Temple of the Dog was a band assembled for the purpose of creating an album to pay tribute to Andrew Wood who died in 1990.
Andrew Wood was the lead singer of Mother Love Bone, known to be one of the founding fathers of grunge–one who defined the grunge movement. Wood struggled with drug addiction and was in and out of rehab until March 16, 1990, when he was found dead from a heroin overdose.
“Right after Andy died, we [Soundgarden] went to Europe, and it was horrible, because I couldn’t talk about it, and there was no one who had loved him around. I wrote two songs, “Reach Down” and “Say Hello 2 Heaven”. That was pretty much how I dealt with it. When we came back, I recorded them right away. They seemed different from what Soundgarden naturally does, and they seemed to fit together. They seemed like music he would like. I got the idea to release them as a single, and to get at least Stone and Jeff, or all of Love Bone, to play on it. I had the idea for a couple days, then, with an artist’s lack of self-confidence, I decided it was a stupid idea. Somehow those guys heard the tape, and they were really, really excited. Stone and Jeff and our drummer, Matt, had been working on a demo for what ended up being Pearl Jam, so we had the idea that we would make an EP or a record, and maybe even do some of Andy’s solo songs.” – Chris Cornell
As Mother Love Bone dissolved, the bassist (Jeff Ament) and guitarist (Stone Gossard) came together to form Temple of the Dog which also included Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell (singer) and Matt Cameron (drummer).
The album was released in late 1990. Not long after that, Pearl Jam arrived to the scene. It was Pearl Jam’s album “Ten” that bolstered the way for the success of Temple of the Dog’s album. The song “Hunger Strike” which featured Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder on vocals quickly shot the album up the charts helping it to reach the Top Ten and the album went platinum in 1992.
- Say Hello to Heaven
- Reach Down
- Hunger Strike
- Pushin Forward Back
- Call me a Dog
- Times of Trouble
- Wooden Jesus
- Your Savior
- Four Walled World
- All Night Thing
“Say Hello 2 Heaven” was released as the second single from the album. This song was a pronounced dedication to the late Andrew Wood.
The song reached number five on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.
Say Hello 2 Heaven by Temple of the Dog
Please, mother mercy
Take me from this place
And the long winded curses
I keep hearing in my head
Words never listen
And teachers never learn
Now I’m warm from the candle
But I feel too cold to burn
He came from an island
And he died from the street
He hurt so bad like a soul breaking
But he never said nothing to me
So say hello to heaven
New like a baby
Lost like a prayer
The sky was your playground
But the cold ground was your bed
She’s got no tears in her eyes
Smooth like whisper
She knows that love heals all wounds with time
Now it seems like too much love
Is never enough, you better seek out
Another road cause this one has
Ended abrupt, say hello to heaven
I never wanted
To write these words down for you
With the pages of phrases
Of things we’ll never do
So I blow out the candle, and
I put you to bed
Since you can’t say to me
Now how the dogs broke your bone
There’s just one thing left to be said
Say hello to heaven
Here it here:
Chris Cornell’s powerful voice paired with the profound lyrics make this album one I’ll never part with. It’s one of my most cherished grunge albums that I’ve never grown stale of and will never forsake. It’s a defining album and must have for true grunge fans.
If I were to rate it, I’d give it: