Ongoing History of New Music

The Ongoing History of New Music, episode 987: 10 things about Chris Cornell

It’s always a shock when we hear that a rock star has died. But when the news of Chris Cornell came out on May 18, 2017, it was extra-jarring.

The overall impression was that he was a guy who had it good. He’d been a central fixture of the grunge era as the frontman of Soundgarden. There was a total unexpected hit with the Temple of the Dog project, then a solid three-album run with Audioslave. His solo recordings were hit-and-miss, but given everything else he’d done, fans gave him a pass when he stumbled.

Then came the Soundgarden reunion, which began in 2010 and ran for almost eight years. There was a new album, King Animal, in 2012, and sold out tours. There were also plans for a second post-reunion record for which Chris had already recorded some vocal demos.

But then he was gone by his on hand in that hotel room in Detroit, another fatality of the grunge brigade that included Kurt Cobain, Andrew Wood, and Layne Staley. And it’s possible–probable, even–that Chris’ fate had a fatal effect on his good friend Chester Bennington, who took his own life two months later.

Chris may be gone, but we’re still talking about him, still listening to his music, still marveling at that voice. As with all great artists, the fascination continues long after his death.

Let’s take a dive into Chris’ world with ten interesting things about the man you may not know.

Songs heard on this show:

  • Chris Cornell, Patience (Guns N’ Roses cover)
  • Soundgarden, Heretic
  • Soundgarden, Rusty Cage (outtake)
  • Soundgarden, Spoonman (original version
  • Soundgarden, Come Together (Beatles cover)
  • Chris Cornell, You Know My Name
  • Chris Cornell, Scream
  • Audioslave, Like a Stone (BBC session)

Eric Wilhite has this playlist for us.

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38156 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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