I’m in absolute shock over the news of Chris Cornell. It’s mind boggling to think that he is gone. Chris had such a profound impact on rock music with his voice, lyrics, and songwriting. I would even put Chris on the list of greatest singers ever. I remember the first time I heard Soundgarden way back when I was a little kid around 7 or 8 and “Outshined” came on. I was mesmerized by it. My mom was really into it and she’s the one that went out and bought Bad Motor Finger. From that point, I was hooked on Soundgarden. I spent many a night when I was young listening to music and studying the lyrics of my favorites. Chris Cornell had such a poetic touch to his words. My personal favorite Soundgarden album is Down On The Upside. There is something about that album that really hits home. I can’t tell you what, but, there is something really magical about that record.
When I heard that Chris had joined forces with the remaining members of Rage Against The Machine, I was beyond excited. Then I heard “Cochise” and was instantly sold. Audioslave became such a great vehicle for Chris to expand his already poetic sensibilities, and share a different side of himself. It wasn’t until the bands last album Revelations, that Audioslave truly found their sound but, Chris really went for it lyrically and vocally on that album. Check out the songs “Wide Awake” and “Moth” and you’ll hear what I mean.
I feel lucky to have seen Chris perform 4 times over the years. Twice with Audioslave, once solo, and once with Soundgarden when they toured with Nine Inch Nails a few years ago. Chris was always great live. His presence on stage was gripping and captivating. I’ve had this thought for a while that, if Robert Plant really didn’t want to be a part of doing shows with Led Zeppelin that, they should get Chris Cornell to fill the spot. If you think about it, you know that would be something great and amazing.
Here’s to all the great music and words Chris left us. His legacy is intact with great songs and performances. I feel for his children. I hope at some point they can come to terms with this loss.
Here are a few of my favorite songs Chris has been a part of.
It’s crazy to think that it’s been 25 years since Temple Of The Dog released their one and only album. For those that don’t know, this band and album was a tribute to singer Andrew Wood of Mother Love Bone (The band before Pearl Jam). This is one of those albums that still stand the test of time. I remember first hearing “Say Hello To Heaven” and “Hunger Strike” and being totally in awe of how good those songs were. Not to mention the guitar solo by Mike McCready on “Reach Down.” Seriously, Mike is one of the most underrated guitar players in the last 25 years. The entire album is from start to finish tremendous. There are a few things I find very interesting about this album. One, that it was made and released before Soundgarden put out Bad Motor Finger. Two, “Say Hello 2 Heaven” and “Reach Down” were written by Cornell in direct response to Andrew Wood’s death. While the rest of the songs were written about various topics. This is one of those albums that should be in everyone’s collection. It’s just so damn good.
When I first heard “Hunger Strike” when I was a kid, I was absolutely blown away. The sheer magnitude of vocals from Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder… WOW! That Temple Of The Dog album is still one of the best albums of the 90’s in my opinion. Sadly though so many people have tried to cover “Hunger Strike” and fail miserably. A few years back Chris Cornell joined Chester Bennington on stage to do a version of it. And recently Corey Taylor joined Halestorm at an awards show to do a cover of it as well. Both versions are pretty bad in their own right. I’m curious as to which one you all prefer.