10 Essential Chris Cornell Songs In Film

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Chris Cornell’s extensive song catalog includes works within Soundgarden, Audioslave, Temple of the Dog and solo material. In case that wasn’t enough, Cornell has also been a dynamic contributor to various films. His latest project in this space was composing the theme for The Promise, which debuted on September 11th at the Toronto film festival and stars Christian Bale.

Having music serve as a complimentary piece that truly enhances what’s on screen is not technically new to Cornell. Soundgarden songs “Flower” and “Toy Box” saw their place within the Say Anything soundtrack in 1989. Since then, we’ve seen everything from comedy programs such as Beavis and Butthead to inspirational documentaries like Riding Giants, feature songs from Cornell’s discography.

As far as writing new material specific for films, Cornell explained his process during The Promise debut, “I’ve done enough of them now. I know there’s going to be difficult moments and there will be some moments where everything seems to come together. And then I realize ‘That was awful,’ and I’ll start over from scratch. You know the problem I run into the most is, ‘Am I the right guy for this? Is there a different guy who could tell this story better? And then I get the determination.”

Here’s a look at 10 essential Cornell tracks that were first featured in a film:

10. “Misery Chain” – 12 Years a Slave – 2013 (also via Higher Truth deluxe edition)

9. “Birth Ritual” – Singles – 1992 from Soundgarden (also via Soundgardn/Telephantasm)

8. “The Keeper” – Machine Gun Preacher – 2011

7. “‘Til the Sun Comes Back Around” – 13 Hours – 2016

6. “Blind Dogs” – The Basketball Diaries – 1995 from Soundgarden (also via Soundgarden/Echo of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across the Path)

5. “Live to Rise” – The Avengers – 2012 from Soundgarden (also via Soundgarden/Echo of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across the Path)

4. “The Promise” – The Promise – 2016

3. “You Know My Name” – Casino Royale – 2006 (alternative version also released on Carry On)

2. “Seasons” – Singles – 1992

1. “Sunshower” – Great Expectations – 1998

As for TV series, Cornell has recorded a modern version of the Beatles “Drive My Car” for season two of the stellar new Netflix series, Beat Bugs.

This past April, Cornell covered “Stay With Me Baby,” for the HBO’s Vinyl. About his rendition, Cornell told Vulture, “I was very honored to be asked to record a version of “Stay With Me Baby” for Vinyl. I get to pay tribute to Terry Reid, whose version of the song has been a favorite of mine for many years, and be included on a great soundtrack with an amazing group of artists.”

The vocal on his version of “Stay With Me Baby” is just not fair.

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  • nomad

    I’ve always felt Cornell was the best songwriter to emerge from the Seattle “grunge” days. All good choices.

  • Billy

    I’ve always had a special attachment with Blind dogs so I would actually move it up to #3. Misery chain has also become a fave of mine. With sunshower and singles it doesn’t matter which is first or secondsecond, they are equally brilliant.

  • dakotablue

    Cornell’s “Stay with Me” is pretty good, but take a listen to Terry Reid’s if you can find it–from his fantastic self-titled album. Raw power.

  • Ishmael

    Where the fuck is ‘Shadow Of The Sun’ that was used in The Collateral? The way the used the song there was EPIC.

  • TSlvRBlkBrwn

    There’s an old-time-western-saloon style piano version of Black Hole Sun that’s on the first episode of that new show Westworld on HBO….