Rock Music And Soul Asylum – The Long And Challenging Road To Becoming A Household Name
Soul Asylum spawned from a previous band called Loud Fast Rules, formed in 1981 by guitarist and vocalist Dave Pirner, guitarist and back up vocalist Dan Murphy, bassist Karl Mueller, and percussionist Pat Morley.
Soul Asylum began performing around the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and they quickly developed a core following. Pat Morley was ultimately replaced by Grant Young in 1984.
Just before the band signed with Twin/Tone Records in 1984, they changed their name to Soul Asylum. They launched their debut album, Say What You will in 1984 and quickly developed a core following and became known for their impressive, dynamic shows.
Although the young band’s inexperience was obvious, the record was a hellafied post-punk romp. Unfortunately it was largely overshadowed by releases from the band, Husker Du and the Replacements.
1986 was both an amazing and distressing year for the band. Early in the year they produced Made To be Broken, an album that highlighted their growth as musical artists.
After touring for several months and releasing a collection of outtakes and live songs called Time’s Incinerator, the band recorded and released their third album, While You Were Out before the year’s end.
An accumulation of neatly written punk songs, the recording received excellent reviews, but once again didn’t break through to a national audience.
The enhancements in the band were enough to get them their initial major label contract. The band signed to A&M in 1987 and released Hang Time a year later, a wonderful, riff-heavy record that finally provided the group the sound it deserved.
However, right after playing a number of acoustic rock music concerts during the early 1990’s Soul Asylum ended up being picked up by Columbia Records.
In 1992, they launched Grave Dancers Union, which became their most popular record. The magical third single, “Runaway Train,” propelled by a public service announcement-style music video for missing children, helped drive the single to number five and the record to number 11, and turned the band into a household name.
The subsequent year, Soul Asylum got the Grammy Award for Best Rock Song for “Runaway Train.”
In May 2004, base player Karl Mueller was diagnosed with cancer and underwent treatment. Karl Mueller’s diagnosis hastened the group’s resolve to commit another record together. His insistence on completing the album became the motivator behind (and in front of) its completion.
Karl Mueller recorded his last Soul Asylum album that year (2006’s The Silver Lining). However, the cancer eventually returned, and he passed away inside his home on June 17, 2005.
Soul Asylum finished their American tour in support of The Silver Lining in late 2006. In November and December 2006, they opened for Cheap Trick on their American tour.
On March 10th, 2007, Soul Asylum joined up with Cyndi Lauper, Mint Condition, and Lifehouse to hold rock music festivals to benefit Wain McFarlane, the leader of the legendary reggae band Ipso Facto, to help cover the expenses of a kidney transplant.
Listen To Soul Asylum online, search: list rock music.