Chris Cornell, Dead at 52

Chris CornellChris Cornell was 52. He was best known as the lead vocalist, primary songwriter and rhythm guitarist for Soundgarden and as lead vocalist and songwriter for Audioslave.

This one hits me square in my youth. I had a Badmotorfinger poster hanging in my bedroom as a teen. I just searched this blog for the term 'cornell' and see I've been writing about him for 15 years.

As I glance at those old entries, it's clear I always deemed him the best vocalist of the grungers. I may have been a bigger fan of Pearl Jam, but Nirvana and Soundgarden were right there on Mount Rushmore. Here's a few copy and pastes from yesteryear.

  • "Of all the great grunge rockers I've enjoyed through the years, nobody can touch the voice of Chris Cornell."
  • "Some great rock voices emerged from Seattle in the late 80s and early 90s. Kurt Cobain had that wicked scream and Ed Vedder had that definitive angsty croon but Chris Cornell had that impossible range. He was the best of the bunch and "Jesus Christ Pose" is that song I first skip to when I'm craving some Soundgarden."
  • "When I first read that the members of Rage Against the Machine were forming a group with Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, it was music to my ears. I'm a huge fan of both Rage Against the Machine and Soundgarden, and Audioslave didn't disappoint."

From Soundgarden to Hunger Strike to Audioslave and his haunting and exceptional solo covers of "Nothing Compares 2 U", "Billie Jean" and more, there was no other voice like his, and I'm going to miss hearing new music from the man.


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mrmojorisinca

So Sad when I heard this..I do hope it wasn't drug related.

May 18, 2017 @ 8:43 AM

Patrick

Sadly if the reports on places like tmz are accurate it seems that Chris took his own life.

http://www.tmz.com/2017/05/18/soundgarden-audioslave-frontman-singer-chris-cornell-found-dead/

I am also one of those who was in highschool during Soundgarden's heyday, especially the Badmotorfinger CD and am really sad that we won't get any more music from him.

If you haven't heard it - give a listen to his opening song to the bond flick "Casino Royale". "Vintage" Chris Cornell in that song.

May 18, 2017 @ 9:00 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Here's the aforementioned cover of Nothing Compares 2 U.

May 18, 2017 @ 9:06 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Here's the eternal Hunger Strike from Temple of the Dog.

May 18, 2017 @ 9:07 AM


Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Here's Chris Cornell's haunting take on Michael Jackson's Billie Jean.

May 18, 2017 @ 9:11 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

And of course, Outshined!

I could do this all day... so many great songs from Chris.

Please share your favourites below. If you can, embed the YouTube clip instead of just linking to it.

May 18, 2017 @ 9:16 AM

Patrick

A couple of my Chris Cornell favs that Mike hasn't posted yet.

You know my name - Casino Royale opening song

Soundgarden - spoonman

May 18, 2017 @ 9:37 AM

Aldo

This song was everywhere.

May 18, 2017 @ 9:37 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Here's one of my favourite Audioslave songs. So great.

And another...

And the first Audioslave I ever heard, which still kills...

May 18, 2017 @ 9:39 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

This one is tough to listen to today, but so, so good.

May 18, 2017 @ 9:49 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

One more from me (for now)...

From the Singles soundtrack, which I played oh so many times, Chris Cornell's Seasons.

May 18, 2017 @ 9:57 AM

mrmojorisinca

he struggled with depression for a long time..he had claimed Audioslave saved his life..

May 18, 2017 @ 10:19 AM

James Edgar

Rip Chris.
Badmotorfinger is one of the absolute best albums to come out of that Seattle Scene . Nirvana and Pearl Jam captured more attention from me but I'm still playing Badmotorfinger and Superunknown tracks on my phone and in the car all the Time.

I have to agree Mike, He was a great singer.

May 18, 2017 @ 10:28 AM

Ben V

This is rough for me too. I adored Sound Garden and Cornell. His voice was so unique and you could feel the angst.

His solo stuff was never as widely liked as what he did with Audioslave or Sound garden.

My two favorites from his solo are
Can't Change Me
https://youtu.be/ecoWjR3fDT0
And
Sunshower
https://youtu.be/tYyc5jnromA

Ughhh a rough day.

Interesting fact that fell on dark days was written because Chris Cornell suffered from such anxiety he didn't leave his room/house for over a month.

May 18, 2017 @ 12:52 PM

Handsome Rob

I had just mentioned him a couple days ago in another entry. Was shocked when the wife text me this morning.

I would suggest if you haven't before, listen to the Unplugged in Sweden album he had. Think it was a bootleg from a radio station or something. Really fantastic and showed his range.

May 18, 2017 @ 1:38 PM

elvis

This really sucks.

May 18, 2017 @ 2:36 PM

jilly

I had a friend who absolutely loved him when we were in elementary school. My sister did as well, and she and a friend saw him last year in concert.

I love his James Bond theme song. Been listening to it all day, along with humming Black Hole Sun.

My heart goes out to his family and friends and fans :(

May 18, 2017 @ 4:18 PM

dunf

Break-your-heart piece currently up on newyorker.com splash home page:

Remembering Chris Cornell
By Amanda Petrusich

"And I'm lost, behind
The words I'll never find
And I'm left behind
As seasons roll on by .... '

May 18, 2017 @ 5:48 PM

The Voice of Reason

One of the greatest voices in rock EVER. What a range...not only a huge Soundgarden fan but his first solo record was classic. Completely gutted over this..shocked.

May 18, 2017 @ 6:23 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@dunf

You should come on my podcast, Toronto Mike'd. Would be great to hear from you....

Let me know!

May 19, 2017 @ 8:52 AM

Ben V

I'm not usually emotional over the deaths of famous people, whether they be musicians or rock stars. Yet this one feels really sad a week out. I was up at the cottage this weekend and drove everyone crazy playing all things cornell all the time. I really couldn't get the thought out of my head that I wouldn't be able to hear new music from him ever again

I had forgotten how sad I was when Sound Garden broke up thinking about how I wouldn't get to see them live. Only to have that dream be realised over a decade later.

I had forgotten just how much the music spoke to me and all my teenage angst all those years ago. I skimmed through some videos of him in the past 2 years and he looked so alive. Watching the video of Vedder invite him on stage in what would be the last time they sung a temple of the dog song on stage gives me chills.

I never knew him personally of course, but it's weird when you feel a musician/band knows/knew you in the songs they wrote and performed.

Life goes on I guess, but this feeling it so very surreal right now.

May 24, 2017 @ 11:16 AM

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