Release Date: May 19, 2017
Record label: Sony Legacy
Genre(s): Soundtrack, Pop/Rock
The following review originally ran on May 15th, 2017. “I was just nowhere near your neighborhood.” There’s a natural grace to Cameron Crowe’s Singles. All too often, the 1992 romantic comedy is cheaply sold as a nostalgic time capsule of Seattle’s alternative rock scene, but it’s not really that at all. Rather, it’s an unpretentious and innocent meditation on the chaos and creation of everyday romances, something Crowe knows how to capture with addicting precision.
Andrew Wood died of a heroin overdose in March of 1990, rending his tight-knit Seattle music community. As often happens in creatively fueled local scenes, community members rallied and turned their grief into art. Wood's roommate Chris Cornell recruited Wood's erstwhile Mother Love Bone bandmates Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard to record some songs he'd been working on.
Any other week, a review of the reissue of the Singles soundtrack would open with a nod to the '90s, maybe something about pagers or Friends or Cameron Crowe's streak of decidedly average movies that delighted white people all over America. And really, that's the review I wish I could write. But less than 48 hours before the two CD deluxe edition was to hit shelves and whatever passes for shelves in the streaming/downloading world, Chris Cornelldied.
Grunge wasn't quite the musical revolution it's been painted. For all the clichés about the rise of music from the sodden Pacific North-West suddenly sweeping the pretty boys off the Hollywood streets, for many the explosion had been a long time coming. For a whole generation of fans weened on releases from SST and Homestead Records and the music of Hüsker Dü, The Replacements, Volcano Suns and Big Dipper it was business as usual, albeit in a rather larger spotlight.