On Thursday 18th May, the world woke up to discover that the Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell had died. At the time, we knew very little about the circumstances of his death but as the days progressed, we quickly learned that he had taken his own life, just hours after performing in Chicago on the Wednesday. But as shocking as his death was, we began to think about all the great songs Chris had performed on over the years. He was commended multiple times on his gravelled vocal style, but by listening back to his music, you can get a real sense of what kind of person he was and how he let his music speak for him.
Here is our list of songs that we think best sum up the life and achievements of Chris Cornell.
'Black Hole Sun'
Easily recognised as the song that put his formative band on the map. Soundgarden's 1994 hit 'Black Hole Sun' was one of the grunge scenes most influential tracks, and lead the band to greatness throughout the world. The song sold more than 3million copies worldwide and helped secure its album 'Superunknown' the band's most successful record to date.
'You Know My Name'
Arriving after a turbulent solo career, Cornell unveiled his take on the illustrious honour of soundtracking the latest James Bond film. The song, which was used as the title theme for 'Casino Royale', was seen as a monumental moment in his career, but also set a hard tone for the then newly indoctrinated actor Daniel Craig in the lead role. The track was given a good reception in the light of some of the other James Bond singles came before it, and saw him pushed into the public eye more than he had ever been before.
'I Am The Highway'
In the mid noughties, Cornell teamed up with the musicians from Rage Against The Machine to form Audioslave. Although it quickly became apparent that the legends of modern rock were not seeing this as a side-project as 'I Am The Highway' proved. A complete separation from either sides usual output, the ballad is considered one of the best in recent memory and showed the true power and resonance of Cornell's stunning vocals once again.
'Like A Stone'
Another track from the first Audioslave album, but one that shows some unfortunate foreshadowing. Although Cornell's problems with drug addiction and depression were all well-known by this point, the brutal honesty of his problems on 'Like A Stone' played out almost identically to how his life would come to end. The track became the band's most successful to date, but now has an even-harder reminder attached to it.
'Nothing Compares 2 U'
Although it was never officially released by Cornell, his cover of the Prince classic 'Nothing Compares 2 U' was very much a live and fan favourite for himself. And if we are being honest, is one of those few songs that can truly bring out the best in a voice as strong as his. Sinead O'Connor's version may still be the most well-known, but this is one rendition you should savour.