Chris Cornell has weighed into an ongoing legal battle between A&M Records and a Seattle studio owner over possession of the master tapes from the recording sessions of his grunge supergroup, Temple of the Dog‘s self-titled album.
Said tapes are currently the centrepiece of a lawsuit put forth by the record company against Raj Parashar, who, with his brother and Temple of the Dog producer Rick Parashar, founded the London Bridge Studios where the album was recorded.
In the suit, the label says it bought the Temple of the Dog album, and the master tapes, for $35,000 in a 1993 deal with Rick Parashar. They say they only realised in the last few years that the studio never actually turned over those tapes and are now demanding that Raj Parashar give them back.
“A&M Records paid for the recordings and the use of the studio,” said Cornell in a statement, as reported by Billboard. For Parashar “to pretend he has a right to keep the recordings makes no more sense than the owner of a laundromat claiming he owns the clothes you washed in his washing machine.”
Temple of the Dog formed in Seattle in 1990. The grunge supergroup was made up of members of Soundgarden, Chris Cornell and Matt Cameron, Mother Love Bone members, Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard, as well as future Pearl Jam members Mike McCready and Eddie Vedder. They recorded just one self-titled album in the same year, written as a tribute to the late Mother Love Bone singer Andrew Wood.
While A&M Records haven’t stated why they have launched a suit to gain the rights to the tapes, 2016 marks the Temple of the Dog album’s 25th anniversary, signifying a re-issue of sorts could be in the works. Pending some kind of settlement first.
Reports Billboard, Raj Parashar, who was also an engineer on the album, has admitted to be in possession of the tapes, but denies having been involved in any deal giving up his rights to ownership of the masters. His brother Rick died last year.
The lawsuit is ongoing.
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