Chris Cornell was definitely “feeling Minnesota” in recent years when it came to his solo acoustic performances. The Soundgarden frontman left behind some excellent covers of both Prince and Bob Dylan songs during his 2015-2016 gigs, videos of which are now going viral after the shocking news of his death Wednesday at age 52.
Cornell didn’t just cover Dylan’s “The Times They Are a-Changing” on recent solo dates -- including his Oct. 5, 2015 gig at the State Theatre -- he updated the early-‘60s protest anthem with new lyrics, calling his version “The Times They Are a-Changing Back.” He explains his reasons/audacity for modernizing the song in the clip below (from an unnamed show that pre-dated the presidential election). Among his added lines were:
“We carry the load for the 1%, who bought you your seat at the table / Well the wine pours red and the hearts turn black, and the times they are a changin' back / Come all you media, women and men / 24 hours a day scare the shit out of them / If fear is your business, then business is grand.”
Cornell also pulled off a surprisingly tender, blue-hue version of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” at the State Theatre show and other solo gigs around that time, getting well ahead of the bandwagon that came six months later. Here’s a great clip of him performing it live on SiriusXM. Warning: You might want to grab a tissue first.