Soundgarden/ Echo Of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across The Path (A & M, 2014)
At last! The long promised, often threatened Soundgarden box set is here. Comprised of three discs (Covers, Originals, and Oddities), every single non-LP song has been compiled under one roof. I wish that every band would do this. No endless bullshit repackaging of all of your albums, no 10 disc box sets padded with songs that you already own because you own every album, this is the real deal.
Not everything here is a winner, but I am glad that has all been comprehensively collected in one place. Disc One, Originals, is a mishmash of leftovers compiled from B-sides, international and vinyl bonus tracks, soundtracks, and other various '90s compilation cash grabs so prevalent in the pre-Napster world. Disc Two- Covers, varies in quality. Disc Three- Oddities is exactly what it says on the tin. Instrumentals, works in progress, and alternate remix versions. Some of them are interesting. Black Days III is pretty cool, a way heavier version of Fell On Black Days.
The remixes are pure crap. So many '90s bands did these. Rock was considered stupid, and if you liked Rock then that meant that you must also be stupid. So by having crappy techno/dub-tinged remixes, bands showed how hip and now they were. Maybe it was because the Internet was new and everybody wanted to show how “tech savvy” they were and were afraid to say that these sucked. I said it then and I say it now: It sucked.
So this box set is an uneven listen. I am thrilled that all of these odds and ends were compiled in this collection even if many of them are leftovers for a reason. I will play the first two discs again, and maybe one or two things off of the third disc. Remixes blow. I still love Soundgarden but will stick to the core albums when listening for pleasure.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 3 out of 5.
The OCD zone- A clear plastic box with song titles stamped on it, the CDs are housed in mini-LP-style cardsleeves. There are three plastic inserts on top of the first disc when you pull them out of the case, a sort of Rorschach test sort of imagery. There is also a booklet with tons of liner notes. It is a nice package but seems pricey at $59.99 for three CDs. I am guessing that the high price is due to the packaging. Oh, wait...it went down NINE BUCKS since it came out.