In retrospect, it seems pretty obvious that was a signal that Soundgarden was at a musical crossroad, and might not be long for the world. While there were quite a few good songs on the album, it was not nearly as focused or unified as previous efforts. In fact, less than one year after releasing the album in May 1996, Soundgarden called it quits.
And while Down on the Upside does show the band slipping from the creative and commercial apex of their 1994 megahit, Superunknown, it is a worthy entry in the Soundgarden canon. And for my money, the cover art here is the best of the band’s career. While the imagery is simple, what makes this a great cover is the excellent composition and color scheme. The typeface, which appears to be identical to the one used on Superunknown, isn’t great but does the job.
And as far as I can tell, the silhouetted band members are (l to r) Kim Thayil, Chris Cornell, Ben Shepherd, and Matt Cameron.