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Ultramega OK is the debut studio album by American rock band Soundgarden, released on October 31, 1988 by SST Records. Following the release of the EPs Screaming Life (1987) and Fopp (1988), both for the Sub Pop record label, Soundgarden signed with SST and went to work on their debut full-length. The resulting album contained elements of heavy metal, psychedelic rock, and hardcore punk. The band supported the album with a tour of the United States, as well as its first overseas tour.

Ultramega OK
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 31, 1988
Recorded1988
StudioDogfish Mobile Unit, Seattle, Washington and Newberg, Oregon
Genre
Length42:48
LabelSST
Producer
  • Drew Canulette
  • Soundgarden
Soundgarden chronology
Fopp
(1988)
Ultramega OK
(1988)
Louder Than Love
(1989)
Singles from Ultramega OK
  1. "Flower"
    Released: May 1989

In 1990, the album earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Metal Performance.

Contents

The album was recorded in spring 1988 in Seattle, Washington, and Newberg, Oregon, with producer Drew Canulette. Frontman Chris Cornell said that during the recording sessions the band wasn't on the same page with Canulette. He said, "Material-wise we went through the process that we always do, but the producer wasn't used to the sound we wanted and didn't know what was happening in Seattle."

Later, in a 1995 interview, Cornell admitted "we made a huge mistake with Ultramega OK, because we left our home surroundings and people we'd been involved with and used this producer that really did affect our album in a kind of negative way. The producer was suggested by SST because they could get a good deal. I regret it, because in terms of material, it should have been one of the best records we ever did. It actually slowed down our momentum a little bit because it didn't really sound like us."

Around that same time, veteran Seattle producer Jack Endino, who also produced Soundgarden's first EP, Screaming Life, began the process of remixing the album, and actually completed a rough mix of "Flower". But, due to the band wanting to move on and the financial costs involved with re-pressing and redistributing the record, it was put on hold. The project resumed in 2014 by Jack Endino and Kim Thayil, and was completed in 2017.

Ultramega OK has elements of 1960s psychedelic rock, 1970s hard rock and heavy metal, and 1980s hardcore punk. Drummer Matt Cameron said that the band tried to refine its sound while still trying to keep an edge. Steve Huey of AllMusic said that the album is the "best expression of Soundgarden's early, Stooges/MC5-meets-Zeppelin/Sabbath sound", and added that it is "a dark, murky, buzzing record that simultaneously subverts and pays tribute to heavy metal".

Guitarist Kim Thayil recalls "Flower" as being the first time he blew across his guitar strings. This can be heard during the song's introduction, when they are played in rhythm with the drums. "Circle of Power" was one of the few Soundgarden songs to be written without any input from Cornell, as it was written by Thayil and bassist Hiro Yamamoto. It is also the only Soundgarden song on which Yamamoto performs lead vocals.

"Smokestack Lightning" is a Howlin' Wolf cover. On the original version of the album, "Smokestack Lightning" segued into a distorted excerpt from the Sonic Youth song, "Death Valley '69". Soundgarden included it as a tribute/parody of Sonic Youth's similar sampling of The Stooges song "Not Right" on their "Bad Moon Rising" album. This excerpt was removed from the 2017 reissue of "Ultramega OK".

Cornell said that "Flower" is "about a girl...who becomes a woman and basically invests everything in vanity and then burns out quick." Thayil stated that "Nazi Driver" is about "cutting up Nazis and making stew out of them". Cornell observed that the lyrics and vocals for "Incessant Mace" are "very European Gothic".

Three songs on the album were recorded as jokes or parodies by the band. The songs "665" and "667" are parodies of the idea of Satanic content in rock music, the idea being that if 666 is such a powerful number, then the surrounding numbers must be equally as powerful. The album's closing track, "One Minute of Silence", is a "cover" of John Lennon's "Two Minutes of Silence" from the 1969 album, Unfinished Music No.2: Life with the Lions, excluding Yoko Ono's part. Cornell said that the band "appreciated the Lennon arrangement so much". No instruments are played, although the band (presumably) can be faintly heard in the background. Cornell stated, "We were trying real hard to shut up, but Kim couldn't possibly shut up for a whole minute."

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal9/10
Kerrang!
Rolling Stone

Cornell said, "On [Ultramega OK] the production wasn't what we were after at all, and that sort of hurt us critically." Allmusic staff writer Steve Huey gave the album four out of five stars, saying, "It may not be quite as complex or consistent as some of Soundgarden's later albums, but Ultramega OK is easily the best document of grunge's early, pre-Nirvana days." Ann Powers of Blender said, "Not every moment is brilliant, but it sure is loud."

