The voice of a generation, an artist for all time #KeepThePromise

Photo by: Paul Lorkowski

Let me clarify — Chris Cornell’s voice blew me away every single time.

Yesterday, I was walking over a bridge staring down blankly, just watching the water ripple. I noticed a light beam across the edge of a dock. Suddenly, my beats radiated like the image in front of me. Cornell’s rendition of “Stay With Me Baby” from the Vinyl soundtrack randomly played on shuffle. It’s a song that shakes me each time I hear it, like it’s the first.

Cornell’s voice had the velvet textures to sooth a million screaming babies, while simultaneously hitting an orchestral-style range, (like in “Stay With Me Baby”) that would put the greatest theatre wall-art to shame. And of course, there was also every growl, register and scream in between.

There were so many moments where Cornell either paired with another musician, made a guest appearance or so generously shared his gift of song with a remarkable project. Here, I’ve compiled ten that fit one criteria: they are non- Soundgarden, Audioslave, Temple of the Dog or Solo album tracks.

Illustration by Keegan Hall

“River of Deceit” with Mad Season and the Seattle Symphony
Breathtaking. It’s so beautifully vulnerable. The song form of the gentle, light-beaming, rippled waters detailed above. There’s also a subtle, and signature Cornell “hey” at the 3:39 buildup, that wells me up each time.

“Heavy Is the Head” with Zac Brown Band
From the opening gun to last “it’s a lifelong expedition” bridge, this song wails.

“Ava Maria”
No words other than,… the instrumentation of a voice, personified.

“Nothing Compares to You” Prince cover.
Actually CC, nothing compares to you.

“Sunshower” off the Great Expectations soundtrack
If there’s a song that represents Cornell speaking to us all now, I believe it is this. “Crawls like ivy up my spine… I know all your graces.”

“Footsteps” with the Avett Brothers
An unusual pairing of genres covering Pearl Jam, with Cornell on harmonica. Made their own, and dripping with emotion.

“I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” by Otis Redding
This opened the encore the last time I saw Cornell live. June 23, 2016 in Baltimore. He could do anything and everything.

“Stay With Me Baby” off the Vinyl soundtrack.
This vocal delivery is just unfair.

“I Will Always Love You” Whitney Houston tribute
So courageous, so spontaneous, so mesmerizing.

“The Promise” off The Promise soundtrack.
The last official Cornell release to date. Promise to survive, persevere and thrive. #KeepthePromise

Chris, you are missed dearly, and forever loved.

To those who have written and suggested Artist Waves publish more in his honor (in addition to: part 1 & 2), we thank you. It’s been very difficult to find the right words. When the time is right…

One thing we can assure, we will forever honor Cornell’s undeniable legacy. #KEEPTHEPROMISE

Art by Gail Younts & Pete Marsh

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