For the last My Sunday Song #350 for the Chris Cornell 10 song set is “Black Hole Sun” by his band Soundgarden. The song is off their 1994 album Superunknown and went to #1 on the Mainstream Rock Chart in the U.S. The song has so many accolades including one of the Top 500 Songs of all time landing at #368. It didn’t go Gold in the U.S., but did in the UK, Australia and Italy. It is one of their most recognizable and amazing songs and was written by Chris Cornell.
The song was written by Chris mostly on a drive from the studio in Woodinville to Seattle which was about a 34-40 minute drive. Once he got home, he whistled it in to a dictaphone. The next more he got and wallah, a new song. The song was inspired by a story on the news, Chris doesn’t remember the story itself just the words Black Hole Sun which he thought would be a great title to the song. When he wrote the lyrics in about 15 minutes, there was no meaning, per se, behind them, basically it was him putting words together that painted this dark picture. From reading the lyrics, it sort of looks like a song about disillusionment and how the world has grown so dark and mean that no more honest men exist as everyone is eventually turned to the dark side.
Musically, the song is just as dark sounding at times with a grunge sound, but also a little psychedelic with a slight Beatles vibe to it. The chorus feels a little upbeat and a little sunnier, but when that chorus comes in it feels like a menacing dark sludge. Kim Thayil’s guitar tone on this is perfect for the song as it has some really cool moments with that solo lying under the grungy riff really plays nicely off each other. Cornell’s vocals on the chorus seem monotonous at times as they are trudging through the sludge of the music. His backing vocals are higher pitched and really give the song something a little extra. I was immediately engrossed in this song the first time I heard as there is so much going on. It is simply wonderful.
For My Sunday Song #334, we are going to walk through the song “Loud Love” by Soundgarden. The song is off their 1989 album ‘Louder Than Love’. They hadn’t broke yet here in the states so the song didn’t chart although the album went to #108 on the US Billboard 200 album chart. Now, in the UK the song did chart and reached #87. Not great, but it charted. Fun fact, it is believed that this song was supposed to be on the Wayne’s World soundtrack as it is playing in the background when Wayne meets Casandra. Early listings of the songs had it on their, but it was left off.
The song was written by Chris Cornell. I am not sure what they intended the song to be about, but to me when I look at the lyrics it feels like it is about someone pushing another person to their limits to get them to fight back, to show some emotion and not sit there and take it. They are going to keep at them until the pop and the line “I’ll hammer you until you fight” is a perfect example of that thought. There aren’t a ton of lyrics so no real proof, but that is my gut.
Musically, that guitar piece at the beginning is insane. It is a “feedback melody” is how I’ve seen it described. It is Kim Thayil standing in front of an amp, hitting a note until he gets feedback and then running his fingers up and down the fret. It is almost like the note is breathing. Really cool and what draws me to the song. Chris Cornell really screams out the chorus and lets out a scream towards the end that is pretty killer. Lyrically, there is not a lot to the song, but musically it wraps around those lyrics and drags it out to almost 5 minutes of heavy and thunderous music that paints the scene with a dark brush that feels a little disturbing and I love it.
Happy New Year and let us kick it off with a new 10 song set of My Sunday Songs. And with #331, we are kicking off with the first of 10 songs that will feature Chris Cornell, First up is the Soundgarden song “Burden in My Hand” off their 1996 album ‘Down on the Upside’. It was written by Chris and was released as the second single September 18, 1996. It did really well spending five weeks at #1 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock Chart.
The song is rather dark as it is about a guy that loses it and kills his wife. He admits it in the song. He is out in the desert where he buried her and his trying to deal with the grief and the guilt and coming to grips with what has happened. The lines “It’s just a burden in my hand / It’s just an anchor on my heart” reflects the guilt he is feeling. Kim Thayil of the band has called the song a modern “Hey Joe”. I can see that. Now, the song doesn’t say what happens to him or if he ever deals with his grief, but he is sitting there drowning his sorrows with alcohol and hopefully he drinks himself to death for what he has done
I love how the song starts out with Chris’ vocal going directly in to the first verse. The guitar comes in and it plays the song in C tuning (I read that on wiki as otherwise I’d have no idea). That opening verse with just the guitar, his voice and then the bass is perfect. The drums not coming in to until the bridge really adds a punch to the bridge. Then the full band is in for the second verse. I love the dark tone coming from the music as it matches the darkness and gloom of the situation. Chris vocals aren’t judgmental to the character, it is almost indifferent to what he has done, yet you feel a little empathy through his vocals. It is really interesting approach and it works.
July is almost over, but it isn’t going out before giving us one more week of new releases and there a quite a few, but only a few that I am really eager to hear and those that I will listen to when I have time. My choices will be marked in Blue. Tell me what you are looking forward to hearing or what I might have missed as it is known to happen. I hope there is something for your listening pleasure. Thanks and have a great weekend!
Matt Nathanson – Postcards (from Chicago) E.P. – (Acrobat Records): Well if you follow this site, then you know this is a no-brainer for me. I have already ordered the 10″ Orange vinyl and not sure when I will get it, but the digital download was ready for me first thing this morning. Matt, and at times friends, are doing a 6 song E.P. of cover songs and the list is quite diverse from Chance the Rapper to Richard Marx to Cheap Trick. Last year or so he did another that was a complete Def Leppard covers E.P. which was Fan’freaking’tastic. So high hopes for this one.
