An Open Letter to Chris Cornell
UPDATE – 3/16/2009
While this album was officially released on March 10, 2009, several of the singles have been available since last September on streaming sites like YouTube. My listens to the songs were done in late October. The album’s original release date was November 4th, but obviously got pushed back to March 10th. Now that the album is out, I plan on giving it a fair listen and posting my thoughts in a future blog post.
Dear Mr. Cornell,
Can I call you Chris? Ok. Thanks.
Let me get right to the point here. You need to get the band back together, and I’m referring to Soundgarden.
Don’t get me wrong. Audioslave kicked serious ass. I bought all three albums and while I wished I would have seen them live in 2003 [we were at a friend’s wedding that night – they are now divorced], I still enjoy just about every song that the Cornell/ Rage Against The Machine combo recorded.
Solo wise, you had two incredible albums: Euphoria Morning and Carry On. I missed a chance to see you live on the Carry On tour in 2007 and am kicking myself for missing it. Especially after reading the set list, which was littered with Soundgarden tunes.
Which brings me to the point of this letter.
Something happened. Your last effort, Scream, made me want to scream. And that’s not a good thing. Here’s some simple math for you:
- Timbaland is great, both as a producer in the studio and as an artist.
- You have an incredible voice and are one of the great vocalists in rock today.
That doesn’t mean you and Timbaland can make great music. Don’t take this personally, but Scream didn’t scream. It didn’t chart. It didn’t move. It didn’t do much of anything. Your contribution to the James Bond flick, Casino Royale, was great. Scream was not. Plain and simple.
What was it I said above… oh yeah, get Soundgarden back together. Pronto.
Kim Thayil. What’s he doing these days? I’m sure he’s busy and all, but I think he may actually want to work with you again. I mean, it’s been over 12 years since the last time you guys performed together on the same stage. Patch up any differences.
Matt Cameron. We all know where he is. Pearl Jam got a gem of a drummer when Soundgarden broke up. Not sure what Pearl Jam is doing, but I think Eddie, Mike, Jeff and Stone could let him on tour for a bit. Hell, they would even come by to watch you guys play songs like “Jesus Christ Pose” and “Spoonman”.
Contact a good band management company and get a nationwide tour planned. Now. Don’t delay this any longer. Pick up the pieces and make this happen.
And Ben Sheppard. Not sure what’s he’s been up to, but I don’t think it was anything as big as Soundgarden was. I’m certain he would love getting a phone call.
And stop poisoning the well. You’ve said in previous interviews that you don’t think any of the other members would want to get back together. Have you asked any of them? When’s the last time you talked to any of them? If it was recent, that’s good. But don’t just assume they don’t want to do anything with you again. They might. Find their numbers on your iPhone and call them.
And one last thing. Stop with this bullshit that “… I think getting back together would take the lid off that and then could possibly change what… to me seems like the perfect lifespan of the band. I can’t think of any reason to mess with that.”. That makes no sense. All of you guys are still alive. Your solo career can take a hiatus. You deserve this. Kim, Matt and Ben deserve this. Your fans deserve this. It’s time, dude.
A big Soundgarden fan
While I would love for all my bands from that period of my life to get back together, and it would be damned difficult for quite a few without divine intervention, I kinda agree with Chris about leaving it where it lies.
What if they got back together…and it sucked?
Truth be told, I sort of agree that Soundgarden is pretty much over… and that pains me because I love Soundgarden. Audioslave, however, is a band I would very much like to hear more from, as they disbanded at a creative peak… it’s like Revelations was the jumping off point for even more incredible music that has yet to be made. That being said, I just don’t see Cornell getting back together with either group. He’ll trudge along with his solo career and occasionally form some new super-group when his album sales dive and he needs to get his name pushed out there again. Sad, really, but I’ll always be looking forward to what he is doing next. The guy is a genius under the right conditions. 🙂
b.e. earl – Yes, I’ve thought about the “what if they sucked?” factor. That is always a possibility, especially if they are all not on the same page. They all have to be in together for it to work.
dave2 – I agree with you on Audioslave. They were at their peak. “Revelations” is an album that I regularly play all the way through and it’s brilliant each and every time. I thought they had at least 2 more albums in them. But evidently Chris thought differently. And I’m with you… I like him and will follow what he does, hoping for more better than suckage.
