Monday, December 10, 2018

Chris Cornell – Career Retrospective

Seattle singer/songwriter Chris Cornell passed away last year but left behind an unparalleled musical legacy.   From the grunge-metal pioneers Soundgarden to Temple Of The Dog to his work with Rage Against The Machine members in Audioslave and his dynamic solo music; Cornell possessed a powerful voice and wrote darkly poetic lyrics that made him a voice of a generation.    
In tribute and in celebration of his iconic musical career, UMe recently released a self-titled career-spanning collection of Cornell’s music.  Released as a 2-LP or 1-CD 17-track album, a 64-track 4-CD limited edition box set and as a Super Deluxe box set including 7 LPs, 4 CDs, 1 DVD and a 66-page hardcover book.
The tracklist for the 4-CD set is highlighted by 11 previously unreleased tracks and is chronological, with the first disc tracing the early evolution of Soundgarden from proto-metal punks (“Flower”, Loud Love”) to the psychedelic off-kilter grunge (“Rusty Cage”, “Spoonman”) they helped pioneer.  Also included on the first disc are two tracks from Temple Of The Dog, the super group the presaged Pearl Jam.  The second disc is comprised of Cornell’s early solo work and opens with one of my all-time favorite Cornell-related tracks, “Sunshower”, originally released in 1997 on the Great Expectations soundtrack.  Also included are six Audioslave songs led by the powerful, “Cochise” as well as his yearning cover of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and “You Know My Name” from the Casino Royale soundtrack.   The third disc is a mix of modern-era Soundgarden songs and solo tracks including, live acoustic covers of Lennon’s “Imagine”, “Live To Rise” and the previously unreleased solo song, “When Bad Does Good”.  The fourth disc features live recordings from Soundgarden, Temple Of The Dog, Audioslave and solo, including, his rendition of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” recorded live at Sirius XM and his cover of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song”, a devastating duet with his daughter Toni Cornell.
The included booklet features many photos and heartfelt and insightful essays in remembrance from former band members and friends such as Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron, Mike McCready, Tom Morello and Brendan O’Brien.  The box set’s artwork complete with die-cut Seattle tree-line graphics was designed by Pearl Jam and Temple Of The Dog bassist Jeff Ament.  
The Chris Cornell career retrospective box set is a lasting tribute to a one of a kind musician.
Watch the video for the previously unreleased solo track, “When Bad Does Good” here:


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