It’s hard to believe that the Singles Soundtrack is already 30 years old. Released in 1992, it was one of the first soundtrack albums to capture the grunge movement in all its glory. From Smashing Pumpkins to Alice in Chains, this album has something for everyone. To commemorate its milestone birthday, we’re taking a look back at the album song by song.
About the Singles Movie
The Singles movie was released in 1992 and follows the lives of a group of young adults living in Seattle during the grunge era. The movie focuses on the characters’ love lives and friendships as they navigate their way through the dating scene. Although the movie was not a huge box office success, it has become a cult classic among fans of the grunge music scene.
The movie’s soundtrack, which features artists such as Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden, is also highly regarded. In recent years, the Singles movie has been praised for its representation of Gen X culture and its accurate portrayal of the Seattle music scene.
About the Singles Soundtrack
The Singles Soundtrack was released on June 30, 1992 and featured 13 tracks from various artists. Looking to capture the essence of the Seattle sound, the soundtrack included songs from some of the biggest names in grunge, including Smashing Pumpkins, Alice in Chains, and Pearl Jam. In addition to the big names, the soundtrack also featured long time local favorites like Mudhoney and Soundgarden. Make sure to check our vinyl deals page to get the best price on the vinyl.
Singles (Deluxe Vinyl Version) [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]
The Singles Soundtrack was a commercial success, reaching 2 x platinum from the RIAA. Looking back, many of the songs still resonate today as much as when they were first released. Let’s take a look at some of the best tracks from the album.
Singles Soundtrack Song by Song Review
Below we will dive into a song by song review of the Singles Soundtrack
Alice in Chains – “Would”
Alice in Chains is an American rock band from Seattle, Washington, formed in 1987 by guitarist and vocalist Jerry Cantrell and drummer Sean Kinney. The band rose to prominence with their second album, Dirt (1992), which was released on the Singles soundtrack.
“Would” is a song by Alice in Chains and the fourth single from Dirt. The song was written by Jerry Cantrell as a tribute to his long time friend Andrew Wood of Mother Love Bone. “Would” peaked at number 28 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. Watching the music video makes me realize what a talent Layne Staley was. His voice is so raw and emotional. The lyrics are also very powerful.
Alice In Chains - Dirt Vinyl (Redux) (Various Artists)
“Would” is one of my favorite tracks on the Singles Soundtrack and one of my favorite Alice in Chains songs period. It’s a perfect example of the band’s dark and brooding sound. If you’re a fan of grunge, then this is a must-hear song.
Pearl Jam – “Breath”
Pearl Jam – “Breath” is a song by the American rock band Pearl Jam. It was recorded originally along with “State of Love and Trust” during the Pearl Jam album Ten recording sessions with the intention to be included on the Singles soundtrack.
“Breath” features a distorted vocal effect that makes Vedder sound like he is gasping for air. McCready achieved this effect by using a octave divider pedal. The lyrics are about the singer being suffocated by a relationship. “Breath” peaked at number 16 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.
“Breath” is one of Pearl Jam’s best tracks and one of my favorites from the Singles Soundtrack. It’s a great example of the band’s ability to create catchy yet hard-hitting songs. If you’re a fan of Pearl Jam, then this is a must-hear song.
Chris Cornell – “Seasons”
Chris Cornell – “Seasons” is a song by American rock musician Chris Cornell. It was released as a single from the Singles soundtrack in September 1992. The song peaked at number four on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.
“Seasons” is a great example of the grunge sound that was popular in Seattle during the early 1990s. Cornell’s voice is raw and emotion-filled, and the lyrics are introspective and melancholy. The song also features a great guitar solo from Kim Thayil of Soundgarden.
If you’re a fan of grunge, then “Seasons” is a must-hear song. It’s one of the best tracks on the Singles Soundtrack and one of my favorite Chris Cornell songs.
Paul Westerberg – “Dyslexic Heart”
This song is about how difficult it is to interact with members of the opposite sex. The enigma of the fairer gender. The frustration of not being able to communicate with them. The lyrics are very relatable and the song is catchy as hell.
If you’re a fan of Paul Westerberg or the Replacements, then this is a must-hear song. It’s one of the best tracks on the Singles Soundtrack and one of my favorite Paul Westerberg songs.
The Lovemongers – “The Battle of Evermore” (live Led Zeppelin cover)
The Lovemongers is a side project of then-members of Heart, Nancy Wilson and her sister Ann. The band went on to release a full album, Whirlygig in 1997, but recorded this this live cover of Led Zeppelin’s “The Battle of Evermore” for the Singles soundtrack.
The Lovemongers are often overlooked but this song is a great example of their talent. The Wilson sisters’ harmonies are beautiful and the guitar work is excellent. If you’re a fan of Heart or Led Zeppelin, then this is a must-hear song.
