Sunday, October 16, 2016

Song Of The Week: 10/16/16

Song: "Dead Wishes"

Artist: Chris Cornell

Album: "Higher Truth"

Year: 2015

Place Of Origin: Seattle, Washington

Years Active: 1984-present


Chris Cornell himself has said that "Dead Wishes" is kind of a song for the disenfranchised. By taking a look at the lyrics, I see the vocalist is deep with regret over how his life has turned out. Everyone has hopes and dreams or wishes, if you will, about how things will turn out in their future. As you get older, sometimes you feel like you don't know where all the years went. Time seems to fly by so quickly and now you wonder if those hopes and dreams will ever be fulfilled. I don't see the song as all somber however. It seems Cornell leaves glimmers of hope that he still believes some of those wishes will indeed come true.

CHRIS CORNELL DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1999 - Euphoria Morning (A&M Records)
2007 - Carry On (Interscope Records)
2008 - Scream (Interscope Records)
2011 - Songbook (UMe Records)
2015 - Higher Truth (UMe Records)


Chris Cornell is, of course, most famous for being the lead vocalist/rhythm guitar player of Soundgarden whose roots date back to 1984. At the forefront of a burgeoning Seattle music scene, Cornell was the powerful voice of some mesh of punk rock and heavy metal that morphed it's way into a generic term called "grunge". Soundgarden of course would go on, along with Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains, to blow up the face of hard rock music in the early to mid-90's. By 1996, however, the "grunge" movement was starting to get saturated and internal problems within Soundgarden caused them to disband. This allowed Cornell to explore his musical creativity with the release of his debut solo album, "Euphoria Morning". This album definitely showed a softer side to Cornell but it showed that his powerful voice could handle multiple genres, not just hard rock music. Of course, it wasn't long before he was back in the heavy music fray. When Rage Against The Machine vocalist Zack de la Rocha departed his band, Chris Cornell stepped in and Audioslave was born in 2001. The supergroup was an instant headliner and in five years, released three hugely successful albums. Cornell was again being pulled by his own creativity however, and he departed Audioslave in 2006. 2007 saw a continuation of his creative juices with the release of his second solo album, "Carry On". In 2008, things got a little weird. Cornell decided to hook up with R & B producer Timbaland and create a soul album, kind of devoid of real instruments. The album sold well, but to his core fans, was a disaster. Cornell is one of the best hard rock voices ever. Even though his solo albums weren't heavy like his work with Soundgarden or Audioslave, they were still based on real instrumentation, not programmed beats. "Scream" is not looked at fondly by his hardcore fans. Cornell did do a few rock re-makes of a couple of songs on "Scream" and their was rumors out there that he might re-do the whole album using real instruments but as of this date, that has not come to fruition. Thankfully, in 2011, Cornell released a live album called "Songbook". Just Chris and his acoustic guitar and it's complete magic. Spanning his entire career, he played stripped down version of Soundgarden songs, Audioslave songs, Temple Of The Dog songs, his solo songs and some covers. This album is just fantastic, showcasing one of the most powerful voices in rock history! More great news is that by the time "Songbook" was released, Soundgarden had officially got back together and were hitting many festivals. In 2012, Soundgarden released "King Animal", their first album in 16 years! Now it's different, however. Now Soundgarden will take time between touring and albums to give the members time to work on their other projects. Cornell did this in 2015, releasing his most recent album, "Higher Truth". As I've said before, for more than 30 years, Chris Cornell has more than made his mark as one of the greatest voices in rock and roll history. He can be delicate with an almost bluesy feel at one moment, then he can let out a gutteral scream from hell in the next. His work in Soundgarden is legendary. That band is often described as a modern day Led Zeppelin because of their ability to write monster riffs and weave through different styles with ease. His one off, Temple Of The Dog, with members of what would become Pearl Jam, is one of the holy grails of the whole grunge movement. Audioslave proved he could write hard rock anthems that were more accessible to the masses than some of his darker work with Soundgarden. His solo material showed that he has the range to handle any genre, whether that's acoustic, blues, country or soul. And, he's also collaborated with many of the biggest acts in the music world including Alice In Chains, Alice Cooper, Linkin Park, Slash, Carlos Santana, Zac Brown Band and Mad Season. Cornell will always hold a special place for me, along with the other Seattle bands, because it impacted my life at an age when I was really finding out who I was. It's really the soundtrack of my youth and I will always love the Seattle bands because of that.


1. Sunshower
2. You Know My Name
3. Seasons
4. The Keeper
5. Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart
6. When I'm Down
7. Thank You (Led Zeppelin cover)
8. Can't Change Me
9. Nothing Compares 2 U (Prince cover)
10. Cleaning My Gun

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