May 18, 2017

Goodbye to Chris Cornell, the Soundgarden frontman.

"Chris Cornell, the powerful, dynamic singer whose band Soundgarden was one of the architects of grunge music, has died at 52."

The death was, we're told, “sudden and unexpected."

He even tweeted — as though nothing was wrong — just last night.



Or perhaps another person tweeted for him. A publicist?

He was the best of grunge (and I listened to a lot of grunge in the 90s). What a voice!



ADDED: Cornell had substance abuse problems in the past:
He had struggles with addiction to drugs and alcohol, checking into rehab in 2003 and going sober ever since. “I actually like rehab a lot. It’s like school; it’s interesting. I’m learning that I can be teachable at age 38,” he told Spin magazine that year. “I would sometimes drink before we played. It wasn’t a big deal. It became a bigger deal when I stopped doing the other things I liked to do. I used to ride mountain bikes around with my friends, and we’d keep 40-ouncers where the water bottle was supposed to be. But once I removed the mountain and the bike, there was just the drinking.”
Here's a more stripped down, minimalist video:



AND: Listen to his acoustic version of "Billie Jean."

29 comments:

donald said...

Couldn't name one Soundgarden or Audioslave song. Didn't get Grunge one damned bit. Not that I'm knocking it. Just didn't register.

traditionalguy said...

Sweet man. He will be missed.

Will Cate said...

Very sad to wake up to this... Soundgarden's album "Superunknown" is my favorite album from that era, and one of the best hard-rock albums of all time.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Dang, that's unexpected, what a shame.
Soundgarden's lyrics weren't always stellar but they didn't get in the way and the band had a very distinct sound--like they took mid 60's classic rock-type structure and grunged it up (w/drop tuning, etc).

Paul Anka did a cover of Black Hole Sun, just to link recent Althouse musician posts.

rhhardin said...

The death was, we're told, “sudden and unexpected."

The death that gets you is never your own, Blanchot says in The Space of Literature.

Probably in the essay on Rilke.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Thanks for the Bond theme. RIP

Rae said...

He also did a good rendition of "Ave Maria".

Never got to see him in concert, unfortunately. Rest in peace.

Chris N said...

Everyone's a critic, so when it came to lyrics, vocal technique (ruin your voice if you want, I guess), my opinion.is he could have gone to school a little more.

Lot of Beatles and 60's pop mixed with rock/some metal/grunge stuff...too moody, dark and disjointed (drinking, drugs) for me a lot of the time.

All that aside, that guy put his heart into singing and had a truly gifted voice. Very unique and powerful.

R.I.P

Browndog said...

"I am the Highway" is his finest work, in my opinion.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=725iONdAu9Q

Graham Powell said...

I liked a lot of his work. I don't buy very many albums but I did buy Superunknown, and had a few of his songs with Audioslave. "Doesn't Remind Me" was my favorite.

Limited blogger said...

Cornell did most of the vocals with 'super group' Temple of the Dog.

Cornell formed the group for one album as a tribute to Andrew Wood

Anonymous said...

What a voice. Sad. The extended version of Spoon Man is amazing. -- Jessica

Etienne said...

"He had struggles with addiction to drugs and alcohol"

It's a simple thing really, don't get started. Don't be a punk.

Actually I have never heard of him, but my music tastes are very weird.

Wilbur said...

Never heard of him. I may have yelled at him to get off my lawn.

Static Ping said...

"Black Hole Sun" is a spectacular song, though honestly I preferred his Audioslave output overall.

Charlie Eklund said...

Which death is preferable to any other? The unexpected.

~ Julius Caesar

wwww said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Birches said...

Soundgarden was one of the best of grunge. Only Alice in Chains might be better. I really loved audioslave too. I thought Cornell was a good check on Tom Morello.

Now I can relate to how many of you reacted to Prince's death, though we haven't hit the sweet spot of my teenage years yet...

Lyle Smith said...

He was good. I always liked Soundgarden more than Pearl Jam. Awesome voice and didn't stay seated to one sound.

TwilightofLiberty.com said...

Soundgarden was a great band and Cornell was a great singer. Used to listen to Superunknown and the follow-up "Down on the Upside" continuously (particularly recommend "Blow Up the Outside World" and "Burden In My Hand"). Also did some good work on the soundtrack to the movie Singles' "Seasons" is a particularly good track of just him and an acoustic guitar.

Still think Layne Staley had the most unique voice of the grunge era, though. Cantrell also a better guitar player than Kim Thayil, IMO.

Makes me feel old.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I kind of liked his cover of Billie Jean. You could tell he has a very nice voice and good control of his vocal instrument.

But...my God the grunge songs are horrible! So boring, repetitive chords, melody line? like a continuous loop, tedious, dragging, slogging, depressing. Perhaps is was just those songs, but I sure didn't get a sense of a great vocal range....then again, I couldn't take them for more than a minute or so. Maybe he did some fantastic vocal leaps later....however, I wasn't about to stick around to find out.

LordSomber said...

Never a big Soundgarden fan, but his Casino Royale theme is on my permanent play list.

Etienne said...

What's the difference between good grunge and bad grunge?

"Yea, well, sure, what kind of vomit looks better on hot concrete." - Paul McCartney

320Busdriver said...

One of the best, I will miss his talent.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

I enjoyed his his work with Audioslave more. Either way, too young to die.

RIP

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Now being reported as "suicide by hanging"

rehajm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rehajm said...

I wore out the groove on the copy of Audioslave's Show Me How To Live on my iPod.

Apparently, nobody did.

Did he hang himself? I'll reserve sympathy.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.