Today is a really tough day for music and rock fans everywhere, as we mourn the loss of Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, Audioslave, Temple of the Dog and more. Chris Cornell was one of the best vocalists and songwriters ever, his music has had a huge impact on rock fans all over the world. He leaves behind an incredible legacy of music with so many great songs. Here are 15 Chris Cornell songs that changed our lives.
#1 – Rusty Cage
From the 1991 album “Badmotorfinger”, this is a primary example of the primal power of Soundgarden’s music and Chris Cornell’s voice. We knew Soundgarden would be a special band from the get go, but this song really took things in a new direction for the band.
#2 – Outshined
This song just flat out rocks, nuff said.
#3 – Hunger Strike/Say Hello To Heaven
Temple of the Dog was a band that mixed together members of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, and the “Hunger Strike” duet between Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder is simply incredible, both singing with incredible passion. “Say Hello To Heaven” might be one of the best Cornell vocals ever.
#4 – Black Hole Sun
A huge hit from “Superunknown” in 1994, this is a song that shows Cornell’s ability to write melodies that can be both sweet and haunting.
#5 – My Wave
When I think of Soundgarden songs that rock the most, this one might be at the top of the list. Defy anyone to NOT head bang when this one comes on.
#6 – Spoonman
Soundgarden were the first rock band to incorporate real spoon playing into a hit song, and we were richer for it.
#7 – The Day I Tried To Live
This song takes on new meaning in light of Chris Cornell’s death, but it’s one of Soundgarden’s best songs. Cornell tells us to get out there and seize the day, and talks about his own struggles with being closed off and reclusive.
#8 – Burden In My Hand
When I was first getting into Soundgarden, this was one of the songs that stood out to me the most. I remember the music video of the band walking in the desert, and was always struck by the song’s incredible melody and of course Cornell’s voice. I knew I would be a fan from then on.
#9 – Blow Up The Outside World
Soundgarden could be an aggressive band from time to time, and although this song isn’t musically heavy, lyrically it’s pretty out there. Cornell knew how to tap into the frustrations of the 90’s generation.
#10 – Sunshower
This song was featured on the soundtrack to the 1998 film “Great Expectations” and it might be one of Cornell’s best vocal performances ever. Just him and an acoustic guitar, this song is a glimpse into the softer side of Cornell.
#11 – Cochise
This song blew my mind when I first heard it. The lead singer of Soundgarden teaming up with the band from Rage Against The Machine? This could be the best thing ever! And it kinda was!
#12 – Show Me How To Live
The first Audioslave album had a lot of great songs, but this one might be the best from that debut record.
#13 – Like A Stone
This song was a huge hit for Audioslave, and just continues to show Chris Cornell’s ability to write amazing ballads. Whether it rocked or it was quiet, he could sing it all.
#14 – I Am The Highway
Another awesome ballad from the debut Audioslave album and a huge radio hit for the band. Could be one of Cornell’s best lyrical compositions. “I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway”.
#15 – Doesn’t Remind Me
This might be one of the sweetest songs ever written by Cornell, it has a more uplifting and lighthearted tone than most of his songs.
#16 – By Crooked Steps
When Soundgarden returned in 2012 after a long hiatus, I was worried if the band could recapture the magic. The “King Animal” album ended up being a near-masterpiece, proving that the band still had the goods. This song just kicks major ass.