Chris Cornell (Soundgarden, Audioslave). RIP

Original Poster
Joined: May 2006
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Just saw this on a news crawler.

Man, that sucks. The dude still had it. His new music was solid and his voice richer and more mature and metered than his older work.

I'm getting goddamn sick of 90s rock stars biting it so young.

RIP
May 18, 2017 10:42 AM
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R.I.P. Soundgarden's music made my middle and high school years a hell of a lot more enjoyable and bearable.
May 18, 2017 12:03 PM
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What the everloving fuck. I had literally "graduated" from 80's metal and got into grunge as I got out of high school and started college in the early 90's. Soundgarden was a huge part of that. And I loved Audioslave. I still remember them playing on top of the marquee at the Letterman show, their first live appearance, IIRC.

His solo stuff is so good, too... Sunshower brought me to tears. His cover of Billie Jean is the only one that rivals the original. And I'd consider his James Bond theme to be the last good one.


I can't even. Today is going to suck.


May 18, 2017 12:08 PM
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May 18, 2017 12:13 PM
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Hopefully it is not suicide or drug overdose (though I doubt either.)

Superunknown is still one of my favorite albums of all time.
May 18, 2017 1:15 PM
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One of the greatest singers of all time.

Cobain, Staley, Weiland, now Cornell... the gods of grunge are so few now. Who are still left that you would put in that generation/wave? Trent Reznor, Billy Corgan, King Buzzo, Eddie Vedder - though I'd say Reznor's music was more experimental and doesn't really fit inside "grunge" he's definitely of that generation and owes a bit to it, by having synth-pop hooks blended with metal, Nine Inch Nails basically straddled grunge. But basically half of the biggest grunge lords are gone now.

IDK much about Cornell's personal life, but he seemed to have a good reputation. I was always a big fan since Superunknown. And you gotta love Rusty Cage
May 18, 2017 5:04 PM
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MKS
Joined: Jul 2006
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jasper de largeOne of the greatest singers of all time.

Cobain, Staley, Weiland, now Cornell... the gods of grunge are so few now. Who are still left that you would put in that generation/wave? Trent Reznor, Billy Corgan, King Buzzo, Eddie Vedder - though I'd say Reznor's music was more experimental and doesn't really fit inside "grunge" he's definitely of that generation and owes a bit to it, by having synth-pop hooks blended with metal, Nine Inch Nails basically straddled grunge. But basically half of the biggest grunge lords are gone now.

IDK much about Cornell's personal life, but he seemed to have a good reputation. I was always a big fan since Superunknown. And you gotta love Rusty Cage

Nah.
May 18, 2017 5:46 PM
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Sad news. I'm not entirely surprised. I saw him perform on late night tv recently, and I was really struck by how thin he looked. I just had a bad feeling....
May 18, 2017 11:27 PM
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While early/mid nineties alternative rock is a flavor that hasn't aged well for me, with there only being a small handful of that scenes albums I still truly love (Siamese Dream, Last Splash, Jar of Flies, maybe In Utero), Badmotorfinger was absolutely one of them and Cornell is very much one of the reasons for that. Seeing the video for Jesus Christ Pose may have been one of the highlights of 90's hard rock me, this long haired beast in the desert screaming right through the television screen at me, shocking me into the present music scene like few other bands were able to do. I could no longer pretend music didn't exist after 1979.

Terrible news.
May 18, 2017 11:58 PM
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Loved his work! Really heartbreaking to hear that he's gone.

From what I've read it was a suicide, which makes it even harder to understand.

Also... God damn I'm getting old. He was 52!!!
May 19, 2017 1:54 AM
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Black PhilipYeah Jesus Christ Pose is an all time favorite of mine. Those riffs are thundering.

I think I enjoyed his Audioslave work the most.

Like a Stone and I am the Highway are frequents on my playlist to this day.
May 19, 2017 1:55 AM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTtZalqtQH0

In honor of Chris.

Lots of news reports are now claiming suicide by hanging. Sad.
May 19, 2017 2:42 AM
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David Chromiakhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTtZalqtQH0

In honor of Chris.

Lots of news reports are now claiming suicide by hanging. Sad.

Just a point of clarification: It is not the news reports' claim that he committed suicide by hanging. That's a claim from the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office as conveyed to and further disseminated by the media, and the onus is on that office to be correct in the statement it issues.

