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December 1999

Chris Cornell

Chris Cornell’s new CD, Euphoria Morning, is brilliant. This fact will be a relief to former Soundgarden fans, who were undoubtedly concerned that, with his first solo attempt, the singer and guitarist would fall flat on his face. The album proves, for the 34-year-old rocker from Seattle, there is life after the 1997 breakup of the band U.S. magazine Spin dubbed “grunge’s elite.” “We disbanded because we’d been swallowed by success,” explains Cornell. “Sure, we wanted to earn a decent living, but we never wanted to tour and have 10-year-olds as fans. The whole thing became so eerie! That’s when we knew we had to quit.” Sound garden members went their separate ways, but, according to the handsome musician, “we are still good friends.” Cornell assesses his solo sound: “I no longer see myself as a punk, but as one who has learned a lot from people like Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen and Tim Buckley. Those are my heroes now, not Johnny Rotten.” Euphoria Morning, while recalling the strains of Soundgarden, boasts a mellower tone and is a fine showcase for Cornell’s distinctive vocal work. “Every morning, I drink a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice,” laughs the former grunger, “and smoke a big fat cigar. That’s how I achieve my original sound.”

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