearsals and B-sides. The “super deluxe edition” will span 5 CDs and will contain the remastered album, additional demos, rehearsals and B-sides. The fifth disc is for hard-core audio files, it’s the album mixed in Blu-ray Audio 5.1 Surround Sound. And if you’re still loyal to vinyl, there’s also going to be a 2-LP gatefold of the original 16 vinyl tracks remastered on 200-gram vinyl.

The band also made a never before heard rehearsal recording of their song “The Day I Tried To Live,” which will be on the demos and b-sides disc of both editions. Listen below.

Superunknown took the band, which had graduated from the underground Seattle scene to mainstream radio. The album surprised some by debuting at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and catapulted them to headlining status. Still, they were unusual compared to any mainstream band: the lead single, “Spoonman,” literally featured a guy who played spoons as a musical instrument. Artis The Spoonman, as he was called, opened several dates on Soundgarden’s tour and joined them on stage, spoons in hand, for his big moment each night.

Thanks to his performance on the 1991 Temple Of The Dog supergroup, and his solo performance of “Seasons” on the 1992 Singles soundtrack, the world knew that Chris Cornell could sing, but by ’94, Soundgarden were ready for a bit of crooning. And it paid off: “Black Hole Sun,” “Fell On Black Days” and “The Day I Tried To Live” got major exposure not just on alternative radio, but on MTV, without alienating (too many of) their older fans.

Speaking of spinning the black circle, there’s going to be a Record Store Day exclusive limited edition vinyl box set with five 10″ EPs containing the Superunknown singles and associated b-sides with newly interpreted artwork sleeves by Josh Graham.  Record Store Day is April 19.

Check out the full tracklist for both editions at The 20th anniversary editions of Superunknown are out June 3.

Brian Ives, 


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