247: TEMPLE OF THE DOG

When Andrew Wood of Mother Love Bone tragically died, his friend Chris gathered some of his fellow Seattle rockers to launch Temple of the Dog as tribute to Wood. To look back now, one might consider Temple of the Dog a supergroup, given “Chris” was actually Chris Cornell, and the “fellow Seattle rockers” is the entire current roster of Pearl Jam. Nobody had yet understood the grunge explosion that was about to take place though, and none of these people had seen the fame they eventually would. So Temple of the Dog are not so much a supergroup as they are a testament to the icon-birthing scene that was Seattle in the early 90s.

The band only released one album, a self-titled full length, in April 1991, and only every performed live twice during their initial existence (both times prior to the album being released).

As Soundgarden and Pearl Jam both continued to build momentum, Temple of the Dog came to an end without any real tour or promotion for the album. A year later, the label would realise what they had on their hands as both Soundgarden and Pearl Jam were receiving considerable attention with their new albums, and a fresh promotion push was made.

There were intermittent, unofficial Temple of the Dog reunions throughout the years, with Pearl Jam occasionally welcoming Cornell on stage (thus having the complete TotD lineup on stage) for a song or two.

In 2016, for the 25th anniversary of the album, Temple of the Dog reunited for their first and only official tour. Fans flocked go these shows for a chance to finally see a band that had risen to legendary status in the last two decades.

The reunion was, of course, short lived. A year later Chris Cornell was gone, and this bonus chapter of the Temple of the Dog story came to an end. But, fir a brief moment, the world was reminded that a group of Seattle legends once came together to honour an old friend, and made an incredible grunge album to boot.