Rusty Cage

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"Rusty Cage"
Single by Soundgarden
from the album Badmotorfinger
B-side "Big Bottom"/"Earache My Eye" (live)
Released 1992
Format CD single, Vinyl
Recorded March–April 1991
Genre Grunge, alternative metal
Length 4:26
Label A&M
Writer(s) Chris Cornell
Producer(s) Terry Date, Soundgarden
Soundgarden singles chronology
"Outshined"
(1991)
"Rusty Cage"
(1992)
"Spoonman"
(1994)
Badmotorfinger track listing
"Rusty Cage"
(Track 1)
"Outshined"
(Track 2)

"Rusty Cage" is a song by the American rock band Soundgarden. Written by frontman Chris Cornell, "Rusty Cage" was released in 1992 as the third single from the band's third studio album, Badmotorfinger (1991). The song became an instant hit and was released as a single in several different formats. The song was included on Soundgarden's 1997 greatest hits album, A-Sides and the 2010 compilation album Telephantasm.

Origin and recording[edit]

"Rusty Cage" was written by frontman Chris Cornell. Guitarist Kim Thayil on the song:

The tuning on that song was pretty nutty. It's recorded with a wah wah in the low position used as a filter. That was the first time we did anything like that. It was Chris's idea; he wanted to get that weird tone that you can't really dial in on an amp. But if you use the wah wah as a filter, it gets an incredibly weird sound. And if you listen to that riff, especially if you've heard the original demos of it, it almost sounds backward.[1]

Composition[edit]

On "Rusty Cage" the bottom E string is tuned all the way down to B,[2] with Thayil stating that "the string was all wobbly but it had a good effect."[3] The song features a striking tempo change towards the end of the song. The phrasing and metre also change: the first part of the song is in 4/4 but the second, slower, part is in six-bar phrases consisting of three bars of 3/4 followed by one bar of 5/4, followed by a bar of 3/4 and a bar of 2/4 (3+3+3+5+3+2). Thayil has said that Soundgarden usually did not consider the time signature of a song until after the band had written it, and said that the use of odd meters was "a total accident."[4]

Release and reception[edit]

"Rusty Cage" was released as a single in 1992 in various versions with a previously unreleased B-side titled "Touch Me". Outside the United States, the single was released commercially in Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. The song gained considerable airtime on alternative rock radio stations.

"Rusty Cage" was part of the soundtrack of the 1994 bike racing game, Road Rash,[5] which received 3DO's 1994 "Soundtrack of the Year" award. The song appeared on the fictional radio station "Radio X" in the 2004 video game, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.[6] However, these versions are all 1 minute and 43 seconds shorter than the album version. The majority of these versions end as the breakdown at the end of the song comes in. It is also featured in the 2008 racing game, Burnout Paradise,[7] where the full version is intact. The song is a part of Soundgarden's compilation album Telephantasm DLC Pack for Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock. The song was added to the Rock Band 3 downloadable content catalog on July 19, 2011. The Johnny Cash version also appears in the Mob of the Dead zombies map in Call of Duty: Black Ops II's Uprising downloadable content. Like previous songs in the Call of Duty series' DLC, it is triggered by activating objects in the environment.[8]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Rusty Cage" was directed by Eric Zimmerman, who had previously directed the "Jesus Christ Pose" music video for the band.[9] The video features Soundgarden performing the song in a white room amid scenes of the band members being chased through a forest by dogs, farmers, and a man in a truck. The video was released in March 1992.[9] It gained considerable airtime on MTV.

Live performances[edit]

A performance of "Rusty Cage" can be found on the Motorvision home video release.

Cover versions[edit]

"Rusty Cage" was covered by Johnny Cash on the 1996 album, Unchained, which won a Grammy Award for Best Country Album. During at least two live performances by Soundgarden (Jul 21, 1996 in Knoxville, Tennessee, at Forks In The River and early November 1996 at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago, Illinois), Cornell introduced the song with a dedication to Cash. Cash's version was featured in the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episode "Bull" in 2008 and has played since 2006 during the closing credits for the syndicated television show "Heart of the Matter" originating from KTMW. Cash's version is also used as the entrance song to UFC welterweight contender Jon Fitch. More recently, the song has been covered by the Chicago, Illinois quartet Soil, which can be found on the band's MySpace page.[10] Hungarian thrash metal band Ektomorf covered the song in the EP The Gipsy Way.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Chris Cornell, except where noted:

Promotional CD (US) and Promotional 12" Vinyl (UK)
  1. "Rusty Cage" (edit) – 3:52
  2. "Rusty Cage" – 4:26
Promotional CD (US)
  1. "Rusty Cage" (edit) – 3:52
  2. "Rusty Cage" – 4:26
  3. "Girl U Want" (Gerald Casale, Mark Mothersbaugh) – 3:29
  4. "Show Me" (Shepherd) – 2:47
CD (Australia, Germany, and UK)
  1. "Rusty Cage" (edit) – 3:52
  2. "Rusty Cage" – 4:26
  3. "Touch Me" (Fancy) – 2:51
  4. "Stray Cat Blues" (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) – 4:46
12" Vinyl (UK)
  1. "Rusty Cage" (edit) – 3:52
  2. "Touch Me" (Fancy) – 2:51
  3. "Show Me" (Shepherd) – 2:47
7" Vinyl (UK)
  1. "Rusty Cage" – 4:26
  2. "Touch Me" (Fancy) – 2:51
  • The vinyl is a limited edition of 5000. Also released as an etched green CD in a Digipak (5000 copies), a picture 7" (5000 copies) and a cassette single.
CD (The Netherlands)
  1. "Rusty Cage" (edit) – 3:52
  2. "Big Bottom"/"Earache My Eye" (live) (Spinal Tap)/(Tommy Chong, Gaye DeLorme, Richard Marin) – 10:46

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1992) Position
UK Singles Chart[11] 41

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gilbert, Jeff. "Primecuts: Kim Thayil". Guitar School. May 1994.
  2. ^ Woodard, Josef. "Soundgarden's Kim Thayil & Chris Cornell". Musician. March 1992.
  3. ^ Leonard, Michael. "Unknown Pleasures". The Guitar Magazine. December 1996.
  4. ^ Rotondi, James. "Alone in the Superunknown." Guitar Player. June 1994.
  5. ^ Brown, Matt. "Road Rash: Review by Matt Brown". ibiblio. Retrieved 2007-12-26. 
  6. ^ "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas: Soundtrack". Rockstar Games.
  7. ^ "EA Announces The Adrenaline Infusing Soundtrack For Burnout Paradise". Electronic Arts. December 18, 2007.
  8. ^ RoosterTeeth. "Achievement Hunter : Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 - Mob of the Dead Hidden Song". Retrieved 2013-04-19. 
  9. ^ a b "Soundgarden music videos". Music Video Database. Retrieved 2008-02-22. 
  10. ^ Soil at MySpace.
  11. ^ "UK Singles & Albums Chart Archive - Soundgarden". Retrieved 2007-12-08. 

External links[edit]