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Remembering Chris Cornell — 10 of his greatest all-time songs

Alex & Ani host ROCK4EB! with Sting and Chris Cornell at EBMRF Benefit
Kevin Winter

Most listeners know me as Bill Spadea’s producer but I also have the pleasure of being a DJ and host of my own show, “The Saturday Night Slaughterhouse,” on our sister station, 105,7 The Hawk. When I’m playing music and I think of some of my favorite musicians on the show, one of the voices I love hearing more than most, is the unmistakable vocals of Chris Cornell. From Soundgarden to Temple of the Dog, Audioslave, or his solo career, Cornell had one of the most definitive voices in the entire rock world. His vocals were nothing short of legendary.

When I heard of Cornell’s passing at age 52, I was completely shocked and instantly went numb because one of my favorite lead vocalists of all time, was just instantly gone. This is just a complete tragedy and early on, has hit me the way some may have been devastated by the passing of Prince or Kurt Cobain. Chris Cornell was one of the ultimate frontmen in rock and roll for me. Cornell had it all, the voice, the look, and an strong stage presence.

Watch Chris Cornell's Best NJ Concert Moments

You can’t have a conversation about the birth of grunge music without Cornell and Soundgarden being a major part of that discussion. While I was happy that Pearl Jam was recognized by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with an induction in 2017, I thought Soundgarden should have been on stage right along with them, because they were equally important to the change over in music during the early 90’s.

While Cornell may have been from Seattle, his persona and his music touched those here in New Jersey, Here are some NJ celebrity reactions to the passing of Chris Cornell:

Our very own news reporter Erin Vogt:

Over the years, Cornell broadened his scope through different projects. Whether it was working with Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam on Temple of the Dog, joining up with Tom Morello and members of Rage Against the Machine for Audioslave or just doing his own solo projects, Cornell was always on the top of his game and made his mark on those projects like no other. Cornell could cover songs from other artists and put such an amazing spin on them, it felt like you were listening to them like they were an original. Perfect example of that is Cornell’s rendition of Prince’s song “Nothing Compares 2 U.” Cornell’s version of it is nothing short of outstanding.

The rock world lost one of the greats today, and quite possibly one of its most underrated vocalists of our time. To commemorate Chris Cornell’s passing, here are my top 10 favorite songs that Cornell delivered to us over the years.

 


1

You Know My Name

Chris Cornell – ‘Casino Royale’ Soundtrack

 

 

Always thought that this song, written for the James Bond movie Casino Royale, showed some of Cornell’s greatest versatility and was one of the best songs ever written for the legendary movie series.

 

2

‘Show Me How to Live’

Audioslave

 

 

When Cornell first joined up with Morello and formed Audioslave, I wasn’t sure how the band was going to lend itself to Cornell’s vocals. I couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised when I heard them together. “Show Me How to Live,” is probably one of the best singles Cornell recorded with the group.

 

3

‘Say Hello to Heaven’

Temple of the Dog

 

 

When Temple of the Dog formed, you had some of Seattle’s best musicians merging together for a fantastic project. This was always my favorite song from the group that highlighted some of Cornell’s amazing range.

 

4

‘Outshined’

Soundgarden

 

 

Soundgarden was entrenched as one of the founding fathers of the 90’s movement. This song, probably more so than any other, will be one of the staples of that era.

 

5

‘Like a Stone’

Audioslave

 

 

To me, this is one of the best songs Cornell ever sang. The songs highlights his amazing range of lows and highs.

 

6

‘Seasons’

Chris Cornell – ‘Singles’ Soundtrack

 

 

Singles was a 90’s movie that highlighted the grunge movement in Seattle. One of my favorite soundtracks and this is by far one of the best tracks on the album.

 

7

‘Fell on Black Days’

Soundgarden

 

 

One of the more mellow tracks from Soundgarden ever produced but one of their best also.

 

8

‘Billie Jean’

Chris Cornell Solo

 

 

Cornell has such a huge library, I would normally never include a cover BUT, this cover of Michael Jackson’s iconic tune, is just completely amazing. Not many singers could’ve pulled it off but Cornell nails this one.

 

9

‘Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart’

Chris Cornell Solo

 

 

From Cornell’s 4th solo album, Higher Truth, this was the lead single. The song hit #5 on the Billboard rock chart. It’s one of Cornell’s more mellow vocals but the song has such an amazing vibe to it.

 

10

‘Cochise’

Audioslave

 

 

This was the first single to be released by Audioslave. When I first heard the track, it was definitely an eye-opening “WOW” moment. Cornell’s vocals, along with Morello, were just an phenomenal pairing and this tune is a complete monster.

 

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