Mother Love Bone – “Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns”
Mother Love Bone was an American rock band that was active from 1988 to 1990. The band was fronted by the late Andrew Wood and also featured Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament, who would go on to form Pearl Jam.
“Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns” is a two-part song that was released as a single from the band’s EP “Shine” released ahead of their only studio album, Apple.
“Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns” is a great example of Mother Love Bone’s unique sound. The two parts of the song flow together perfectly and the lyrics are introspective and thought-provoking. If you’re a fan of Pearl Jam or Mother Love Bone, then this is a must-hear song.
Soundgarden – “Birth Ritual”
“Birth Ritual” is a song by American rock band Soundgarden. It was released as a single from the Singles soundtrack in September 1992. The song can be found in the outtakes on the Super Deluxe version of Badmotorfinger.
“Birth Ritual” is a great example of Soundgarden’s signature sound. The guitar riff is catchy and the vocals from Cornell is spot on. The lyrics are dark and mysterious, and the song features a great guitar solo from Kim Thayil. If you’re a fan of Soundgarden, then this is a must-hear song.
Pearl Jam – “State of Love and Trust”
The second single from the Singles soundtrack, “State of Love and Trust” was written by Eddie Vedder and recorded by Pearl Jam.
“State of Love and Trust” is a great example of Pearl Jam’s early sound and included in their MTV unplugged set list. The song is catchy and features Vedder’s unique vocals. The lyrics are introspective and thought-provoking. If you’re a fan of Pearl Jam, then this is a must-hear song.
Mudhoney – “Overblown”
Mudhoney’s “Overblown” was released in 1992 as part of the Singles soundtrack. The song is a perfect example of the band’s signature sound, which combines elements of garage rock, punk, and grunge.
“Overblown” is an catchy, upbeat song with a distorted, fuzzy guitar sound. The lyrics are somewhat cynical, but also humorous, and they cleverly reference the overblown popular culture of the 1990s. Overall, “Overblown” is a great example of Mudhoney’s raw, punk-influenced sound, and it remains one of the band’s most popular songs.
Paul Westerberg – “Waiting for Somebody”
Paul Westerberg’s “Waiting for Somebody” was released in 2002 as part of the Singles soundtrack. The song was initially written as a demo for another artist, but Westerberg ended up recording it himself.
The track features a simple guitar riff and drummer Josh Freese’s shuffling beat, which creates a laid-back atmosphere. The lyrics are introspective, with Westerberg singing about the frustration of being in a relationship that’s going nowhere. Although “Waiting for Somebody” was not a commercial success, it received critical acclaim from music critics. In retrospect, the song is seen as one of Westerberg’s best solo tracks.
Jimi Hendrix Experience – “May This Be Love”
Included on the original North American release of ‘Are You Experienced’, “May This Be Love” is one of Hendrix’s most beautiful and underrated songs. The song was written by Hendrix and features his signature guitar work.
“May This Be Love” is a haunting and ethereal song that is sure to leave you feeling introspective. The lyrics are simple, but profound, and the guitar work is stunning. If you’re a fan of Jimi Hendrix, then this is a must-hear song.
Screaming Trees – “Nearly Lost You”
One of my favorite Seattle bands and favorite track on the Singles soundtrack is “Nearly Lost You” by Screaming Trees. The song was co-written by Mark Lanegan and features his dark, emotive vocals.
“Nearly Lost You” is a beautiful and heartbreaking song about the fragility of life. The lyrics are poignant and the guitar work is gorgeous.
Smashing Pumpkins – “Drown”
The Singles soundtrack ends with this classic Smashing Pumpkins song, “Drown”. The track was co-written by Billy Corgan and features his signature guitar work.
“Drown” is a dark and atmospheric song that perfectly captures the feeling of being lost and alone. The lyrics are haunting and the guitar work is beautiful. Originally considered for the Pisces Iscariot album but rejected and later featured on the Rotten Apples greatest hits and on the 2011 Reissue of Gish. See more Smashings Pumpkins in our Siamese Dream album review.
Who’s Missing from the Soundtrack
The most notable band missing from the soundtrack of course is Nirvana. The band was asked to contribute a song, but they were in the middle of recording their third album In Utero and declined. However, their label mate Mudhoney was happy to step in and provide a track.
Looking for other alt albums? See our Most Anticipated Alt Rock Albums
Other notable bands who did not appear on the soundtrack include Seattle regulars TAD, Babes in Toyland, and The Gits. While their absence is disappointing, the soundtrack still features a great selection of songs.
In conclusion, the Singles Soundtrack is a great snapshot of the Seattle music scene in the early 1990s. It features some of the biggest names in grunge and alternative rock, as well as some lesser-known gems. If you’re a fan of 90s music, then this soundtrack is a must-have. Thanks for joining me on this trip down memory lane. I hope you enjoyed it!