Soundgarden - Louder Than Love

Thumped Album Club Week 49: Soundgarden – Louder Than Love (1989)

For all the wrong reasons, week 49 of Thumped Album Club features Soundgarden‘s second album Louder Than Love, from 1989

Louder Than Love is the second studio album by the American rock band Soundgarden, released on September 5, 1989 through A&M Records. After touring in support of its first full-length studio album, Ultramega OK (1988), Soundgarden signed with A&M and began work on its first album for a major label. The songs on the album featured a metal-leaning grunge sound with some songs featuring unusual or unorthodox time signatures.

Because of some of the song lyrics, a Parental Advisory sticker was placed on the album packaging. Louder Than Love would become the band’s first album to chart on the Billboard 200. The band supported the album with tours of North America and Europe. It was the last Soundgarden album to feature the band’s original bassist, Hiro Yamamoto.

Soundgarden - Louder Than Love

Three listens before commenting, please, either further down the page or over on the forum. All previous Album Club selections can be found at


  1. Hands All Over is the best song of all time. I never make it through the rest. It's time to make the effort methinks.

    10/10 though, obviously.

  2. I had this years ago. It was a 2 CD set, louder than love & badmotorfinger. They were the only CDs I ever had that got disc rot. Became unplayable, had to throw it out. I bought BMF again but not LTL. Must give it a listen.

  3. I had the same 2CD set! The one with the white cover with small photos of the albums on the front. Must have been late '94 or early '95, but I traded it in somewhere for pennies when I got both separately a couple of years later so no idea if it got disc rot.

    I didn't get it at first, I mean I was intrigued but it sounds so different compared to BMF and Superunknown, even though those sound quite different from each other too. Took me longer to get into it than the others but it's probably my third favourite, after UMOK and Superunknown.

    I was morto hearing Big Dumb Sex for the first time, obviously.

  4. Probably 1990 when I heard this. The girl I was going out with at the time had the record. We played it a lot. This is the album that introduced me to drop D tuning. I used to love playing along to this. Everyone does say the voice, the voice, the voice. I have a love/hate relationship with Cornell's voice, which went more in the hate direction as time went on. I prefer when he sings (fell on black days) instead of wailing (though I do love Slaves and Bulldozers).

  5. it's pretty rude alright

    i think i'm only hearing it for the first time now, i was never a particular soundgarden fan

  6. Jaysus. 1989. I became obsessed with this record after seeing Chris Cornell and Kim Thayil interviewed by Vanessa Warwick on Headbanger’s Ball. They were eating apples and being cheeky, then they played the Hands All Over video and I was sold. Listened to the LP again last night. Still great.

    A year or two after this came out I used to buy anything Soundgarden-y that came in to Freakout Records on South William St. One day I went and and they told me that they’d got something really good in, and they dramatically revealed a cheap looking joke-shop battery operated hand and wrist. It had Soundgarden – Hands All Over clumsily stamped on it and was priced at £15. I told them that there was no way I was paying £15 for a stupid hand. “But we got it in for you. You have to buy it.” I repeated that there was no way I was paying £15 for a stupid hand. As I left the shop, I heard one of them saying “you’ll be back”. I never bought the hand. Did any of you? Ebay gold now, I reckon.

  7. I don't think I can listen to this album again for a few days, especially not 'I Awake'. I know what the lyrics are really about but, y'know, taking on new meaning and all that.

  8. They were such dicks in that shop.

  9. The story put about was that Hiro, the old bass player, wrote lyrics for that song on a scrap of paper and Cornell decided to sing the note from his girlfriend scrawled on the back of it instead.

  10. I was on the road a few days ago and gave it a run on the headphones. As a precursor, it's kinda always been my least liked of their records. The bass isn't mixed great at all,Chris isn't recorded well. Got into the soundscapes a lot more, it's very textured. They more or less reverted to power trio for badmotorfinger but there's a lot of guitar space on this that didn't reappear till superunkown. Think I'm biased on this one. I prefer king animal and although I like what hiro Yamamoto does, I'm more into the Ben shepherd era. Gonna say 3/5- I've heard blistering live versions of some of these (Gun made an amazing live b-side to something from DOTU). +++For the jam vibe, the sarcasm and the wierd riffs —-for the recording

    Contemplating Chris Cornell and listening to a lot of SG this week. It's not nice to say but he wrote wonderfully about depression, doubt, anxieties. Some of it makes tough awkward listening in context. Some of it is beautiful. Once they figured out to record him, what a voice!

  11. ann post said:

    (Gun made an amazing live b-side to something from DOTU).Click to expand…

    I think that was the Burden In My Hand single. The 'Gun' B-side is from a gig at the Whisky that might have been recorded for a live video but never officially released – I got it as an Italian bootleg called Fortissimo. The whole show (or maybe shows, I think it was edited from two sets at the same venue) is great, Beatles and Spinal Tap covers and everything.

  12. Just looked it up on Discogs – not a Beatles cover on this one, but Spinal Tap's 'Big Bottom' and a Cheech and Chong song. It was released on video as Louder Than Live.

  13. Marc Maron did his usual WTF episode repost of someone who has died. Chris sounds chipper and give a good perspective on the whole Seattle thing. Nice to hear proper, knowledgable discussion on the early days and how Soundgarden fit into it. He give an interesting opinion on Mother Love Bone and how they could have actually saved Rock.
    Find it here

  14. that link just comes up as a bunch of code.

  15. halfway through my first spin of this and liking it way more than I expected. I wasn't gonna bother cos I wasn't that mad on the last one that appeared here. I've never heard any other Soundgarden than that (and now this).

    Ideal listening for a nice day and his voice comes across great. Sort of reminds me of something I can't fully place (maybe Ozzy Osbourne in places). Have a slight worry I might get sick of it before the end and I have little doubt I won't come back to it after a few listens for album club. Still, expectations were low and they've been exceeded.

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