Two occurrences in the past week have had me thinking back to a time I’d not considered in many years: 1994.
This was a significant year in my life for many reasons. I was 17, and it was my final year of high school. The possibilities seemed endless back then. What the fuck am I talking about; of course they didn’t. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life back then, and I panicked about the future endlessly. I’d like to say I’ve grown since then, matured perhaps, but I’m not sure that this is accurate.
Soundgarden’s Superunknown was a very important album to me in 1994. I still listen to it regularly to this day. Many will point to Badmotorfinger as the Seattle foursome’s White Album, and they would be well within their rights to make the claim. I wouldn’t necessarily disagree either, it’s just that Superunknown came along at the right time for me to embrace it completely. I adored the album. I would listen to it endlessly. To me, the sign of a truly great album is one that you can listen to from start to finish without skipping tracks. Radiohead did this twice for me: The Bends and OK Computer. Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks. London Calling by The Clash. And of course, Superunknown.
Soundgarden recently released a 20th Anniversary remastered edition of the album, and I picked it up without haste. It’s the first time I’ve purchased a real-life piece of music in eons. It felt good to hold the songs I was going to listen to later.
Also, I recently discovered that my high school was putting the feelers out for a 20 year anniversary for the graduating class of 1994. I don’t have any fond memories from those times. I don’t have any particularly nasty memories either. That’s the whole point. I don’t look back on those days and get misty-eyed or nostalgic. I put in my time and I moved on. I really don’t miss anyone that I went to school with – to be honest I don’t even remember most of them. So a reunion seems a bit pointless to me. I mainly just played basketball. I wasn’t interested in education. I was far too shy to pursue girls. I wish I could say that I have fond memories from that time in my life but I just don’t.
I don’t know what it says about me when I get more nostalgic for a remastered album than I do for old school chums from two decades ago.
So I most likely will not attend my high school reunion, but I will listen to the fuck out of the 20th Anniversary edition of Superunknown.