Soundgarden

Black Hole Sun

Composed by Chris Cornell

Song Review by

The summer of 1994 wasn't one of the more sunnier ones for rock music -- the world was still reeling from Nirvana leader Kurt Cobain's suicide the previous April. One of the few bright spots was Soundgarden's classic Superunknown, an album that was molded after releases by such '70s rockers as Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith -- in so much that it did not contain a single weak track. While "Black Hole Sun" was not the album's first single (the percussive rocker "Spoonman" was), the song was one of the summer's anthems and biggest rock hits -- played constantly on radio and MTV. The song had a psychedelic edge to it (especially evident in the verse's guitar part), as the composition shifted between sedate melodicism and gargantuan guitar riffs. The lyrics were classic Chris Cornell -- lines didn't exactly make sense on paper but did within the song, such as the chorus, "black hole sun/Won't you come/And wash away the rain" (which again, summed up the dark feeling that was felt throughout the rock community in the summer of 1994). The video also proved to be the band's most popular and innovative, as disturbing and twisted scenes fit the song's dispirited feel perfectly.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Superunknown 1994 Geffen / Universal 5:39
No Image 1995 Tribute
A-Sides 1997 Polydor / Universal Music 5:18
Rock Ballads [Imprint] 1999
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
The Ultimate Grammy Box: From the Recording Academy's Collection 1999
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 5:20
Rock Monsters 2002
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
No Image 2006
Various Artists
Industrie
Songs for My Ute, Vol. 4 2006
Various Artists
Rajon Entertainment Pty Ltd.
Pure Acoustic [2006] 2006
Various Artists
Universal 5:19
No Image 2006
Various Artists
Greatest Ever / Union Square Music
No Image 2006
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 5:19
90s: The Ultimate Collection 2007
Various Artists
Ultimate / Ultimate Entertainment
20 Years of Rage 2007
Various Artists
ABC Music 5:19
True Power Ballads 2007
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 4:33
Die Ultimative Rock Box 2007
Various Artists
Brunswick 5:19
Les 100 Plus Grands Tubes 2007
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 5:18
Ultimate Grammy Collection: Contemporary Rock 2008
Various Artists
Shout! Factory 5:21
Living in the '90s...Now 2008
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 5:19
No Image 2008
Various Artists
Eva
100 Hits: Drive Time 2008
Various Artists
100 Hits 4:33
No Image 2008
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 5:19
Total Drivetime 2010
Various Artists
Universal 4:33
Telephantasm 2010 Geffen 5:17
Live on I-5 2011 Strategic Marketing / Universal Music 3:01
L' Album Rock 90's 2012
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:31
The Classic Album Selection 2012 Geffen / Universal Music 5:17
A&M 50: The Anniversary Collection 2012
Various Artists
A&M 4:32
Latest & Greatest Guitar Heroes 2013
Various Artists
USM Media
Latest & Greatest: Soft Rock Ballads 2013
Various Artists
USM Media 5:19
5 Classic Albums 2013 A&M 3:00
100 Hits: Driving Rock [2013] 2013
Various Artists
Ultimate Collection / Union Square Music 4:32
90s Anthems: The Ultimate Collection 2014
Various Artists
Ultimate Collection / Universal
Rock Anthems: The Ultimate Collection 2014
Various Artists
Union Square Music
Latest & Greatest American Anthems 2014
Various Artists
USM Media
Sunday Chill [Brunswick] 2014
Various Artists
Sony Music 5:18
Now That's What I Call Classic Rock [2015] 2015
Various Artists
Sony Music 5:17
100 Rock
Various Artists
Universal 5:18
Air Guitar Anthems [UMOD]
Various Artists
UMOD
Genius of... US Rock & Brit Pop
Various Artists
Naïve 5:19
Indie Anthems [2014]
Various Artists
Ultimate Collection
Latest & Greatest Rock
Various Artists
USM Media 5:18
Latest & Greatest Rock Ballads
Various Artists
USM Media
Latest & Greatest Rock Bands
Various Artists
Union Square / Union Square Music 4:33
Rockwiz: Uncovered
Various Artists
Universal Distribution / Universal Music 5:18
No Image Universal
Total 90s
Various Artists
Universal 4:30
blue highlight denotes editor's pick