The emotion of Maroon 5 covering Chris Cornell’s “Seasons” on the ‘Stern Show’

Cornell art by Keegan Hall — Levine art by Breah Beshore

“I love Chris Cornell. I miss Chris Cornell.” ~ (adam levine)

Do you want to know what an Artist Wave is? Just listen to Maroon 5 cover Chris Cornell’s “Seasons” on The Howard Stern Show.

After a quick discussion of who is currently in Maroon 5, Chris Cornell was the first topic Howard Stern and Adam Levine jumped into on Halloween morning.

Many outlets have reported on or shared that Levine and Maroon 5 covered Cornell’s song from the Singles soundtrack, “Seasons” on the Stern Show. But what about the deep-rooted meaning behind it? What about how passion-filled it was and why? What struck me the most, was not that it happened, but how it was delivered to the Sirius XM audience. Levine has often stated how much of fan he is of Seattle rock music, Pearl Jam in particular. On this Stern Show appearance, Levine and Stern share the story of how Levine sent an email to the King of all Media asking if it would be OK to play “Seasons” during their appearance.

“I never got meet Chris. It’s funny because there are so many friends and people in common, it just never really happened. I would have loved to meet him. I deeply regret not getting to meet him, but his music was so unbelievably influential on all of us. These guys here today, besides being in the band are all guys … who are particularly obsessed with Soundgarden and Chris Cornell,” Levine stated during the interview.

On the Stern Show, you get the opportunity to talk without limitations and for a longer duration of time. This allowed Levine to introduce why they will be covering “Seasons” and what it meant to him. You felt this backstory come through in his singing. From the opening “Summer nights and long warm days” to the closing “yeah” — Levine flies above the storm in delivering such a sincere and emotional vocal.

“We should think about Chris Cornell. We should think about what a great talent he was. We should think about the world. We should think about when he wrote this for the soundtrack,” Stern said right before Maroon 5 ripped into the song.

And that’s exactly what happened. They made you feel something through the radio. There is no public video of this performance, but you sense Levine getting submersed in his previously stated, heartfelt comments, and he’s following Stern’s suggestion to think about Cornell, what this song means to him, and how Cornell influenced his life. Maroon 5 savored that moment and you have to imagine with that type of precise emotion embodied in the song, there had to be a time or two where Levine and company fought back a tear.

Stern had Cornell on his show twice. Each appearance was captivating and featured Cornell performing acoustically. There’s been a ton of loss this year in the world of music entertainment. Of all of them, I’ve noticed Stern bringing up Cornell to almost every musician he has in the studio. Did you hear his interview with Kelly Clarkson this week? It was amazing as usual, but again, Stern brought up Cornell. Perhaps he’s searching for some insight, or maybe like all of us, he’s trying to somehow understand it.

Regardless, both Stern and Levine seemed deeply affected by such a tremendous loss. Levine poured his heart and soul into “Seasons”. He made it personal and courageously wore his vulnerability on his sleeve as he knew this was a chance to pay the ultimate respect. For those reasons, it shined brighter than almost any other Cornell tribute I can think of — and there have been some outstanding covers.

Maroon 5 has a new record out today entitled Red Pill Blues. Although they are pop band, you can strip down a lot of their songs and find that same “Seasons” emotion intertwined within all the notes. The first single “What Lovers Do” is a great example — containing strong lyrics such as “I’ll bet the house on you, am I lucky or not?” Though not a song he wrote, have you ever heard Levine perform “Lost Stars” from the film Begin Again? It’s incredibly honest, just like “Seasons” was.

Finally, what I find so remarkable about this Cornell tribute is that the song is along for the ride with you. “And I’m lost, behind. The words I’ll never find.” Isn’t that how many of us feel about the loss of Cornell? I know I do.

“And I’m left behind, as seasons roll on by.”

Levine spoke of how “Seasons” has always been his favorite Cornell song.

“This is probably my favorite Chris Cornell song. It was on the soundtrack for “Singles” which I think is the greatest soundtrack of all time. “Seasons” which really wasn’t a big Chris Cornell song other than the fact that it was in the movie, and at the time it was pretty big, but no one talks about that song as much.”

What’s fascinating is how much of the song lyrically, meshes with Levine’s thoughts on the loss of Cornell — a legend, who was in the same industry as him, lived in the same city, and had such a profound impact on his life. He’s saddened they never got to meet. But seasons roll on by, and all things considered — the Stern Show is the only place a tribute this moving can happen. Levine may have never had the chance to tell Cornell anything in person, but on Tuesday, I have to believe he sure made him smile.

Maroon 5’s new record Red Pill Blues is out NOW. Catch Maroon 5 on tour

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~ follow Jeff Gorra | twitter @JeffGorra |