Let's Give Chris Cornell A Little Credit

idolIf you caught American Idol on Tuesday night, you saw David Cook sing Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean". It was the best performance of the night and he received a great deal of praise for the arrangement and modern spin on the Thriller classic. The praise was well deserved, but it was directed at the wrong guy.

David Cook's cover of "Billie Jean" was actually a cover of Chris Cornell's cover of "Billie Jean". The arrangement and style was identical to Chris Cornell's, found on his recent solo album Carry On. I found it interesting that Cook didn't mention Cornell's version as he received praise from the judges and few seem to be acknowledging the fact Cook wasn't being that creative with the song.

And it's not like Cornell's cover was obscure. It was a hit, receiving plenty of airplay on our local modern rock station and I even put it on SLS17.

Here's David Cook's performance of "Billie Jean". Enjoy it, just make sure you track down Chris Cornell's version, too. Without Cornell's cover, Cook would have sung something else on Tuesday night.

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I like Chris Cornell, I've heard his version and I don't think David's is identical - I think it's actually better. If anything, he sounded like Chris Daughtry. Ryan mentioned that it's Chris Cornell's version. And Mike, it's "Billie". ;)

March 29, 2008 @ 2:15 PM

Toronto Mike

Oops, I guess it is Billie...

The arrangement is identical. They don't share the same voice, but they sang this song in the same fashion.

Trust me, Cornell's Billie Jean has been on my iPod for months. This Cook fellow cloned it.

March 29, 2008 @ 3:35 PM


Boon, your the man.
I put up Chris Cornell's version on Humblehoward.com. I encourage all Boon fans.(And there are many) to check it out over at Hhdotcom.
Dig it.

March 29, 2008 @ 7:05 PM

Toronto Mike

Howie, I didn't even notice he opens with "With Chris Cornell's version of Billie Jean"...

For the Cornell version on Humble's entry, go here: http://www.humblehoward.com/2008/03/chris_cornell_and_billy_jean.html

March 29, 2008 @ 7:46 PM

Toronto Mike

And Annemarie, you're not really suggesting that Chris Daughtry is a better vocalist than Chris Cornell, are you?

Give Badmotorfinger a spin and get back to me on that one.

March 29, 2008 @ 7:51 PM


Sorry... had to correct you on that one ("Billy" vs. "Billie").

My point was... there was no dispute that it was "Chris Cornell's version".

And I meant David, not Chris Cornell, sounded like Chris Daughtry.

Now I hope we have that straightened out.

March 29, 2008 @ 11:34 PM

Toronto Mike

Seacrest says that so quickly at the beginning, I never picked it up on my own.

The judges were telling him how brave he was and how creative and how bold that rearrangement was, and it really came across to the unaware viewer that it was somehow a David Cook spin on the Michael Jackson classic.

March 30, 2008 @ 8:57 AM


Awwwwhhh... Chris Cornell! I'll never forget listening to Soundgarden's set at Exhibition stadium as I sat helplessly on a streetcar stranded in traffic just outside the gates. I never got in until halfway through Pearl Jam...

Didn't Seacrest utter Cornell's name that night? I think he did. Anyway CC's version knocks your socks off. No doubt about it. Excellent....

As for David Cook, I pick him to win.

March 31, 2008 @ 3:41 PM

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