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Chris Cornell covers "Billie Jean"

Chris Cornell covers "Billie Jean"
Via Stereogum
Ever wanted to hear "Billie Jean" done in the style of a dusty Western troubadour shouting down the apocalypse? Ever wanted to lose even more respect for Chris Cornell? Then listen to him covering the Michael Jackson classic unplugged. Great stuff, if "great" means "wretched."
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Chris Cornell
WTF

I actually like it.

O.J.

I was ready to lash out but then I listened to it.I feel dirty for not hating it.

Resource

I agree with the earlier comments. I think this works pretty well. It's a dark song to begin with, so it makes sense that this would succeed.

Matthew Gasteier

the first verse works well, after that his emotional is just to forced. beats audioslave

jamestown

I think it's beautiful.

Gina

Man - ditch audioslave. This sounds great

John B

I don't really like it but it's a good work... Well tried Chris

Steve

Awesome. so emotional. Gives another interesting dimension to the song.

Laurent

I heard this on my local radio station. Was iffy about a Michael Jackson cover, but I think this is hands down better than the original. I don't think Chris can do anything wrong, ever. I can't wait until the cd is released in March.

Ashley

Chris made that song his own. I don't rememember the original anymore. Killer

mike

I think its great, sounds very real

delekus

I've been a Chris Cornell fan for years. I first heard this rendition the other morning on my local radio station. Even though I'm not a huge fan of the original song, I believe Chris basically claimed it as his own. It seems to have much more depth.

Mommyfeet

Wow, I really wanted to hate this, but it's really not that bad. One thing for sure though... He should never play this song again, ever. If he turns it in to a regular thing (or god forbid records it in a studio) then yes, everyone is free to throw rotten tomatoes at him.

Richard Parsons

I love Chris Have always loved him Soundgarden and Audioslave. He ROCKS this song. Gives it a new depth. And I actually get what the song is saying. Its a great way to change up a well known tune and make it your own. This is awesome

Gina

Hey! Chris put balls to this songExcellent!

Martin

It sucks...

Pat

Chris covers it pretty well, but it can't light to the original and everyone here knows that!

Marc

I like it. The first :30 has a bit of a Dylan vibe to me.

Jack D

How can you lose respect for cornell because of this song? It shouldn't matter who sang it previously. The lyrics have power, especially coming from Chris Cornell. Beautifully done. Really puts Michael Jackson to shame. His music always sucked anyway...on a side note, i have a feeling Michael Jackson never went around breaking girls' hearts, if you know what i mean.

bryan

I'm not a huge Michael Jackson fan, but the truth is whatever Chris Cornell sings KICK ASS! He has such a unique sound. My friend listened to it with me and said that she finally knows what the song is about! Can't wait for the new album.

Jamie

that was bad ass i love i hope he does more

steven

This version of the song is fantastic. I'm sorry to say but your opinion is WRONG! Seriously, however...Cornell infuses the song with a tired, angry tone that lends the words a new meaning. The guitar left a bit to be desired, but the chorus rattle of the acoustic made my cowboy boots shiver...in my closet. The version is good. The reviewer is needlessly harsh. Thank you for finding it, however!

Joz

I love it!!!!!

Zoheb M

That was so awful that my sides actually hurt. That denouement is just about the funniest thing I've heard all week. I think it goes without saying that somebody is taking himself entirely too seriously and that his name rhymes with Bliss Bornell.

Paul

Thought it was a beautiful rendition....CC is a staple in our house and to hear him sing this, well.... we were quite surprised!! I liked it...quite alot actually.Just hearing his voice without all the instruments crowding it...was nice and a new experience.

Shriver Lenox

Actually, I think it's one of the better cover songs I've heard in a while. Almost like Jebidiah parker's hey ya

dre

Cornell could cover a Clay Aiken song and it would rock! Seriously, the man has a voice like no other and I wait in anticipation for each new piece of music that he releases. I thought that the cover of Billie Jean was incredible, it actually gives me chills every time I listen to it... everyone has opinions of what good music is, it's sad when others have their soul shielded from enlightenment..

