Chris Cornell

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bryan k
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Chris Cornell

Postby bryan k » Tue May 23, 2017 9:14 pm

Over the last week or so, I've come to the conclusion that the majority of the world does not understand the treasure that it has lost in Chris Cornell.

Let's go back to 1991. Hair metal was the biggest genre in music, and hip hop had really just started to dip its first toe into the realm of commercial success. I had just found an album by a new band called Temple of the Dog that was abso-freaking-lutely awesome, and I couldn't wait for more.

What had essentially happened is that "grunge" music had officially made its commercial debut, and Chris Cornell, along with Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard, was the man who invented it.

Look, there are performers I like better. Pearl Jam is one of my favorite bands of all time, and I would consider myself to be borderline fanatical about Blind Melon. However, when Mother Love Bone's singer Andy Wood, who happened to be Cornell's roommate, died in 1991, Chris Cornell wrote two songs, including "Say Hello to Heaven", while he was touring with Soundgarden in Europe to try to ease his pain at losing a friend he truly loved. I believe he recorded a demo of the tracks, but he chickened out when it came time to approach Gossard and Ament, two of the surviving members of MLB. When Gossart and Ament of heard about the recordings, they wouldn't let Chris alone. They insisted on bringing the songs to the studio, and what was originally intended to be a single ended up being an entire album. Gossart and Ament were in the process of forming Pearl Jam, so Eddie Vedder, Mike McReady, and Matt Cameron were invited as accompaniment. The result was that grunge music was born.

I get a little bummed about the fact that the only bands mentioned with Cornell's successes are Soundgarden and Audioslave. Temple of the Dog was one of the most influential bands of the 20th century. It was Cornell's greatest achievement, and it tends to get ignored.

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Re: Chris Cornell

Postby bryan k » Tue May 23, 2017 9:18 pm

Just to be clear, Nirvana did release Bleach in 1989, but I considered them to be more of a punk bank in the same realm of MLB at that time. Grunge music is essentially the final stage in the evolution of the amazing Seattle punk scene of the 1980s into something that was commercially viable. Nirvana perfected this when they released Nevermind, which was probably the pinnacle of grunge music.

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Re: Chris Cornell

Postby legitimatebeef » Wed May 24, 2017 10:11 am

bryan k wrote:I get a little bummed about the fact that the only bands mentioned with Cornell's successes are Soundgarden and Audioslave. Temple of the Dog was one of the most influential bands of the 20th century. It was Cornell's greatest achievement, and it tends to get ignored.


You could argue that the 'Superunknown' album was a great achievement as well, it sold a ton and got massive play on the radio. But I sort of agree. Temple is my favorite Chris Cornell music at least. "Say Hello 2 Heaven" is such a monster ballad, up there with anything Led Zeppelin did, one of the very finest songs of its time.
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Re: Chris Cornell

Postby bryan k » Wed May 24, 2017 2:58 pm

My favorite album from that era is definitely Pearl Jam's Ten with Superunkown probably being second. I find it interesting how, at the time, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden were criticized (and sometimes still are) for trying to "copy" Nirvana when they were actually there first.

Let's not forget the fact that the musical styles of the three bands are completely different from one another.

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Re: Chris Cornell

Postby legitimatebeef » Wed May 24, 2017 6:48 pm

Vs. is right up there with Ten IMO.
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Re: Chris Cornell

Postby bryan k » Wed May 24, 2017 9:00 pm

Pearl Jam is one of my favorite bands of all time. Vs. is a great album. So is Vitology.

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Re: Chris Cornell

Postby jfurr » Thu May 25, 2017 12:37 am

Bleach -- was my fav from the "grunge" era -- but I appreciate what you mean, that record was kinda more punk before it took a turn into the Pearl Jam / Soundgarden scope.

Soundgarden played twice here locally in the small club/rockvenues around '90 or so. I missed both gigs.
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Re: Chris Cornell

Postby jfurr » Thu May 25, 2017 12:43 am

I was living in Charleston in 89 and visited my friend's apartment, walked up and heard this roar from the stereo speakers, went into his roommates room and saw him playing Bleach on 12" vinyl. It was so dank and raw. "this is the future of music" he said, and he was right. Before this (and Cornell and Sound garden and etc), "Alternative" was more processed or too underground. It was either Black Flag or 24-7 Spys
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Re: Chris Cornell

Postby bryan k » Thu May 25, 2017 10:52 am

If we want to get technical, there were quite a few albums from grunge bands that predated Temple of the Dog. Alice in Chains Facelift, Nirvana Bleach, two albums by Mudhoney, and five albums by Soundgarden (two LPs and three EPs) are all albums that I consider to be "pre-grunge era" albums by grunge bands.


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