Chris Cornell’s 1994 hit, Black Hole Sun is one of the most memorable Seattle band songs of the 90s. The strange sad lyrics, Cornell’s vocal performance, and memories of a psychedelic music video all come to mind for fans of the original hit. But one small group of musicians nailed a beautiful acoustic cover, all with a cute dog in the singer’s lap.
Won’t you come
The video opens as we see one man at a piano, another sitting with a guitar in his lap, while our singer is seated in front of a mic, patting a sleek black dog in her lap. It feels appropriate that these three performers are smiling, especially if you remember the original MTV video.
The music then comes in, and from note one, you know you are in for something special. Lead vocalist Jennah Bell jumps into the lyrics of Soundgarden’s biggest hit with style and passion.
The camera cuts away from the band to show the incredible work from Ryan Lerman as his fingers dance across the guitar strings. It brings to mind Cornell’s original acoustic performances of Black Hole Sun before it became a live band staple.
The camera cuts again, showing the passion in Jennah’s face as she croons through the challenging lyrics. Her voice doesn’t just carry the tone, it performs it, in a style that is perfect for the stage and ideal for YouTube.
Then the chorus kicks in, and even the dog has to take notice as he turns his head. Maybe he wants the audience to see his face or he wanted to get into a better listening position. But don’t look away from pianist Lee Pardini on the left, since his part is coming up.
As the song reaches it’s most powerful moments, Lee Pardini steps in with piano work that complements both Jennah and Ryan. The trio work together to bring this incredible cover to a close that Soundgarden fans are sure to appreciate.
Then the video closes, with a small credits to acknowledge the talented band.
More than just words
You might be wondering why this cover has earned over 55k likes to date. A lot of it has to do with the enduring legacy that this Chris Cornell song has created.
Back when the song was still new, Cornell was asked what was in his mind when he wrote the song. Chris Cornell had this to say:
“Well, they’re just some words.”
Cornell later discussed the song calling its lyrics sad. He notes that most of his fans saw the song as chipper because the melody was chipper and really pretty. This catchiness led the song to arguably becoming one of the most recognizable Seattle band songs from the early 90s.
When the song premiered, it appeared on Billboard’s Hot 100 Airplay charts in the top 30. It also helped Soundgarden’s album Superunknown debute at number 1. Simply put, the song’s mix of thoughtful lyrics, strange visuals, and catchiness makes it a popular song that artists will revisit for years to come.
So that leaves just one question. Which version of Black Hole Sun is your favorite?
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