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 A&M / Interscope 5:18
Rocks Off 1995
Various Artists
No Image 1995 Tribute
A-Sides 1997 A&M 5:20
The Ultimate Grammy Box: From the Recording Academy's Collection 1999
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 5:20
Pure Acoustic [2006] 2006
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
Ultimate Grammy Collection: Contemporary Rock 2008
Various Artists
Shout! Factory 5:21
Life is Music 2008
Various Artists
Studio Brussel / EMI 5:18
Total Drivetime 2010
Various Artists
Universal 4:33
Telephantasm 2010 A&M / Geffen 5:19
No Image 2011
Various Artists
The Classic Album Selection 2012 Geffen / Universal Music 5:17
A&M 50: The Anniversary Collection 2012
Various Artists
A&M 4:33
Latest & Greatest Guitar Heroes 2013
Various Artists
USM Media
Latest & Greatest: Soft Rock Ballads 2013
Various Artists
USM Media 5:19
100 Hits: Driving Rock [2013] 2013
Various Artists
Ultimate Collection / Union Square Music 4:32
90s Anthems: The Ultimate Collection [2014] 2014
Various Artists
Ultimate Collection / Universal 0:00
Beyond This Mortal Coil: A Live Tribute to Chris Cornell 2017 Goldfish / Golf 5:13
Chris Cornell 2018 A&M / Universal 5:19
100 Rock
Various Artists
Universal 5:18
90s Mixtape
Various Artists
Universal 5:19
Genius of... US Rock & Brit Pop
Various Artists
Naïve 5:19
Rock Icons
Various Artists
Universal 5:19
Rockwiz: Uncovered
Various Artists
Universal Distribution / Universal Music 5:18
Total 90s
Various Artists
Universal 4:30