Turn That Noise Down - Singles

So many well-known albums turn 30 this year and Steve Taylor-Bryant and Susan Omand travel back to 1992 to revisit some of the sounds of their youth that made parents shout "Turn that noise down!" This week, Steve loves Alice in Chains...

I love Alice in Chains.

I’m not sure if I’m allowed to include soundtracks in these Turn That Noise Down retrospectives [you made the rules to begin with, so we'll call it a "Work Event" - Ed] but I’m going to write about this one anyway. Mainly, because it gives you a snapshot of all those bands I loved in that 1992 period, it puts back into the public consciousness a film that is severely underrated, and it gives me a second chance to start an article with the comment ‘I love Alice in Chains’.

For those who don’t know, Singles was a film written and directed by Cameron Crowe, set in and about Seattle in the grunge era and starring some of the early 90’s biggest names. The likes of Bridget Fonda, Kyra Sedgwick, Matt Dillon, Jeremy Piven and more came together in what is essentially a John Hughes Brat Pack movie for the new decade, a Breakfast Club/Sixteen Candles/Friends crossover set against plaid shirts, coffee houses and great music and… Okay, now I see why it’s not loved much by newer generations of film fans, it is most definitely done for era of music loving film goers, but! It’s still a great movie, one of the few to take that city and that moment in musical history and do anything worthwhile with it and it spawned of course the best mixtape ever in its soundtrack.

Alice in Chains kick us off with Would? and they only got one song on this soundtrack whilst Pearl Jam got two but it’s okay, honestly I’m over it, I don’t bear grudges, have I told you how much I love Alice in Chains? Next up is the aforementioned PJ with Breath followed by Seasons by Chris Cornell which I loved at the time but resonates more with me since his passing and was the first glimpse of what that voice could do outside of Soundgarden. Paul Westerberg’s Dyslexic Heart, which is forgotten about, and The Lovemongers Battle of Evermore bring us to the about half way point and the sadly missed Andrew Wood who fronted, in my opinion, one of the best grunge acts Mother Love Bone and their Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns.

Big name double header is next with Soundgarden followed again by Pearl Jam with Birth Ritual and State of Love and Trust respectively, then Overblown by the always good and yet not that famous Mudhoney. Waiting for Somebody by Paul Westerberg, followed by the obligatory Jimi Hendrix inclusion May This Be Love, takes us up towards the end point and Screaming Trees Nearly Lost You and Smashing Pumpkins Drown which, at about 8 minutes, is about 4 minutes too much Billy Corgan for my liking.

If you ever needed a snapshot of a distinct moment in musical history you’d have to go a long way to find a better example of such a massive seismic shift than Singles. Or, you could just watch the film and go about your day. Up to you.

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