Big-B

Chris Cornell has vocal talent and then some. Great range and power; a truly unique voice. Good cover.Now, if he would just grow up and stop screaming so much, and use his mind and voice and body...

Chris

I tell you what...I dig this song more than the original.How could anyone lose respect for Cornell after this?He has the most profound,distinctive and awesome voices in rock-n-roll.He totally reinvented Billie jean

Joseph D.C.

Not bad. I like it inspite of wanting not to.But! I couldn't help imagining how much better it would be if Nick Cave covered it. Now *that* would make me shiver.

Katja

After listening to this, I think that he could sing the theme to gummy bears and make it sound good. Chris cornell is a real musician; there are very few left. Most people are all studio. He sounds the best out of anyone i have seen live.

Bili Vegas

Oh, yes... Oh, f*** yes... I want this man to sing Happy Birthday for me... ALL SCREAMS!

Joe Coffey

I'm a big Michael Jackson fan. When I first heard a cover had been done of Billie Jean I was a bit sceptical, but after having listened to it a couple of times I really like it, and I also think MJ is happy with the outcome...but the original still rules as the entire Thriller album does. The best ever!!

Jesper

All news versions of a song are interesting to listen. This is an interesting version. But the original version is evidently better. No one could sing "Billie Jean" better than his creator.

Zil

First off let me start by saying, MJ is definately not happy with this. Now this is just a random thought, but MJ needs money and that is the only reason he allowed suckie Cornell to do this cover. Initially it starts out sounding really interesting but then takes a sharp dip. Im just not feeling the emotions that he is trying to project through his voice. It sounds forced. I think its an attempt to gain a buzz around his new solo project, which is obviously working. This is one MJ fan that he didnt win over. VIVA MJ!

Cornell I.Z. Suckie

I'm black and I know it rocks. Nuff said bitches

Bdemdown

no matter what his voice is still your average radio alt rock garbage its not horrible but definately not worth while, maybe if you saw it live...but this doesnt even come close to mj at all not for a second...anyone could have done this in fact i am sure some frat boy with acoustic gutair has tried at open mic night atleast once or twice.... and gummy bears theme is classic

joel

Very well done...this artist should feel proud at a job well done! This is what music is all about guy's no one artist hold the key to how a piece of music should be done or sound...thank God for diversity or we we all be little EMO Sluts!

JoeSixPack

I'm really interested in covers of songs. Especially songs that I originally can't stand enough to listen to. It's artists like this that refine a work, and really make it shine. Jeff Buckley did this to Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. Peter Mulvey does it with lots of songs, damn near everyone does it with Dylan's tunes, and I admire that. There's alot of really great writing that falls through the cracks because it isn't delivered in a way that reaches everyone. It's a sad tune. MJ sings it upbeat.. and although it sure made plenty of money that way, the meaning of the song was lost. Great artists see great work regardless of how it is delivered, and Cornell helped to translate that for us.-Luke.www.lukemacneil.com

Luke MacNeil

Cornell I.Z. Suckie: Artists can't decide who is allowed to cover their tracks as far as I am aware.

drdaz

ridiculous. i just listened to it a 2nd time & it's like a car wreck. it's so tragically bad it almost made me LOL...

parker

Wow. Never knew the little pervert had the ability to write deep, meaningful, haunting lyrics. Leave it to musical genius Cornell to take a crappy pop hit and infuse emotion, and actually flesh the thing out to what it could have originally realized.As for whether "MJ" likes or dislikes it I think we can all agree that Captain Crunch has lost a little clout with his constant acts of insanity...and questionable fraternization with little kids...but hey, a brother gotta pay the bills...

Kastle Rick

[...] On the subject of Chris Cornell, check out his version of Billie Jean, which I discovered this evening…. [...]

Chris Cornell - You Know My Name » Unreality

this man amuses me every time i hear something new he`ve done!It`s an awesonme cover and not only because the unique voice he has.Cornell is a genious in every kind of way!