I know this is pedantic, but in an environment where the press is under assault from the White House, I think it's important not to imply shortcomings of the media where none exist. You wouldn't reasonably expect reporters to conduct the autopsy themselves, would you?
May 19, 2017 2:56 AM
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Really sad news. I liked Soundgarden, but was never that much into it. However, when I got married, my wife got me into Cornell's solo career, to the point that Euphoria Morning has become one of my absolute fave albums. That was all that I listened to yesterday. RIP
May 19, 2017 12:06 PM
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crumbsroomWhile early/mid nineties alternative rock is a flavor that hasn't aged well for me, with there only being a small handful of that scenes albums I still truly love (Siamese Dream, Last Splash, Jar of Flies, maybe In Utero), Badmotorfinger was absolutely one of them and Cornell is very much one of the reasons for that. Seeing the video for Jesus Christ Pose may have been one of the highlights of 90's hard rock me, this long haired beast in the desert screaming right through the television screen at me, shocking me into the present music scene like few other bands were able to do. I could no longer pretend music didn't exist after 1979.

Terrible news.

Curious why you can't fully commit on this one.
May 19, 2017 1:55 PM
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Cornell's wife and attorney are blaming it on his anxiety medication:

Rolling StoneHowever, following Soundgarden's concert Wednesday night, Vicky noticed a change in her husband's demeanor when they talked on the phone after the show.

"When we spoke after the show, I noticed he was slurring his words; he was different. When he told me he may have taken an extra Ativan or two, I contacted security and asked that they check on him," she continued. "What happened is inexplicable and I am hopeful that further medical reports will provide additional details. I know that he loved our children and he would not hurt them by intentionally taking his own life."

An attorney for the Cornell family, Kirk Pasich, reiterated Vicky's belief that an extra dosage of Ativan, an anxiety medication often employed by recovering addicts, altered Chris Cornell's mental faculties after the Detroit show. Pasich added that the Cornell family is "disturbed at inferences that Chris knowingly and intentionally took his life."

"Without the results of toxicology tests, we do not know what was going on with Chris - or if any substances contributed to his demise," Pasich said. "Chris, a recovering addict, had a prescription for Ativan and may have taken more Ativan than recommended dosages. The family believes that if Chris took his life, he did not know what he was doing, and that drugs or other substances may have affected his actions."

Pasich added that side effects of Ativan include "paranoid or suicidal thoughts, slurred speech and impaired judgment"; Vicky Cornell noted her husband's slurred speech following the Detroit concert in her statement.
May 19, 2017 2:49 PM
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crumbsroomWhile early/mid nineties alternative rock is a flavor that hasn't aged well for me, with there only being a small handful of that scenes albums I still truly love (Siamese Dream, Last Splash, Jar of Flies, maybe In Utero), Badmotorfinger was absolutely one of them and Cornell is very much one of the reasons for that. Seeing the video for Jesus Christ Pose may have been one of the highlights of 90's hard rock me, this long haired beast in the desert screaming right through the television screen at me, shocking me into the present music scene like few other bands were able to do. I could no longer pretend music didn't exist after 1979.

It's funny that you feel this way, because I think that the "alternative rock" umbrella of the early 90s was one of the last truly eclectic explosions of talent in what could be considered the mainstream music business. Full of bands from Stereolab, Jesus Lizard, Ween, and Tortoise (three of them inexplicably signed to major labels) that sounded nothing like each other, signature music that sounded like no one but themselves. The unexpected success of Nirvana had deepened the industry's taste insecurity, and they responded by giving virtually anyone a shot, and allowing a remarkable amount of creative freedom in doing so. The fact that Daniel Johnston was offered one of the, on paper, most lucrative and liberal recording contracts is only slightly more stunning than the fact that he was too crazy to sign it. Even among the artists that became stars, any genre that can claim such a diverse stylistic territory that included both R.E.M. and Red Hot Chili Peppers (in their respective primes of Out of Time and Blood Sugar Sex Magic) is proof enough of the era's fecundity. No, for me it was only about the mid-90s, 1995 in fact, when "modern rock", an artificially designed radio format, took over the popular playlists while the music started to become stale, formulaic and as homogenized as Bush and Creed (the epitome of the very worst 90s rock cliches).

I remember reading about Soundgarden when Louder Than Love came out, and SPIN had a dual list of "The Best and Worst Led Zeppelin Rip-Offs". The Worst list came first, and was a long list of the regular hair metal of the day - Motley Crue, Warrant, Aerosmith, Def Leppard. The Best list included only one name, Soundgarden. That was the first album [cassette tape] that I bought of theirs.

Badmotorfinger was released last year - the 25th Anniversary - and included a DVD of a full-length concert from Seattle, partially released on a VHS at the time called Motorvision. Watching the band here, in its prime and without its studio tricks, is a powerful reminder of what a great band they were, grunge's most technically intelligent band and Seattle's finest singer in Cornell. I recommend the show for anyone looking for wake material.
May 19, 2017 3:14 PM
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The 90s was the last great decade for rock. There's been plenty of great indie rock albums gone under the radar since 2000, but the great outsized anthemic rock albums pretty much disappeared after Rage Against the Machine disbanded. I think the 90s rock bands said all there was left to say with your standard amped 4 man setup.