Ummmm, YES YES YES! I love Soundgarden. Would love to see more of them in the future.
BTW, I never realized how freakin’ hot Chris Cornell is. Don’t mind the drool I left behind on your blog. It won’t stain.
I think that Soundgarden could do some good work if they got back together. I think they could’ve had a career like the Foo Fighters if they would’ve tried.
I personally have never liked Audioslave. Something has always rubbed me wrong there. Which is weird since I loved Soundgarden and Rage.
nilsa – You know, as a straight male, I have to agree that he’s a good looking guy. As for the drool, I’ve got paper towels to clean that up… 😉
brandon – See… Dave Grohl needs to have a sit down with Chris Cornell… maybe knock some sense into him. And that is a bit odd, since you like both Soundgarden and Rage… but Audioslave is a slight twist on both of the bands… it’s stands on it’s own.
I have to agree with Brandon actually. I loved Soundgarden and Rage Against The Machine but really didn’t dig Audioslave. Odd that.
Soundgarden’s Superunknown album is truly amazing. A classic actually. To be honest I loved all the grunge bands from that era. I watched the movie Singles to death and played the soundtrack over and over and over.
kevin – Wow, another fan of both previous bands that didn’t like Cornell’s Audioslave stint. Superunknown was a great album. Badmotorfinger is still pretty close to awesome, but my favorite song is on Superunknown “The Day I Tried To Live”. And the Singles soundtrack is awesome – “Seasons” and “Birth Ritual” were great Cornell efforts.
And I didn’t even mention Temple of the Dog….
I saw Cornell here on Saturday night. I’d completely underestimated him as a singer. (Lots of heavy heavy Soundgarden, which he clearly enjoys. And Hunger Strike with the lead singer from the opening act which was really rather excellent. I’d forgotten how much I liked big heavy rock.)
As for more Soundgarden, I think Matt Cameron said point blank that he’s in Pearl Jam now, and he’s not leaving to go back to Soundgarden. Reunions are kind of like the couples who split up and get back together. It’s hard to take them seriously once they reconcile, it feels cheap and cynical somehow.
Soundgarden and Rage are two of the best bands of all time… period Audioslave is a turd as are both the solo albums… in m opinion anyway I took The last solo album off my Ipod after just three days…. very disappointing… VIVA LA SOUNDGARDEN!!!!!
nat – Nice that you got to see him live. And even better that he was enjoying the Soundgarden. As for Matt, I know he’s pretty content with Pearl Jam, but I wonder if one more chance to tour, would he? Curious minds.
kris – I heard Scream once and removed it and deleted it. That’s all I needed. Euphoria Morning was a bit more polished than Carry On. And yet another fan that doesn’t like Audioslave…. what is it about Audioslave that didn’t grab you?
Carry On was the one I deleted instantly… Audioslave wasn’t BAD like the solo albums, it was just there…. If we hadn’t seen all the potential that was there with Soundgarden then it would have been okay, but it was just a let down considering how great Soundgarden was… Much like Roger Waters, Jimmy Page and Robert Plants efforts since Zeppelin… They are not bad but nothing compared to them as a whole.
kris – Ok, I know what you are saying. I can see the let down part of it, given the build of with Soundgarden. Of course, I know most of Robert Plant’s solo work didn’t compare to the whole Led Zep package.
I thought I left a comment about this post the other day but maybe I did not because I couldn’t think of anything intelligent to say after seeing that picture of Chris Cornell. Sometimes I think my brain turns to mush when I see a hot guy who is also talented!
tori – Happy Thanksgiving to you. Hope your day was great. Guys brains and vocabularies turn to mush when they see pretty women, so it’s all understood.
I thought Chris Cornell was Robin in one of the Batman films. Holy Mistaken Identity!
whall – LOL… you are close. You are thinking of “Scent of a Woman” not “Burden in My Hand”
I seriously agree with you. I was literally listening to Soundgarden the other day, and saying the same thing. His voice is just so, so good.
sybil law – See.. it’s not just me that wishes that (well, there’s a few more above us that do, too)
A Soundgarden reunion is never going to happen. Period.
I want one, we all want one, but Cornell seems pretty adamant that he doesn’t want one. No matter what anyone says, he will keep up his “a reunion will wreck the perfect lifespan of the band” shit and will stick to a solo career.
dotu – In full agreement, regardless of the cries from SG fans. Well stated.