Fake

We love it! Chris can rock any song!

Melissa&Esteban

anyone who hates this is nuts!!!!!.....awsome stuff!!!!!!

gmoney

hrmmIm an MJ fan and a fan of all music regardless of who performs it or the genre. Id just like to say that some of the comments here are the result of having to display and maintain the reputain you guys already have or can't deal with the thought of you liking a "Michael Jackson"? song.Anyway one other thing, not sure if this person ( "but MJ needs money and that is the only reason he allowed suckie Cornell to do this cover.") knew this or not but..you dont need permission, you simply cover it, sample it or whatever and pay your royalties. Parodies are another thing...in the end, I enjoyed listening to this.2 cents. thanks.

Hector Z

I LOVE IT BUT HIS VOICE IS A LOT WORSE THAN BACK IN THE DAY.

tRAV yOUR daD

LOVE IT! I am really looking forward to his new solo album. I can listen to him all day. I'm not a Michael Jackson fan, but I do like MJ's version of this song. The thing that makes this a great cover is that CC transforms it into a song that is his own and I can't even think of the 2 versions as being the same song.

LG

this is probably one of the greatest covers i've ever heard, no exageration at all. cornell has taken a song which i would never have thought i would like, ever, and twisted it into his own masterpiece. genius.also can't wait for his 2nd solo album, the wait is killing me

jjw

I have sang to it like 10 times in row fuckin' loves it

jayfray

I like it.

b-of-h

I don't think it sucks at all.

Goat

I think speaking as a fan of both artists you've really just got to take music with a pinch of salt when it comes to covers. take over big professionals who've covered people well/badly. when i saw fuel live they covered elton john's 'Daniel' and it was phenominal. Metallica covering Skynard wasnt a bad touch 2. The Who covering the beatles!!!! dont hate if you cant relate.Anyone with relative sense can say this is an exceptional cover, it certainly has a different mood from the original, CC made sound like it was his song & all in all that is what covers are there for arent they? or 2 pay homage to those you love!!!!unless.......ya love getting wasted doing karoake or breakin out a cover to have a laugh! peace

Harris

i also like it very much...

wildfire

Chris Cornell once said that the way he knows a song is great is if it gives them the shivers. This performance, this interpretaion gave me the shivers. Cornell is an artist not afraid to sing his heart out. He is a singer of soul. An amazing singer and songwriter.

raul

I LOVE his voice.. it actually makes me fall in love with him.. and it kind of makes me horny and sad at the same time, I wanna have crazy tearfull sex, when I listen to this song.. I definitly feel it...

RoxyLove

Give the guy props for bringing some genuine emotion to the song. "It's the singer not the song" goes the saying. Still, don't cover any Michael Jackson, ever; the residual money just props up his seedy empire of lies, now spreading into Africa where he's not under the watchful eyes of people who know his true heart.

Rocky

It's funny.....this blog was basically bashing Cornell...meanwhile, the majority of responses all praise this new song....WHICH THEY SHOULD, because anything and everything Cornell sings goes gold...anybody who knows how to play music or at least has an ear for it would definitely understand where i'm coming from.....Cornell owns music! woot!

M....C....

wo0o0ow there r sum bigg haterzz in hea, most of the fans of Mj say this guy killed it, n the others, well they jus think he does it better bcuz it happens 2 b a song sung by MJ himself.im not a fan of eitha, i jus happen 2 think its messed up 2 criticize MJ bcuz hez MJ lol, idk yu haterz rele ne3d 2 get a life, cuz either way MJ still mad more money than yu ever will in yur life Lol, buh yea dis guy dint do so bad, its actually rele ko0 2 hear =]

Mikeeeee

It took a couple of listens....but I like it. A LOT! The guitar is a little dodgy, but his voice is beautiful, as always! It's not an embarrasement to him at all. It's almost worth leaving as an acoustic version....recording it might take out some of the rawness in his voice, which is what makes this sound so great.

