Covers are a great way to show appreciation for an artist who may have inspired you in a certain way. But with some artists, there are big shoes to fill.
Soundgarden are one of those bands.
If you have ears and aren't tone deaf, then you'll probably agree that Chris Cornell was one of the greatest vocalists of all time. So yeah, covering pretty much anything he originally sang is quite the hefty task to take on. Matt Cameron is also a terrific drummer, and Kim Thayil has his own trademark sound, as well.
However, plenty of artists have successfully done their own versions of Soundgarden songs. "Black Hole Sun" was probably the most frequently-covered rock song of 2017 following the death of Cornell, so there's a long list to choose from.
But, for the sake of this list, we chose to focus on studio versions only. It's one thing to pay homage to a fallen hero by playing their song live, and it's another entirely to have actually put in the time and effort to record your own version. That isn't to say these were all released after Cornell died, though — a lot of them existed prior to the tragedy.
The Pretty Reckless are enormous Soundgarden fans, and frontwoman Taylor Momsen even had the chance to perform some of their songs with the surviving members of the band at the 2019 "I Am the Highway" Cornell tribute show. TPR went on to record their own version of "Loud Love" in 2020 though, so that made the count.
Of course, one of the most famous Soundgarden covers of all time is Johnny Cash's rendition of the Badmotorfinger hit, "Rusty Cage," which sounds absolutely nothing like the original, but it's great in its own way at the same time. Cornell was actually approached to write a new arrangement for Cash, but he couldn't, so producer Rick Rubin did instead.
Check out the eight best Soundgarden covers below — they're not in any particular order.