Seattle Legend Has ‘Beautiful’ Unreleased Chris Cornell Collaboration


In the latest episode on The Pods & Sods Network, Remembering Chris Cornell Part 1, Ann Wilson of Heart shares details of recording Bob Dylan’s Ring Them Bells with the late Chris Cornell. “On the Heart record Desire Walks On, there’s a version of the Bob Dylan song Ring Them Bells. And we were looking for a third voice. We asked just about everybody in the industry who was a great singer including Chris to come in and sing one of the parts on it. Chris came in and sang on it,” Wilson recalls.

She continues, “but then because of where their career was going, the up-tightness of the industry back then, Heart was just a veteran band that sort of had seen better days and Soundgarden was this brand new, burgeoning, honest, authentic thing that was going up. So his management decided not to let him appear on our record.”

“So we got a copy of Chris singing on that song, which just sounded amazing, that we couldn’t use. So what happened is Layne Staley came in and sang it instead. Of course Alice In Chains management didn’t have a problem in the world with it.”

“It’s in our vault. Maybe some day we’ll be able to release it. It’s a beautiful version.”

Superunknown Producer Michael Beinhorn detailed the process of recording Soundgarden’s 1994 album Superunknown. And he shares his reaction to first hearing Black Hole Sun during that time, “I think for the rest of my entire life, until I draw my last breathe, I’ll never ever forgot how I felt when they started playing that song. From the very first few notes, I felt like I’d been hit by a thunderbolt. I was just absolutely stunned. What in the world is this? I get goosebumps thinking about it now.”

  • ChelleT

    That feeling of being hit by a thunderbolt is exact how I felt the first time I heard Soundgarden. Hopefully we will get to hear this song someday.

  • nomad

    What she says is confusing because Soundgarden and Alice In Chains had the same management – Susan Silver. I’m thinking she means their record company.

  • Gary Reilly

    Distinctly remember being on holiday in Jersey (UK) and listening to some rock station on the radio whilst bored. I’d grew up with 80s bands like Whitesnake and Poison and was getting bored with all that, even G&R were starting to grate on me. This song came on – slow, lumbering, heavy, with an ever sinking bass line – and instantly grabbed me by the neck. It felt real and authentic, and nothing like what I’d been listening to. Then the chorus came on and the singer burst into this scream which gave me goosepimples, and which was completely at odds with the lumbering dinosaur-like melody which had preceded it. The song was, of course, ‘The Day I tried to Live’ and it remains my favourite SG song to this day. The ups and downs of that song’s melody and vocals perfectly reflect the ups and downs of the lyrical content, where Cornell sings about repeated attempts to break out of his isolated bubble and get out there into the world to mix and socialise and interact with people ………. sometimes failing, but always trying again.

  • Sarah

    Here is a link to an acoustic version he performed at the Roxy a few years ago. No surprise, it’s great:

  • Cathy

    I certainly hope they induct SG into the Rock Hall of Fame. They deserve it just as much as PJ and Nirvana!

    • Trovoid

      Hell, they deserve it most out of the Seattle bands IMO. Although if they inducted them now it would seem like it was only because Chris died. They’ve been a band since 1984, should’ve happened by now. That’s an induction that will be very difficult to watch though 🙁

  • Trovoid

    This NEEDS to be released