Chris Cornell: 10 definitive songs from Soundgarden to Audioslave

From strutting psychedelia to grief-stricken laments, we run through the career high-points of grunge’s first legendary frontman

Chris Cornell, Soundgarden frontman, dies aged 52

Forming from the wreckage of early 80s Seattle punk band the Shemps, Soundgarden (who took their name from a wind sculpture near Seattle’s Magnuson Park) were a heavier proposition, as bassist Kim Thayil shifted to lead guitar and began laying down primal, Sabbath-esque riffage, tempered by a taut post-punk sensibility. Shemps drummer/singer Chris Cornell, meanwhile, left his kit behind and swiftly metamorphosed into the first defining frontman of the grunge era, matching Thayil’s dark guitar with a leonine howl that channelled the spirit of the great metal wailers – Plant, Osbourne, Gillan – without any of the hoary, macho baggage. And it was on this infernal track off their first full-length collection, 1988’s Ultramega OK, that Cornell’s vocal reached full maturity, rising from subterranean growl to truly chilling, metallic banshee holler.

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May 18th, 2017 by