Friday, July 6, 2018

Heart: Ann Wilson streams Chris Cornell tribute from Immortal covers album

Heart vocalist Ann Wilson is paying tribute to the late Chris Cornell with a stream of her take on Audioslave’s “I Am The Highway”, from her forthcoming covers album, “Immortal.”

Beyond musical compatriots from the Seattle music scene, the pair were friends, and Wilson recalls the unique situation she found herself in on May 18, 2017 – the day Cornell took his own life in a Detroit hotel room.

Wilson tells Rolling Stone that she was minutes away from performing Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun” as a tribute to Cornell on ABC-TV’s Jimmy Kimmel Live when Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington, whose band was also set to appear, reached out to her backstage.

“Someone came into my dressing room and said ‘Chester would like to talk to you’ – he was really upset,” Wilson remembers. “This was just a couple of weeks before [Chester] decided to take himself. So I went in. He was really a mess. So anxious and sad and had to go onstage in a minute. I think that Chris’s departure hit [Chester] hard because he recognized the impulse. He had been hit by this news. There was a lot of fear there. I said to him, let’s just breathe here and look in each other’s eyes and go ‘we’re still here right now, let’s just do this.’ A couple of weeks later, he was gone.

“They seemed to resemble each other,” adds the Heart rocker. “I think they knew each other and they had probably commiserated. I wouldn’t say one made the other happen, but Chris’s death obviously affected Chester deeply.

“Chris’s death affected me, but I wasn’t that surprised. He always had gallows humor about being lonely in hotel rooms. ‘The only thing missing is a noose,’ he’d say. And it was like ‘oh, Chris.’ And he’s like ‘[I’m] too tired, the road is too hard, too impersonal.’ He was darkly joking.”

In 2013, Cornell inducted Heart into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame; this past spring, Wilson and Alice In Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell performed “Black Hole Sun” in tribute to the late singer at the 2018 Induction Ceremony in Cleveland.

“I Am The Highway” was the fourth single from Audioslave’s 2002 self-titled debut, which peaked at No. 7 on the US Billboard 200 on its way to sales of more than 3 million copies in the country.

Due September 14, Wilson’s “Immortal” sees the rocker deliver a diverse set of tracks that pay homage to some of her favorite songs and artists, all of whom have passed away in recent years – including tracks by David Bowie, Tom Petty, The Eagles and more.

Recorded with original Heart producer Mike Flicker, the project features guest appearances by Warren Haynes and Ben Mink.

Wilson is playing a series of summer solo shows this month before joining Jeff Beck and Paul Rodgers for the Stars Align Tour of North America, which will open in West Valley City, UT on July 18.

Ann Wilson

Release date: September 14

01. A Different Corner (George Michael)
02. A Thousand Kisses Deep (Leonard Cohen)
03. Back To Black (Amy Winehouse)
04. Baker Street (Gerry Rafferty)
05. I Am The Highway (Chris Cornell/Audioslave)
06. I'm Afraid Of Americans (David Bowie)
07. Life In The Fast Lane (The Eagles) (in honor of Glenn Frey)
08. Luna (Tom Petty)
09. Politician (Cream) (in honor of Jack Bruce)
10. You Don't Own Me (Lesley Gore)

See also:

Ann Wilson of Heart details new covers album Immortal
VIDEO: Ann Wilson and Jerry Cantrell deliver Chris Cornell tribute at Rock Hall ceremony
Heart offshoot Roadcase Royale announce debut album
Heart’s future unknown as singer’s husband sentenced in family assault case
Search Heart at hennemusic