"Flower" was the only single released from the album. Its music video, directed by Mark Miremont, aired regularly on MTV's 120 Minutes, helping to call attention to the early Seattle grunge scene.

At the 1990 Grammy Awards, Ultramega OK received a nomination for Best Metal Performance.

The album's cover art, photographed by Lance Mercer, features a black and white picture of the band. According to Cornell, the album's title was a joke conceived by Thayil. Cornell explained that the title Ultramega OK means "absolutely, unbelievably not bad," and suggested that the British version was going to be called Ultramega UK. Cornell explained the title further, stating, "With Ultramega OK we really liked the songs on that record but we were disappointed in the production. We were sort of making fun of the finished product. It was Ultramega Alright. Ultramega could have been better but not bad."

Soundgarden supported the album with a tour in the United States in the spring of 1989 and a tour in Europe, which began in May 1989 and was the band's first overseas tour.

Ultramega OK was reissued on LP in 2012. "One Minute of Silence" was not included on it.

A new reissue of Ultramega OK was released on March 10, 2017 on Sub Pop in four formats, namely, black and colored double LP, CD, cassette tape, and digital download. The album was fully remixed and remastered from the original tapes by Jack Endino. It includes, as bonus tracks, six early eight-track versions of songs from the same album, taken from a demo tape, informally called the "Ultramega EP" by the band members, recorded by Endino and Chris Hanzsek at Reciprocal Recording studio in 1987.

All lyrics are written by Chris Cornell, except where noted.

No.TitleLyricsMusicLength
1."Flower" Kim Thayil3:25
2."All Your Lies" Thayil, Hiro Yamamoto3:51
3."665" Yamamoto1:37
4."Beyond the Wheel" Cornell4:20
5."667" Yamamoto0:56
6."Mood for Trouble" Cornell4:21
7."Circle of Power"YamamotoThayil2:05
8."He Didn't" Matt Cameron2:47
9."Smokestack Lightning"Howlin' WolfHowlin' Wolf5:07
10."Nazi Driver" Yamamoto3:52
11."Head Injury" Cornell2:22
12."Incessant Mace" Thayil6:27
13."One Minute of Silence"instrumentalJohn Lennon, Yoko Ono1:02
Total length:42:48
2017 expanded reissue
No.TitleLength
1."Flower"3:26
2."All Your Lies"3:49
3."665"1:38
4."Beyond the Wheel"4:22
5."667"0:56
6."Mood for Trouble"4:20
7."Circle of Power"2:04
8."He Didn't"2:47
9."Smokestack Lightning"4:36
10."Nazi Driver"3:52
11."Head Injury"2:20
12."Incessant Mace"6:21
13."One Minute of Silence"1:02
14."Head Injury" (Early Version)2:59
15."Beyond the Wheel" (Early Version)4:55
16."Incessant Mace" (Early Version)6:22
17."He Didn't" (Early Version)2:54
18."All Your Lies" (Early Version)3:45
19."Incessant Mace V2" (Early Version)7:49
Total length:1:10:17

On cassette only, there is a 20th track titled "13 Minutes of Silence Remix", similar to the joke track "One Minute of Silence" from the original release.