Soundgarden – Live at the Artists Den – (UMe): Soundgarden is releasing a live show from their 2013 Tour and it will be a full 29 song set and will remind us how great Chris Cornell was as a singer and a frontman. It will be available on Blue Ray, CD, LP and digital. Get the deluxe set to have it all.
May 18th, 2017. A sad day for music fans everywhere. Chris Cornell died and left this world, but lucky for us, he left a tremendous music legacy. For the first time, a collection has been released that is a wonderful retrospective view of his entire career.
The 4CD set (64 Tracks) takes you on a remarkable journey through the life of Chris Cornell starting with his early days of Soundgarden from as early as 1987 through to his work with Audioslave and his solo output with one brand new track that had never previously been released. There are also 10 unreleased live tracks with some outstanding performances from throughout his career.
The first CD is basically a greatest hits collection of Soundgarden tracks with the exception of two songs from Temple of the Dog and one solo track The collection spans the late 80’s and the 90’s.
I couldn’t decide to do a Chris Cornell meme post or Soundgarden or Audioslave, so I decided they will all work under just the Soundgarden name. So here are the collection of memes I found from around the internet that celebrate or poke fun at all three. I hope you enjoy.
For My Sunday Song #104, we are covering one of the great songs to come out of the Grunge Era, “Black Hole Sun” by Soundgarden. The song was all over the radio although it never broke the Top 40. It did reach #1 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks. The song was featured on the band’s fourth album ‘Superunknown’ back in 1994.
The grunge era was permeated with depressing songs and this was no exception; however, there was something more to it. Whether it was the songwriting, the vocals, or the music itself, Soundgarden was different than the other bands. They had talent, they had musicianship and they had one of the greatest vocalist at the time with Chris Cornell. I never got into grunge, but Soundgarden was one of the very few bands I got into because of the songs.
“Black Hole Sun” was juxtaposed with the darkness of a black hole and the brightness of the sun…at least in the title. It had this really beautiful chorus, but what the song was really about I had no idea. The words didn’t really make sense (see the lyrics below); however, they sounded great together. The song is really sad and dark although at times the song doesn’t sound that way. It all just kinda worked.
“It’s funny because hits are usually sort of congruent, sort of an identifiable lyric idea, and that song pretty much had none. The chorus lyric is kind of beautiful and easy to remember. Other than that, I sure didn’t have an understanding of it after I wrote it. I was just sucked in by the music and I was painting a picture with the lyrics. There was no real idea to get across.”
Record Store Day is upon us. It is April 21st, 2018 and I can’t believe I stood in line to get vinyl in 40ºF temperature. It could be worse, it could be freezing & raining. Thankfully, it was absolutely beautiful and sunny…just cold.
My daughter and I were tackling it again this year. This time my daughter had something in mind she wanted. I called the Record Store on Friday and asked if they had the album she wanted and he said he didn’t see it. So, we made a plan to divide and conquer. I asked my daughter to call a friend to see if they were stupid enough to stand outside with her at Lunchbox Records while I stood in line at Repo Records 5 minutes down the road.
We arrived at 7am (which means we left the house at 6:15am since it is a 45 minute drive to the record stores – we live in the boonies). We decided on 7am since last year we arrived at 8am and the store lines were awful (except at Repo). I get my daughter and her friend over to Lunchbox right at 7am and the line is not that long. They jump out and get in line and I head over to the other store.
Repo Records line was shorter than Lunchbox and so I jumped in line. Now the 2 hour wait since the stores didn’t open until 9am. After chatting with everyone around me and everyone discussing what they were there for and what bands they liked and concerts they had seen, the doors opened. The time flew by. That was an enjoyable 2 hours…wait…it hadn’t been 2 hours. The store opened a little early at 8:40am. There is a God!! (yes, there truly is but that is another discussion).
I am actually stunned at the news this morning at the passing of Chris Cornell. He was one of the most distinct voices in Rock and one of the best to come out of the 90’s music scene. When my wife told me the news I was getting ready to drive to work so I put on his latest solo album, ‘Higher Truth’, and paid tribute to him this morning.
His work with Soundgarden and Audioslave is something to behold and he has left us with so much music to remember him by. I will be revisiting his music all day and probably for the days to come. Chris, you will be missed, but thank you for your music and may you rest in peace!
Here are some videos to remember him by. I picked one from Soundgarden, one from Audioslave and one solo effort. If you aren’t familiar with his work, give it a try.
And the first song I listened to after I got the news:
As I have said repeatedly, cover albums are not my favorite albums as usually they lack the imagination and creativity to make them feel like it is the band’s songs. They stick too much to the original and who wants that. If I want to hear something that sounds like the original song, I will listen to the original song.
I will keep an open mind with this review and do my best to do it justice. Halestorm is now on their 3rd edition of their Reanimate the Covers E.P.’s. I give the band credit for giving their fans something to tide them over until their next album. As a music fan, it is nice to always get something new from your favorite bands even if it is a cover song. However, Halestorm does a lot of covers.
After listening to the album repeatedly for the last few days, I feel I have a great grasp of the songs and can say that I am not overly impressed with the E.P. as a whole. The band sticks pretty close to the original versions which is where my disappointment lies on most of the songs, but overall it is not a bad effort. I would rather have a full album of new material though.
The opening track is “Still of the Night”, a Whitensake cover. I have to admit I do like this song. Yes, they stick close to the original version, but the vocal range is actually perfect for Lzzy and the band sounds really great. What I like about Halestorm is that when they really rock it out, that is where they shine. This song really gives them the opportunity to rock out.