You know who is fuckin great though is a band from the 90s that never really got mainstream exposure, Built To Spill, but again they're more indie sounding.
May 19, 2017 10:27 PM
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Janson Jinnistan
It's funny that you feel this way, because I think that the "alternative rock" umbrella of the early 90s was one of the last truly eclectic explosions of talent in what could be considered the mainstream music business.

I definitely like a bunch of rock bands from that time period (Jesus Lizard and Ween definitely being two of them) but I was mainly talking particularly about those bands which could be pigeon holed as having that distinctly 90's rock sound. Where in any other decade I generally like many of the radio stalwarts along with the forgotten gems, underground darlings and could-a-been-a-contenders, the bands that generally seem to get the lion share of press from the 90's I either am left completely cold by or don't really find any great interest in revisiting. The Pearl Jams and Holes and STPs and NiN's, even most of Nirvana's, Alice in Chains and Soundgardens work. With the exception of Pumpkins and Breeders, none of them would ever get put on a list of my favorite bands, not top 100, probably not top 200. Badmotorfinger though would be a serious contender for one of my favorite albums from the period, and would rank at least somewhere on my favorite albums of all time.

And I don't know about this talk (jasper's post) about it being the last stand of great rock and roll bands. I think the last 15 or so years has had an endlessly long list of top notch bands, both those that are very well known and slightly under the radar.
May 19, 2017 10:40 PM
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crumbsroom
Janson Jinnistan
It's funny that you feel this way, because I think that the "alternative rock" umbrella of the early 90s was one of the last truly eclectic explosions of talent in what could be considered the mainstream music business.

I definitely like a bunch of rock bands from that time period (Jesus Lizard and Ween definitely being two of them) but I was mainly talking particularly about those bands which could be pigeon holed as having that distinctly 90's rock sound. Where in any other decade I generally like many of the radio stalwarts along with the forgotten gems, underground darlings and could-a-been-a-contenders, the bands that generally seem to get the lion share of press from the 90's I either am left completely cold by or don't really find any great interest in revisiting. The Pearl Jams and Holes and STPs and NiN's, even most of Nirvana's, Alice in Chains and Soundgardens work. With the exception of Pumpkins and Breeders, none of them would ever get put on a list of my favorite bands, not top 100, probably not top 200. Badmotorfinger though would be a serious contender for one of my favorite albums from the period, and would rank at least somewhere on my favorite albums of all time.

And I don't know about this talk (jasper's post) about it being the last stand of great rock and roll bands. I think the last 15 or so years has had an endlessly long list of top notch bands, both those that are very well known and slightly under the radar.

This is a bit of a pivot. You initially said early 90s alt rock, but here, you're limiting yourself to not just (mostly Seattle) grunge, but mostly popular Seattle grunge, which gives you barely a handful of bands. In that case, OK yeah, I mean it's not like I'm constantly playing back STP, Pearl Jam, and Nirvana albums either.

But to Janson's point, when you look at the wider context of "alternative" rock more generally (or let's just call it 'rock music in the early to mid 90s'), you have a bastion of (eclectic) talent and an era that is one of the high water marks in terms of overall talent / output of great music in the music business (which I'll draw all the way across the indie-to-commercial continuum, since I find the demarcations tricky, and also find there is actually a pretty strong correlation between talent indie and mainstream). I wouldn't go as far as Janson though as saying this was the last explosion of eclectic talent in the music business (indie or mainstream), nor even in rock music itself (although one might make the case that the post-punk / garage rock explosion in the early aughts lacked the eclecticism or diversity in sound to that of 90s alt-rock, but I'm pretty skeptical of that). Nevertheless, it was a special time in music, I think.

As for grunge itself, it's pretty clear to me it's got a paradigmatic sound, and I know exactly which bands fall into that fold (viz. the ones your mentioned), but I'm much less confident about which bands might be considered less-than-paradigmatic cases, or what to make of borderline cases. I don't think it's of much help to use the label 'grunge' (and much, much less the the label 'alt rock') to pick out a collection of popular bands in the early 90s and say something especially substantive about their place in the larger music scene if its meant to be used to the exclusion of bands like Pavement, My Bloody Valentine, Pixies, Sonic Youth, Slowdive, Radiohead, The Cranberries, PJ Harvey and so on (and especially if we include the massive number of late 80s bands still in their creative peaks in the very early 90s like The Jesus and Mary Chain). Then again, if you mean to include these bands and others along that continuum, and still find yourself shrugging with a 'meh', then OK, I guess. In that case, I just think you're nuts!
May 20, 2017 3:05 AM
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