Temple of The Dog Master Tapes Subject of Legal Battle Between A&M and London Bridge
Temple of The Dog's iconic debut album is the basis for a new lawsuit between A&M Records and a Seattle recording studio. The label is suing Rajan Parashar, owner of London Bridge Studios, to force him to turn over the master tapes from the project (from Billboard).
Why the possession of the master tapes is just now coming to light is unknown, but it's clear that A&M didn't put much mind to it until 2013. The label signed a contract with the group—featuring Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell and future members of Pearl Jam—around the time of the album's recording during 1991, paying $35,000 for the rights to Temple of The Dog. The label didn't make any move to get the masters until more than 22 years later however, having assumed that the tapes were in the possession of one of the former members. It turned out that the group had left them in the possession of Rajan and his brother Rick Parashar, who recorded the album for the band (Rick died during 2014).
Rajan claims that the master tapes belong to him, and that he didn't take part in the deal between the band and A&M. The label, of course, claims otherwise, suggesting that Rick had in fact signed the contract when it was put to paper during 1993.
Temple of The Dog was formed by Cornell after his roommate—and vocalist for Mother Love Bone—Andrew Wood died of a heroin overdose. He tapped Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron, as well as Jeff Ament, Mike McCready, Stone Gossard and Eddie Vedder—the core of what would become Pearl Jam (Cameron would eventually join the band as well). The reject was never intended to last more than one album, but it had several hits in "Hunger Strike" and "Say Hello 2 Heaven."
Fans of the grunge era can perhaps hope that A&M is preparing a special edition of the album for its 25th anniversary, which will take place during 2016.