Soundgarden

Production

  • Drew Canulette – production, engineering
  • Gardener – back cover photo of Chris Cornell
  • Lance Limbocker – engineering
  • Lance Mercer – cover photo
  • Kathryn Miller – art direction and design
  • Soundgarden – production, art direction and design
  • Sydney Taylor – insert photo
  • Susan Silver – management
Chart (2017) Peak
position
US Vinyl Albums (Billboard) 8
US Tastemaker Albums (Billboard) 9
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia) 122
  1. Alexander, Phil. "Soundgarden". Raw. 1989.
  2. "Yeah! I'm a Moody Bastard". Kerrang!. August 19, 1995.
  3. Nickson, Chris. New Metal Crown 1995. p. 89.
  4. "SOUNDGARDEN Planning To Reissue Remixed First Album". Blabbermouth. RetrievedNovember 20, 2014.
  5. "Kashmir". Sounds. May 13, 1989.
  6. Huey, Steve. "allmusic ((( Ultramega OK > Review )))". AllMusic. RetrievedMarch 21, 2009.
  7. Gilbert, Jeff. "Primecuts: Kim Thayil". Guitar School. May 1994.
  8. Chick, Steve. "Psychic Confusion: The Sonic Youth Story"
  9. "Sonic Bloom Boys". Sounds. February 11, 1989.
  10. Foege, Alec. "The End of Innocence". Rolling Stone. January 12, 1995.
  11. True, Everett. "Soundgarden: The Mutate Gallery". Melody Maker. June 10, 1989.
  12. Popoff, Martin (November 1, 2005). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 2: The Eighties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. p. 333. ISBN 978-1-894959-31-5.
  13. Kaye, Don (January 14, 1989). "Soundgarden 'Ultramega OK'". Kerrang!. Vol. 221. London, UK: Spotlight Publications Ltd. p. 25.
  14. Brackett, Nathan. "Soundgarden". The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. November 2004. pg. 762, cited April 18, 2010
  15. "Soundgarden: Album Guide". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on February 23, 2012. RetrievedMarch 26, 2012.
  16. White, Richard. "Soundgarden Rocks". Rockpool. October 1, 1989.
  17. Powers, Ann. "Soundgarden: Ultramega OK"[permanent dead link]. Blender. Retrieved on May 20, 2009.
  18. "32nd Grammy Awards - 1990". Rockonthenet.com. RetrievedFebruary 20, 2008.
  19. Superuninterview. Promo CD. A&M Records. 1994.
  20. Elliot, Paul. "The Think Tank". Select. June 1996.
  21. "Haughty Culture". Kerrang!. April 8, 1989.
  22. Reed, Ryan (January 18, 2017). "Soundgarden Finalize 'Ultramega OK' Remix for Reissue". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 7, 2017.
  23. Lore Mark, Mark (March 9, 2017). "Soundgarden: Ultramega OK: Expanded Reissue Review". Paste. Retrieved June 7, 2017.
  24. Johnston, Maura (March 20, 2017). "Soundgarden - Ultramega OK" (review). Pitchfork. Retrieved June 7, 2017.
  25. Sub Pop Records. "Soundgarden - Ultramega OK (Expanded Reissue)" (review). Sub Pop Mega Mart. Retrieved June 7, 2017.
  26. "Soundgarden Chart History (Vinyl Albums)". Billboard. RetrievedNovember 4, 2017.
  27. "Soundgarden – Chart History (Tastemaker Albums)". Billboard. RetrievedNovember 4, 2017.
  28. "Ultratop.be – Soundgarden – Ultramega OK" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 30, 2017.

