Shocked to wake up this morning to the news that Chris Cornell passed away suddenly this morning at the age of 52. The lead singer of Soundgarden had, without a doubt, one of the most distinctive voices in music, and was one of the voices of the grunge era. If you were around at all in ‘90s, you couldn’t walk into a shopping mall, bar or cafeteria without hearing classics like ‘Black Hole Sun’ and ‘Spoonman’. Cornell went on to be the voice of Audioslave, with members of Rage Against the Machine, that band, too, created music that has aged exceptionally well – ‘Cochise’ and ‘Doesn’t Remind Me’ both stand out. The man was exceptionally talented, devilishly handsome, and seemed to be a genuine soul. Like any good musician, Cornell was keen to experiment with sounds and other artist’s material, and if you went to a Chris Cornell show, you’d be sure to hear a cover or two, and it wasn’t just a singer singing a tune you’d heard before. Cornell’s unique arrangements and style of delivery made every song cover sound brand new. With that, here are five favorite covers by the great, gone way too soon, Chris Cornell.
Billie Jean – This may be his most well-known cover, and at first you’d think it was a joke take, but very, very quickly you realize that he’s turned the song on its head, and absolutely owned it.
Nothing Compares 2 U – This ones still feels too fresh, the world losing Prince only a year ago, and this cover from the Sirius XM for an Artist Confidential back in 2015, of the purple ones hit, is nothing short of amazing.
One – A funny story about a googling gone wrong, brought Cornell to cover a Metallica song, but with the melody of a U2 song of the same name. What should sound like a party trick, comes off as disarmingly good.
I Will Always Love You – This wonderfully filmed clip from a show at the Masonic Auditorium in 2012 will have you reaching for a tissue, if you haven’t already. Can’t imagine what this must’ve been like to be there live.
A Day in the Life – A personal favorite of mine, covering a classic that was filled with so much, and stripping it down, and breathing new life into it. Brilliant