Seattle-bred grunge supergroup Temple of the Dog has made recent headlines for an ongoing lawsuit over the rights to the master tapes of their self-titled album. For the last few years, the masters of the Pearl Jam/Soundgarden collective’s sole LP have been the center of a dispute between London Bridge Studio and A&M Records. As of this week, the lawsuit has finally been settled and the tapes returned to frontman Chris Cornell.
Cornell tweeted the news with a photo of the tapes, and subtly noted they have been returned just in time for Temple of the Dog’s 25th anniversary.
Until recently, the tapes had been in the possession of Rick Parashar, former co-founder of London Bridge Studio, where the album was recorded, as well as the LP’s co-producer. Following Rick’s death in 2014, the tapes were then handed over to Rajan Parashar, Rick’s brother and studio co-founder.
As Exclaim! reported in April of 2015, Rick had backed out of business deal made in 1993 that stated he would give A&M, Temple of the Dog’s label, the physical tapes and the rights of the recordings for $35,000. When Rajan found himself in possession of the tapes, he claimed that since he was excluded from the original deal, he was not contractually bound to turn the tapes over.
However, as Cornell soon after clarified, A&M had paid for the recordings and studio time, which would make the label the rightful owners. Cornell argued that, “To pretend [Rajan] 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.”
Bad blood aside, it appears the final settlement was agreed upon on both ends. London Bridge Studio shared Cornell’s post about the return of the tapes on their official Facebook page, and stated the studio was, “Incredibly excited to learn that the original #TempleoftheDog tapes are back home with Chris and the band.”
Now we’ll have to wait and see what Cornell and A&M decide to do with these newly reacquired recordings. Anyone else sensing an anniversary reissue on the horizon?