Initiated by Chris Cornell, Temple of the Dog was an expression of mourning. His friend and roommate, Andy Wood of Mother Love Bone, died of an accidental heroin overdose on March 19, 1990.
Cornell initially wrote "Reach Down" and "Say Hello 2 Heaven", a set of tracks which expanded after the rest of the members of TotD were recruited. Cornell's initial intentions were not a full release.
"The more we talked about it, the more songs kept flying out, and it ended up being an album. It didn't feel like a morose project. It felt sort of celebratory." -- Cornell to Reflex Magazine (1991)
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Temple of the Dog was an American rock band that formed in Seattle, Washington in 1990. It was conceived by vocalist Chris Cornell of Soundgarden as a tribute to his friend, the late Andrew Wood, lead singer of the bands Malfunkshun and Mother Love Bone. The line-up included Stone Gossard on rhythm guitar, Jeff Ament on bass guitar (both ex-members of Mother Love Bone), Mike McCready on lead guitar, Matt Cameron on drums, and Eddie Vedder providing some lead and backing vocals.
The band released its only album, the self-titled Temple of the Dog, in April 1991 through A&M Records. The recording sessions took place in November and December 1990 at London Bridge Studios, in Seattle, Washington with producer Rick Parashar. Although earning praise from music critics at the time of its release, the album was not widely recognized until 1992, when Vedder, Ament, Gossard, and McCready had their breakthrough with Pearl Jam.