“Slaves & Bulldozers” by Soundgarden

Soundgarden’s “Slaves & Bulldozers” is highly-allegorical in its approach. And information on the meaning of the lyrics, as interpreted by Chris Cornell, is pretty much nonexistent. That means we’re going to have to go a bit out on a limb in deciphering this one. And with that in mind, it seems that what Cornell is singing about is his relationship with the music industry.  Or looked at differently, he and his peers are the titular “slaves” to the entertainment business.  But this does not mean that he is completely devoid of freewill. 

To the contrary, he is using his captivity as a venue to let out all of the emotions and sentiments which have been welling up inside of him. And he perceives justice in the overall situation. For at the end of the day it is the selfsame music executives and the listening audience who have to deal with his powerful feelings. And based on how fans have described this tune, it would appear as if Chris really meant what he was singing.

Facts about “Slaves & Bulldozers”

This track is from Soundgarden’s 1991 album Badmotorfinger. The song was released by A&M Records on 8 October of that year.

This is considered by fans of Soundgarden to be one of Chris Cornell’s most-compelling vocal performances. And this is despite the fact that the track was never issued as a single. It also holds the distinction of being the last Soundgarden song Cornell ever performed live before taking his own life on 18 May 2017.

This song is also one of the favorites, in terms of its guitar solo, of Soundgarden’s lead guitarist Kim Thayil.

The writers of “Slaves & Bulldozers” are Soundgarden members Ben Shepherd and Chris Cornell. And the track was produced by one Terry Date.

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