Ultramega OK Article Talk Language Watch Edit Ultramega OK is the debut studio album by American rock band Soundgarden released on October 31 1988 by SST Records Following the release of the EPs Screaming Life 1987 and Fopp 1988 both for the Sub Pop record label Soundgarden signed with SST and went to work on their debut full length The resulting album contained elements of heavy metal psychedelic rock and hardcore punk The band supported the album with a tour of the United States as well as its first overseas tour Ultramega OKStudio album by SoundgardenReleasedOctober 31 1988Recorded1988StudioDogfish Mobile Unit Seattle Washington and Newberg OregonGenreGrungeheavy metalalternative metalLength42 48LabelSSTProducerDrew CanuletteSoundgardenSoundgarden chronologyFopp 1988 Ultramega OK 1988 Louder Than Love 1989 Singles from Ultramega OK Flower Released May 1989 In 1990 the album earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Metal Performance Contents 1 Recording 2 Music and lyrics 3 Release and reception 4 Packaging 5 Tour 6 Reissues 7 Track listing 8 Personnel 9 Charts 10 ReferencesRecording EditThe album was recorded in spring 1988 in Seattle Washington and Newberg Oregon with producer Drew Canulette Frontman Chris Cornell said that during the recording sessions the band wasn t on the same page with Canulette He said Material wise we went through the process that we always do but the producer wasn t used to the sound we wanted and didn t know what was happening in Seattle 1 Later in a 1995 interview Cornell admitted we made a huge mistake with Ultramega OK because we left our home surroundings and people we d been involved with and used this producer that really did affect our album in a kind of negative way The producer was suggested by SST because they could get a good deal I regret it because in terms of material it should have been one of the best records we ever did It actually slowed down our momentum a little bit because it didn t really sound like us 2 Around that same time veteran Seattle producer Jack Endino who also produced Soundgarden s first EP Screaming Life began the process of remixing the album and actually completed a rough mix of Flower But due to the band wanting to move on and the financial costs involved with re pressing and redistributing the record it was put on hold 3 The project resumed in 2014 by Jack Endino and Kim Thayil 4 and was completed in 2017 Music and lyrics EditUltramega OK has elements of 1960s psychedelic rock 1970s hard rock and heavy metal and 1980s hardcore punk 5 Drummer Matt Cameron said that the band tried to refine its sound while still trying to keep an edge Steve Huey of AllMusic said that the album is the best expression of Soundgarden s early Stooges MC5 meets Zeppelin Sabbath sound and added that it is a dark murky buzzing record that simultaneously subverts and pays tribute to heavy metal 6 Guitarist Kim Thayil recalls Flower as being the first time he blew across his guitar strings 7 This can be heard during the song s introduction when they are played in rhythm with the drums Circle of Power was one of the few Soundgarden songs to be written without any input from Cornell as it was written by Thayil and bassist Hiro Yamamoto It is also the only Soundgarden song on which Yamamoto performs lead vocals Smokestack Lightning is a Howlin Wolf cover On the original version of the album Smokestack Lightning segued into a distorted excerpt from the Sonic Youth song Death Valley 69 Soundgarden included it as a tribute parody of Sonic Youth s similar sampling of The Stooges song Not Right on their Bad Moon Rising album 8 This excerpt was removed from the 2017 reissue of Ultramega OK Cornell said that Flower is about a girl who becomes a woman and basically invests everything in vanity and then burns out quick 5 Thayil stated that Nazi Driver is about cutting up Nazis and making stew out of them 9 Cornell observed that the lyrics and vocals for Incessant Mace are very European Gothic 10 Three songs on the album were recorded as jokes or parodies by the band The songs 665 and 667 are parodies of the idea of Satanic content in rock music the idea being that if 666 is such a powerful number then the surrounding numbers must be equally as powerful 11 The album s closing track One Minute of Silence is a cover of John Lennon s Two Minutes of Silence from the 1969 album Unfinished Music No 2 Life with the Lions excluding Yoko Ono s part Cornell said that the band appreciated the Lennon arrangement so much 11 No instruments are played although the band presumably can be faintly heard in the background Cornell stated We were trying real hard to shut up but Kim couldn t possibly shut up for a whole minute 9 Release and reception EditProfessional ratingsReview scoresSourceRatingAllMusic 6 Collector s Guide to Heavy Metal9 10 12 Kerrang 13 Rolling Stone 14 15 Cornell said On Ultramega OK the production wasn t what we were after at all and that sort of hurt us critically 16 Allmusic staff writer Steve Huey gave the album four out of five stars saying It may not be quite as complex or consistent as some of Soundgarden s later albums but Ultramega OK is easily the best document of grunge s early pre Nirvana days 6 Ann Powers of Blender said Not every moment is brilliant but it sure is loud 17 Flower was the only single released from the album Its music video directed by Mark Miremont aired regularly on MTV s 120 Minutes helping to call attention to the early Seattle grunge scene At the 1990 Grammy Awards Ultramega