Leaving little to the imagination with a distinctive sound, sharpened mind and songwriting prowess that few can imitate, dare they try, Chris Cornell’s continual battle with his demons have been a lyrical chronicle keenly observed by listeners all around the world. As a uniquely talented prison guard who was both jailer and jailed within a body-trapping mind ahead of his time, Chris Cornell's vocals and influence commanded reverence.
Iconic and enduringly plumbing the depths of misery, Chris began his legacy as chill-inducing lead-vocalist for Rock band, Soundgarden, who have stood the test of time while creating a reputation for chasing their own shadows and self-destructive habits over six studio albums that have unabashedly indented their position into Rock ‘N’ Roll history beyond the vicious cycle of money-hungry, self-fulfilling prophecies.
Breaking through to mainstream success came abruptly after the 1991 studio album release, ‘Badmotorfinger’, which displayed an admirable spectacle of songwriting thought and depth culminated in anguished wailing and despair. Lending his expertise to bring to life a band in dedication to his late friend, former roommate and vocalist of Malfunkshun, Andrew Wood, Chris rounded up ex-members of Mother Love Bone and fellow musically-inclined troops to enamor the world with one 1991 self-titled album release as Temple of the Dog, which served as a rich body of work and shining example that began to show the world the full range and power of Chris’ hypnotic vocals.
Subconsciously setting himself apart from the pack with his belting techniques and lyrical spillings of inner confinements, Chris went on to create a grungy masterpiece in the form of band that put listeners sorrows to sleep while serving as an antidote that left all influenced and envisioning a world where we all weren’t so alone through Soundgarden’s grungy musings. Bringing to the forefront tales of abuse and depression and attempting to retreat from the spotlight as fast as he could, Chris went on to tour the world with unbridled self-assuredness through an exhaustive internal battle that has been portrayed as art by the external. Through dark and dire times, Chris’ brevity, quick-tempered vocals, and impassioned choruses developed beyond a granular gem, and he went on to form Rock supergroup, Audioslave, who produced three memorable studio albums including the 2005 release, ‘Out of Exile’, that oscillates between Hard Rock and Alternative Metal while showcasing Chris’ talent in all of its glory.
As a true pioneer of Rock, the nature of excess that can come with fame and fortune stirred a tornado within a man that gave his all on every single stage until his dying day. Though Soundgarden’s releases weren’t played around the clock on MTV or top-ten radio, they are some of the best that grunge has to offer. If anything, that was furthest of the intention from both Chris Cornell and members of Soundgarden whose influence has loomed large over rock bands that have emerged through their days.
Though not to discredit a single one, the music world has recently seen many losses, yet Chris Cornell has left a big gap to fill. If your life ends, but you’re still alive, who are you?