Chris Cornell: Chris Cornell - album review

Chris Cornell. He had one hell of a voice. And some legacy

TODO alt text
Chris Cornell - Chris Cornell

* 64 Tracks including 11 unreleased recordings

* Custom die-cut slipcase that showcases Seattle via the tree-line graphics on front and various cities Chris lived in through his life on back.

* 4 Individual CD-sized mini-Jackets

* 54-page booklet with unreleased photos

* Liner Notes by Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron, Tom Morello, Mike McCready and Brendan O’Brien

* Creative direction by Jeff Ament

Although Soundgarden are the band closest to this writer’s heart, there’s no denying the majesty and sweep of some of Chris Cornell’s other projects: the early-2000s hard rock supergroup Audioslave featuring Tom Morello; the 1960s soul-referencing Bond theme You Know My Name; the Mother Love Bone tribute band Temple Of The Dog (featuring members of Pearl Jam, who were also in Mother Love Bone), the collaborations with Eleven, Ace (Skunk Anansie), Santana, Slash, Cat Stevens… 

All are represented here on this sprawling four-CD, 64-track (11 previously unreleased) retrospective, along with the tear-inducing live duets with Cornell’s daughter Toni (on Redemption Song, 2015). 

He did some killer acoustic versions too, notably his reading of Jacko’s Billie Jean, throbbing with restrained power. He also did some perhaps ill-advised ones (a live recording of Lennon’s mawkish Imagine, a perfunctory run-through of The Beatles’ A Day In The Life). 

The majority of this collection is given over to Soundgarden, though, and rightly so. It’s difficult not to listen to Black Hole Sun without tears welling up. 

Overwhelmingly, it’s Cornell’s voice that wins through – a star-burst of a scream, a full-throated delight.