Chris Cornell: his 5 best songs

Chris Cornell: Top five songs Chris Cornell: remembered
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Soundgarden was formed way back in 1984 by guitarist and singer Chris Cornell, lead guitarist Kim Thayil, and bassist Hiro Yamamoto. They were one of the seminal grunge bands that came from the Washington city of Seattle that changed the musical landscape in the early Nineties, alongside Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains. 

Singer Chris Cornell died on Wednesday May 17. In tribute, these are his five best songs. 

Rusty Cage (Badmotorfinger, 1991)

Considered good enough to be covered by Johnny Cash on his Grammy-winning 1996 album Unchained, this fast-tempo hit uses an unusual time signature (as is often the case with Soundgarden songs) accompanied by Cornell's spine-piercing wail.

Spoonman (Superunknown, 1994)

Inspired by a Santa Cruz street musician called Artis the Spoonman (who actually plays the spoons in the songs intro, while drummer Matt Cameron later plays pots and pans), the song was described by Cornell as being about how people perceive and judge Artis.

Fell on Black Days (Superunknown, 1994)

Mental health was an occasional theme in Cornell's music, and this mellow, subdued track holds a message of introspection and the realisation that not everything is OK.

The Day I Tried to Live (Superunknown, 1994)

Another Soundgarden track that makes use of weird tuning and time signatures, it deals with the day to day reality of depression and feeling alienated – and what happens when the singer tries to live like a normal person.

Black Hole Sun (Superunknown, 1994)

This softer, more melodious track became their biggest hit, getting heavy radio play and regular rotation on MTV. Though it gives the impression of being an uplifting tune, with an almost dreamlike quality, the lyrics are surprisingly maudlin, referring to how people are trapped by society and how willing they are to screw each other over.

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