OK received a nomination for Best Metal Performance 18 Packaging EditThe album s cover art photographed by Lance Mercer features a black and white picture of the band According to Cornell the album s title was a joke conceived by Thayil 19 Cornell explained that the title Ultramega OK means absolutely unbelievably not bad and suggested that the British version was going to be called Ultramega UK 11 Cornell explained the title further stating With Ultramega OK we really liked the songs on that record but we were disappointed in the production We were sort of making fun of the finished product It was Ultramega Alright Ultramega could have been better but not bad 20 Tour EditSoundgarden supported the album with a tour in the United States in the spring of 1989 and a tour in Europe which began in May 1989 and was the band s first overseas tour 21 Reissues EditUltramega OK was reissued on LP in 2012 One Minute of Silence was not included on it A new reissue of Ultramega OK was released on March 10 2017 on Sub Pop in four formats namely black and colored double LP CD cassette tape and digital download The album was fully remixed and remastered from the original tapes by Jack Endino It includes as bonus tracks six early eight track versions of songs from the same album taken from a demo tape informally called the Ultramega EP by the band members recorded by Endino and Chris Hanzsek at Reciprocal Recording studio in 1987 22 23 24 25 Track listing EditAll lyrics are written by Chris Cornell except where noted No TitleLyricsMusicLength1 Flower Kim Thayil3 252 All Your Lies Thayil Hiro Yamamoto3 513 665 Yamamoto1 374 Beyond the Wheel Cornell4 205 667 Yamamoto0 566 Mood for Trouble Cornell4 217 Circle of Power YamamotoThayil2 058 He Didn t Matt Cameron2 479 Smokestack Lightning Howlin WolfHowlin Wolf5 0710 Nazi Driver Yamamoto3 5211 Head Injury Cornell2 2212 Incessant Mace Thayil6 2713 One Minute of Silence instrumentalJohn Lennon Yoko Ono1 02Total length 42 48 2017 expanded reissueNo TitleLength1 Flower 3 262 All Your Lies 3 493 665 1 384 Beyond the Wheel 4 225 667 0 566 Mood for Trouble 4 207 Circle of Power 2 048 He Didn t 2 479 Smokestack Lightning 4 3610 Nazi Driver 3 5211 Head Injury 2 2012 Incessant Mace 6 2113 One Minute of Silence 1 0214 Head Injury Early Version 2 5915 Beyond the Wheel Early Version 4 5516 Incessant Mace Early Version 6 2217 He Didn t Early Version 2 5418 All Your Lies Early Version 3 4519 Incessant Mace V2 Early Version 7 49Total length 1 10 17 On cassette only there is a 20th track titled 13 Minutes of Silence Remix similar to the joke track One Minute of Silence from the original release Personnel EditSoundgarden Chris Cornell lead vocals rhythm guitar 6 8 9 bass 7 Kim Thayil lead guitar Hiro Yamamoto bass lead vocals 7 Matt Cameron drums Production Drew Canulette production engineering Gardener back cover photo of Chris Cornell Lance Limbocker engineering Lance Mercer cover photo Kathryn Miller art direction and design Soundgarden production art direction and design Sydney Taylor insert photo Susan Silver managementCharts EditChart 2017 Peak positionUS Vinyl Albums Billboard 26 8US Tastemaker Albums Billboard 27 9Belgian Albums Ultratop Wallonia 28 122References Edit Alexander Phil Soundgarden Raw 1989 Yeah I m a Moody Bastard Kerrang August 19 1995 Nickson Chris New Metal Crown 1995 p 89 SOUNDGARDEN Planning To Reissue Remixed First Album Blabbermouth Retrieved November 20 2014 a b Kashmir Sounds May 13 1989 a b c Huey Steve allmusic Ultramega OK gt Review AllMusic Retrieved March 21 2009 Gilbert Jeff Primecuts Kim Thayil Guitar School May 1994 Chick Steve Psychic Confusion The Sonic Youth Story a b Sonic Bloom Boys Sounds February 11 1989 Foege Alec The End of Innocence Rolling Stone January 12 1995 a b c True Everett Soundgarden The Mutate Gallery Melody Maker June 10 1989 Popoff Martin November 1 2005 The Collector s Guide to Heavy Metal Volume 2 The Eighties Burlington Ontario Canada Collector s Guide Publishing p 333 ISBN 978 1 894959 31 5 Kaye Don January 14 1989 Soundgarden Ultramega OK Kerrang Vol 221 London UK Spotlight Publications Ltd p 25 Brackett Nathan Soundgarden The New Rolling Stone Album Guide November 2004 pg 762 cited April 18 2010 Soundgarden Album Guide Rolling Stone Archived from the original on February 23 2012 Retrieved March 26 2012 White Richard Soundgarden Rocks Rockpool October 1 1989 Powers Ann Soundgarden Ultramega OK permanent dead link Blender Retrieved on May 20 2009 32nd Grammy Awards 1990 Rockonthenet com Retrieved February 20 2008 Superuninterview Promo CD A amp M Records 1994 Elliot Paul The Think Tank Select June 1996 Haughty Culture Kerrang April 8 1989 Reed Ryan January 18 2017 Soundgarden Finalize Ultramega OK Remix for Reissue Rolling Stone Retrieved June 7 2017 Lore Mark Mark March 9 2017 Soundgarden Ultramega OK Expanded Reissue Review Paste Retrieved June 7 2017 Johnston Maura March 20 2017 Soundgarden Ultramega OK review Pitchfork Retrieved June 7 2017 Sub Pop Records Soundgarden Ultramega OK Expanded Reissue review Sub Pop Mega Mart Retrieved June 7 2017 Soundgarden Chart History Vinyl Albums Billboard Retrieved November 4 2017 Soundgarden Chart History Tastemaker Albums Billboard Retrieved November 4 2017 Ultratop be Soundgarden Ultramega OK in French Hung Medien Retrieved June 30 2017 Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Ultramega OK amp oldid 1087259042, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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