Cornell … Chris Cornell

“You Know My Name” is what stands out to me

Chris Cornell, the dynamic vocalist and guitarist whose versatile showmanship as Soundgarden and Temple of the Dog’s frontman was a signpost of the grunge era, died by suicide Wednesday night. He was 52. …
… Cornell’s artistry was marked by his impressive multi-octave vocal range and displayed a rare sensitivity within heavy music. With Soundgarden, he could shift between raging metal declarations (“Jesus Christ Pose”), somber mood pieces (“Fell on Black Days”) and psychedelia (“Black Hole Sun”) with ease.
— “Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell Dead at 52" — Kory Grow, Rolling Stone

“Black Hole Sun” is about all I know of Soundgarden, and unless you’re able to remind me of something I had long forgotten, I wouldn’t know a Temple of the Dog or Audioslave song if you hit me over the head with it.

I don’t know anything about his solo work, either, except for one song.

“The song works. The film works as an origin story of sorts for the character and its theme song links into the brutality and menace of our protagonist. It’s a pleasure to associate Cornell’s strong effort with Craig’s reinvented depiction of James Bond; I couldn’t imagine anyone else fronting Casino Royale’s opening credits than Chris Cornell.”
— “An ode to Chris Cornell and his contribution to James Bond” — Mike Williams, Metro

I don’t have a favorite actor, but I do have a favorite character … James Bond. My description of “You Know My Name” isn’t quite as eloquent as Mike Williams’; all I’ll say is that it was a kick-ass theme song.

And yet it wasn’t even mentioned in the Rolling Stone obituary. I’m not criticizing — with a career like Cornell’s, there’s a lot to cover, and remembering him for “You Know My Name” is probably like remembering Leonardo da Vinci for something other than the “Mona Lisa” or “The Last Supper.”

But if it wasn’t for “You Know My Name,” I’m not telling my wife, “Hey, Chris Cornell died” after I saw the news on Twitter yesterday morning.

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