I was never a Soundgarden fan back in the day. In fact i wasn't interested in the grunge sound much at all, except for meeting, and liking, the band Love Battery while i was in Adulterous Woman. They had a really cool psychedelic influence and very beat-generation-inspired lyrics. But now i think i missed that a lot of those Seattle groups had similar influences.
I heard two versions of Black Hole Sun yesterday on the radio, one the original band version, and the other a live acoustic version by Chris Cornell. It made me want to go get Soundgarden's Superunknown record. Of course i'll have to look for a used copy as i am currently boycotting major labels.
Except for hearing that song on the radio a few times, i've enjoyed a cover version i have of it far more than the original. It's by an artist named Mimi from her album Soak. It came out on David Byrne's label Luaka Bop in the late 90's. Mimi was in Hugo Largo, a brilliant 80's band whom i have posted about before. Her version is gentle and ambient, or perhaps fragile is a better description. It musically caresses the ideas of frailty and vulnerability written in Cornell's lyrics, and Mimi's vocal performance is equally evocative.
There's another version that i heard many years ago, but only a couple of times, while i as working at Olsson's Books and Records in downtown DC. It was on a compilation called Lounge-a-Palooza, and was by none other than Steve Lawrence and Edie Gorme. And it was frakkin brilliant, too. I should have bought it then...perhaps i will now.