County Grind would like to wish Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell a very happy 47th birthday.
Born Christopher John Boyle, Cornell brought an operatic and athletic vocal quality to the grunge scene while fronting Soundgarden and later headed up super-disappointing supergroup Audioslave with three-quarters of what had been Rage Against the Machine and then embarked on a solo career that we're not even gonna dignify.
In honor of the man's birthday, we'd like to post, in no particular order, a few of our favorite Cornell vocal moments for you.
1. "Searching With My Good Eye Closed" from 1991's Badmotorfinger. This song features the man's entire range, from his more reserved psych-rock croon all the way to what Henry Rollins has described as a scream that "can peel the paint from walls."
2. Temple of the Dog's "Hunger Strike." In this tribute to his late friend Andrew Wood of Mother Love Bone, Chris leads the members of Pearl Jam through what would become a karoake classic and goes toe to toe with Seattle's other favored throat, Eddie Vedder.
3. "Flower" from the first Soundgarden LP Ultramega OK. This "deep cut" from the band's only release on Greg Ginn's SST label is a bit more psyched out than the rest of the band's output but shows the promise of what was to come.
4. "Into the Void (Sealth)." A retooled Black Sabbath cover with fresh lyrics of protest provided by Chief Seattle, this song is a huge tease for stoner-rock fans and hints at what would've been a really awesome direction for Soundgarden.
5. "Billie Jean," from recent solo performances. Just to remind everyone of the man's dynamic range, here is his version of the Michael Jackson classic. Considered a sacrilege by some, it's difficult to deny the power of this performance. This also features a perfect solo from guitar MONSTER Pete Thorn.