Twenty years ago today, Audioslave, the four-piece supergroup featuring Soundgarden lead singer Chris Cornell and Rage Against the Machine members Tom Morello (lead guitar), Brad Wilk (Drums), and Tim Commerford (bass/backing vocals) released their self-titled debut album via Epic & Interscope Records.
Back when Rage Against the Machine broke up in late 2000, the remaining members of the band Tom, Brad & Tim decided to stay together and announced plans to continue on with a new vocalist. After auditioning a few, producer Rick Rubin suggested that they play with Chris Cornell.
The chemistry between Cornell and the other three was instantly obvious. The four began to write songs together immediately and came up with 21 songs during their 19 days of rehearsal. They hit the studio in the spring of 2001, with Rubin on as producer to begin recording what would become Audioslave’s self-titled debut.
The first single ‘Cochise’ was released to us in radioland in October of that year, followed up by the super cool music video with the band performing atop a water tower in the middle of a huge fireworks display.
Their self-titled debut album, Audioslave, was released on November 19th, back in 2002… Twenty years ago today! It landed at #7 on the Billboard Top 200 charts after its first week of release, eventually being certified triple platinum by the RIAA for sales over 3 million copies here in the United States.
The album boasted huge hit singles like ‘Cochise’, ‘Like a Stone’, ‘Show Me How To Live’, ‘I Am The Highway’ and many others – Like a Stone was nominated for a Grammy Award at the 2004 awards gala. Other favorite tunes of mine on the album include, ‘Gasoline’, ‘Set It Off’, ‘Shadow on the Sun’ & ‘Light My Way’ to name a few.
I was fortunate to see Audioslave perform live many times over their short six-year stint, including the unbelievable show at the Electric Factory (4/29/05) part of their “Out of Exile” tour – which you can find the video of online if ya dig hard enough.
Look at this incredible setlist:
- Set It Off
- Your Time Has Come
- Like a Stone
- Spoonman (Soundgarden cover)
- Drown Me Slowly
- Doesn’t Remind Me
- Be Yourself
- Bulls on Parade (RATMcover)
- Sleep Now in the Fire (RATM cover)
- Outshined (Soundgarden cover)
- Shadow on the Sun
- Encore: Black Hole Sun (Chris solo acoustic)
- 2112 Part VI: Soliloquy (RUSH cover) (Chris solo acoustic)
- I Am the Highway
- Show Me How to Live
- Killing in the Name (RATM cover)
Truly an amazing, and very much sold out to the rafters show!
Tom Morello had mentioned in an interview, that there are more, shelved Audioslave songs in his vault. I hope we get to hear them someday! In the meantime, go find their live concert film “Audioslave: Live in Cuba” and rock out! Performed in front of an audience of over 70,000 people – this marked a historic event for the band as they are one of only a few American musicians that were permitted to play in Cuba! This show was recorded live exactly one week after the Philly/Factory show too!
Happy 20th Anniversary to Audioslave’s debut album!
We miss you everyday Chris!!