Chris Cornell: 15 Essential Songs

The singer's most memorable moments: Soundgarden's grunge classics, Audioslave's hits and his poetic solo material

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Soundgarden, "Rusty Cage" (1992)

"I have a vivid memory of staring out the window, looking at the countryside, and feeling pent-up," Chris Cornell told Spin about driving somewhere in Europe and writing the lyrics to the song that would end up opening 1991's Badmotorfinger. When the band got back to Seattle, Cornell, who claimed to be listening to a lot of Tom Waits at the time, "wanted to create this hillbilly Black Sabbath crossover that I'd never heard before." The song itself, that Johnny Cash would go on to cover on 1996's Unchained, was "recorded with a wah-wah in the low position used as a filter," Kim Thayil told Guitar School in 1994. "It was Chris's idea; he wanted to get that weird tone that you can't really dial in on an amp."

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