Thursday, May 18, 2017

Fell on black days

I've not had much time for Chris Cornell's music for a long while - Audioslave were decent enough but, given their pedigree, consistently underwhelmed, and his solo stuff is by and large appalling - but the news of his death at the age of just 52 has come as a bit of a hammer blow. Soundgarden were an absolutely essential part of my musical education, very much a gateway drug (along with Nirvana, Sonic Youth and Smashing Pumpkins) that helped to bring my musical tastes to where they are today.

Little wonder that Jimmy Page has been among those paying tribute - Cornell's rock-god voice is almost as distinctive and worthy of celebration as Robert Plant's. While it's gratifying that Soundgarden had reformed, it's a shame that that voice wasn't put to better use in the years after they initially disbanded in 1997.

Let's not dwell on that, though. Superunknown was for a time my favourite album (at least until Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness was released the following year), while Badmotorfinger is extremely good and Down On The Upside, with which they signed off first time around, heinously underrated. Cornell's contribution to each was huge.

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