When Bad Does Good – Chris Cornell

Well ain’t that a punch to the gut? Ain’t it a kick in the feelies? Ain’t that bringing it on home?

We loved Chris. Us rock and rollers. We Alternative music fans. The grungers, the moshers, the record nerds and the weirdos. It was that voice. He was an undeniable talent. Whether we got to him through the blistering noise of Soundgarden in the heady 90’s or he got to us via Temple Of The Dog. That tribute to a fallen icon which would end up setting a story arc in process we could not have predicted, brought the voice to many who were more disposed to the Pearl Jam side of the Alternative Revolution. 

Maybe you first heard him in Audioslave after the Seattle bubble burst and he teamed up with a new powerhouse backing band to become one of the only lasting bands of the Nu-Metal era. Or maybe it was his solo work. More contemplative and accessible to the folkies, the indies and the whistling milkmen (good name for a band, you heard it heard last) but we all loved him. Scoring movies with his acoustic guitar or going full on Shirley Bassey with James Bond he shared his gift and the world loved it. 

That voice was undeniable, those lyrics spoke to so many people. He talked of his depression and his darkness in a way many could relate to. And that helped.

A long dark night of the soul didn’t feel so hopeless with Fell On Black Days in your headphones. Kickstand could help a fan out of a slump, Superunknown spoke directly to The alienated. Like A Stone made sense of despair and we all knew what ‘Looking California but feeling Minnesota’ meant the first time we heard it. 

I’m often quite scathing about posthumous releases. I don’t like lesser works watering down quality back catalogs with slow motion montage videos designed to cash in on the fact the creative isn’t in the chair anymore holding down the quality control. 

This one though? ‘Ouchies!’

That’s Chris and Vicky’s son Christopher Cornell in the video. Dressed in a checked shirt, riding a retro bike on a paper round past Seattle land marks displaying his Dad’s most famous lyrics. The look of the thing does get you thinking how much like the father is the son. This could be footage of the would be rock icon in his youth. 

And the song? Well it’s a showcase of that voice. The soul and the feeling dripping from every line Chris sings feels loaded with a portent that could not have been intended in the studio. 

“But sometimes bad can do some good”

3 thoughts on “When Bad Does Good – Chris Cornell

  1. I was a tad weary of this set myself, as I’m not sure I need all the tracks I have on various releases.

    I’m curious about the unreleased stuff though. So I’ll definitely need to look at that. Plus, I like the artwork (peering over the trees).

    Liked by 1 person

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