This is the one time I won’t write an article about metal on this site. Cherish it.
In a mass display of (what I like to refer to as) “the Amy Winehouse Effect”, the internet is collectively pretending they were huge fans of the life and career of Soundgarden/Audioslave front-man Chris Cornell.
And with such deep, thought-provoking songs as “Spoonman”, which I assume is about a man who uses spoons as a musical instrument, how could you not like them?
I’m guessing the number of people who called their favorite radio station and requested their favorite song featuring the late front-man yesterday (while he was still alive) numbers in the high 10’s. Nay, the low 20’s.
Not that this stopped every goddamn clear-channel radio station from playing the same fucking 4 songs featuring this guy 20-some-odd times per day.
And that was while he was alive.
In fact, the only people not pretending their mourning the loss of this singer are the DJ’s for the aforementioned rock stations (who tout their “modern rock” format while never seemingly to play anything written after 2005). That guy is indirectly responsible for approximately 20% of their fucking paychecks over the past 20 years (assuming they get paid to play his songs, which they did/do), so I can see them genuinely being a bit sad.
To these DJ’s I say, “Don’t worry guys, you’re already overplaying his music. You don’t have to change a fucking thing.”
Seriously though, if everyone was as big of a Chris Cornell fan as they’re pretending to be today – his solo album wouldn’t have fucking flopped.
On the bright side, people who were bashing Cornell in 2008 are free to pretend they liked him and are going to miss him.
Perhaps I have an over-inflated sense of dislike for this man’s career.
Partially because Chris Cornell + Rage Against the Machine = Sadness. Partially because, like all grunge, he is partially responsible for the rise of Nickelback. Partially because he was a large part of the movement that made mediocre apathy “cool”. In large part because I think he was completely overrated.
He wasn’t that talented – he surrounded himself with talented people and made a career out of that and his charisma.
And if you were a real fan of his, you shouldn’t be that surprised he committed suicide. For fucks sake, he’s been singing about depression for like 30 years.
I take no joy in his passing – anytime a human being takes their own life, it’s a sad event. Cornell’s death is no different.
Equally as sad, however, is the strange cult-like movement of people who then immortalize said person, because in so doing they turn that person into something they weren’t before.
Cornell was a flawed human being, born with a slightly better than average set of pipes. The stars aligned for him and he happened to write song lyrics about being depressed at exactly the right time in history.
This combined with the aforementioned tendency to surround himself with talent turned him into a shooting star in the musical landscape.
July 21, 2017 at 4:22 pm
Excellent post and absolutely agree on most accounts. I would argue that you are wrong about him being a mediocre singer, early Soundgarden kicks ass, but by the time Down on the Upside came out they wore themselves pretty thin, and Audioslave was really annoying.
The “I’m the biggest fan in the world suddenly” crap is annoying, I actually live in the Northwest so that is my connection to Cornell, but if he was from somewhere else it would mostly be irrelevant. Most of the people mourning his death probably don’t even know about early Soundgarden.
July 23, 2017 at 5:30 pm
don’t get me wrong, i like black hole sun. but that’s about it, personally. thanks for the feedback!
February 5, 2018 at 2:56 am
Not that talented? Mediocre singer? Really? Name me a metal singer today that has the chops to sing a song like “Say Hello To Heaven” or “The Day I Tried To Live”…
I’d blame Eddie Vedder and Stone Temple Pilots for inspiring Post-grunge crap like Nickelback.
February 5, 2018 at 8:40 am
Yup. I can name 3 off the top if my head while drinking coffee.
1) Christian Alvestam (Solution .45/Scar Symmetry)
2) Brittney Slayes (Unleash the Archers)
3) Hansi Kürsch (Blind Guardian, Demons and Wizards)
You can blame whoever you want for post grunge, I think we’re both a little bit right on that point. I, personally, hear a lot more Soundgarden in Nickelback than I do STP but that’s a fair statement.
April 22, 2021 at 4:48 pm
1. How dare you!
2. I’m curious to know who you believe is a good singer.
3. What singers do you know that have the vocal range equal to or greater than Chris Cornell.
4. Those solo albums. I own them all .
LikeLiked by 1 person
April 22, 2021 at 5:14 pm
1) i’m pretty daring on my personal blog
2) off the top of my head, who do i think is a good singer or a better singer than Cornell? ohhh – Britney Slayes from Unleash the Archers, Jake Rogers from Visigoth, the late great Warrel Dane of Nevermore, Hansi from Blind Guardian. if I really sat down and reflected i’m sure i could come up with a longer list.
3) see 2
4) good for you. i’m glad you enjoy them.