There's a certain sense of loss and bereavement surrounding the death of Chris Cornell, especially as an artist who was a key figure in shaping the sound of this generation. His music often suggested faraway places and unrecognizable colors, while also feeling intimate and vulnerable at its core.
To that end, we put together this list of songs we think stand out in the band's oeuvre, both because they are particularly memorable and because their lyrics speak to something deeper than just a simple rock song. Some of these songs might be more well-known than others, but they're all incredibly important in their own way.
One of the most memorable tracks in Soundgarden's catalog is the opener to their second album, Loud Love. It starts with Kim Thayil's mutated feedback intro, oft-mistaken for an e-bow, bleeding directly into Cornell's rising scream. It's an excellent example of how the band was able to mix the metal aggression they were known for into their newer, more melodic styles, while still keeping their music compelling and catchy.
If there's a track on Badmotorfinger that best represents the band's willingness to push their musical boundaries, it might be this song. Written in 1985, and a fixture of their live set during the days when Scott Sundquist was still on drums, "Storm" is a droning, dark, psychedelic piece that's depraved in all the right ways.
It's also a great example of how Soundgarden can make the most of an unreleased track, with Ben Shephard providing clattery drumming that compliments a backward echo and menacing piano melodies in a riff that builds in intensity until it breaks into an irrepressible rock 'n' roll rager. It's a little sloppy and a lot unfinished, but it's still a fantastic cut that should have ended up higher on the juggernaut that was Badmotorfinger.