Chris Cornell Talks ‘Stupid’ Temple of the Dog Legal Battle

Chris Cornell discussed the legal battle over the Temple of the Dog master tapes in a new interview with Rolling Stone Australia.

“I don’t think so. It’s kind of a stupid thing. Unfortunately the band is not really part of this dispute. Temple of the Dog had a contract with A&M Records and there are specifics in that and it’s A&M Records that owns the masters, and doesn’t have them. And if anyone besides them would have the right to own them it would certainly be us first. But ultimately legally it’s not a fight that we can ever be in. It’s a strange thing.”

He also discussed balancing his solo career with working on a new Soundgarden record, “Yeah. If I’m not on tour or making an album for myself I’m always focusing on Soundgarden. It’s kind of what I do. And in the last five years it’s been pretty amazing to be able to do this acoustic solo career simultaneously with Soundgarden, which is like this sonic assault. And to be able to bounce back between the two always feels refreshing.”

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  • Felonious Punk

    A&M Records has a shitload of music they released in the 90s that could desperately use the deluxe/vinyl re-release treatment. I see the same albums being re-released every year for these cash-in anniversary celebrations, and yet virtually nothing from the vast A&M catalogue coming out. The stuff that *was* owned by A&M — like Superunknown — get the reissue treatment because it’s owned by UMe now. But who the hell has the master tape rights for all the other stuff A&M released in that decade?

  • Raj

    A&M owns the masters but doesn’t have them and Temple of the Dog can’t legally defend themselves, Chris is right that is stupid.

  • Mike

    What does ‘owning the masters’ even mean? Like the master tapes? Who cares, what are going to do with them the album’s been out for 24 years. I don’t get it

    • Jimmy Intense

      It means A&M own the rights to the recordings that were committed to tape (when tape was still a thing) hence “master tapes”. The title has become a misnomer in the digital age of recording.

  • — J —

    Is this the situation where Raj Parashar (Brother of Rick) is holding onto his brother’s tapes?