Chris Cornell’s posthumous cover of Guns N’ Roses’ “Patience” released
The song was recorded in March of 2016
In honor of what would have been the 56th birthday of the late Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, the singer’s estate this week released a music video, recorded in 2016, featuring Cornell singing the 1989 Guns ‘N’ Roses ballad “Patience.”
According to Pitchfork, the song was recorded in March of 2016, around the time Cornell was teaching the song to his daughter, just over a year before Cornell’s death in 2017. The video consists of a series of polaroids from throughout Cornell’s life and career.
“Listening to [Chris Cornell’s cover] again after so many years it was hauntingly beautiful; it brought it all back in a rush of bittersweet memories,” the singer’s widow, Vicky, said in a statement. “His birthday seemed the perfect time to share this and celebrate Chris, his voice, music, stories, and art.”
Cornell’s version of the song is different from the original in a few ways. At 4:14, it’s nearly two minutes shorter than the version recorded by Guns ‘N’ Roses. It has a slightly faster tempo, while omitting the guitar intro. Also, Cornell plays guitar alone on the track, while the band had multiple guitars going. Cornell adds another chorus at the end, and while Axl Rose famously switched to his trademark falsetto in the final part after forgoing it up to that point, Cornell mostly stays in the same vocal register for the entire song.
Chris Cornell was a key figure in the Seattle grunge scene that took over popular music for a time in the early 1990s. In addition to Soundgarden, he also performed in the supergroups Temple of the Dog and Audioslave and did some solo work. Cornell died of suicide May 18, 2017, shortly after performing that night in Detroit with a reunited Soundgarden. He was 52 years old.