Little Fi

Excellent. I heard he was leaving Audioslave, any truth?

Hemendez

Kind of depends on how permanent this Rage reunion is, doesn't it?

John Zeiss

it's not truth.... audioslave will have one year off 'cause cc and tom will make tour with their solo albums, and cc will make his 25 years of rock star tour! AUDIOSLAVE WILL RETURN ON 2008!!!!

jay

saying it sucks only means you worry that others might not think you're cool if you refer to anything Michael Jackson had something to do with as credible. It also means you're an idiot. This rendition is simply great.

Robert

what a joke, i bet michael jackson is laughing his ass off at this, he has murdered this song. Billie Jean is much better when its uptempo and sang with michael jackson's perfect voice.

omer

Looks like it is in fact true that Audioslave is done. AUDIOSLAVE WILL NOT RETURN IN 2008!!!!!

No-Jay

I tried to hate it. Didn't work. Chris shines again.

Tim Brink

Listening with your heart instead of your mind opens up a lot more oppurtunities to listen to music.

Tim Brink

I don't quite get the post. "Ever wanted to lose even more respect for Chris Cornell?"... Are we supossed to hate the guy for starting Audioslave and doing something different with his career? Or because he broke them up again? Okay, I don't see myself worshipping his solo stuff as much as his work with Soundgarden yet, but then again: I'm no Michael Jackson fan either. I liked Billie Jean, Beat It and Ben, but most of his work sounds way to cushy in my opinion, no wonder they call him the king of pop. Cornell however is a different story because I just happen to like all the stuff he releases: it just keeps happening, and this song is no exeption

shwilly

Come on, I can't be the only one who's lost respect for him as he's morphed from hard rocker to...whatever you want to call him now. I always thought Audioslave was pure crap. When they started doing Rage songs live, it was pure blasphemy--Cornell sounded rick-diculous trying to do those songs. Then a Bond theme. Now this. It's just sad. But maybe that's just me.

John Zeiss

An absolute masterpiece !!!! Anything he does has gotta be worth the listen. He was he made audoislave and will be around for a long time to come ( lets hpoe ).Hat's off Chris you are truelly a musical genius !

Josho

[...] Chris Cornell covers Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’ Here. [...]

evilbeetgossip.com » Blog Archive » Bi

[...] lead-singer, “Billie Jean” coverer, and subject of one of the most commented-on posts in Prefix history, Mr. Christopher Cornell, has announced a handful of dates in support of [...]

» Chris Cornell to tour » Blog Archive

[...] Chris Cornell is…singing Billie Jean?         [...]

» Tom Morello on rehearsing with Rage: &#822

music critics are such bottom-feeder elitist second guessers at what is cool to like and what's cool to hate.this is good.

Pete

I think it's awesome, and also that the original idea of the blog was very unpopular.=)

baggie

stereogum, you are an idiot. a guy comes around and actual puts emotion and soul into music and you have to trash his version. you are pathetic and know nothing about music. get a real job

kyle

if you thought it was original and didnt know who sang it, it would be an amazing listen, it shouldnt matter which artist sings. Sounds like people are trying WAY to hard to be a certain cliche "Yea im a hard out rocker this sucks" pfft you shouldnt be alowed to listen to musicDont try so hard like what sounds good... use your own judgement

some guy

front page of yahoo today: http://www.yahoo.com/s/563411i bet they saw how popular it was here...dave park! release the lawyers from their cages!

mk

Why would I be losing respect for Chris Cornell?He's is one of my all time favorite voices, greatly talented, beautiful and still successful after all these year. And he looks great.I really like this version of the song. Surprising.

Debra

"Ever wanted to lose even more respect for Chris Cornell?"If anything, I have more respect for him. This is a fantastic rendition.

nikki

This version rules. The man's got soul and this song has just as much balls to it vocally as freakin Rusty Cage did. When he sings "his eyes were like mine"... come on, how can you not love that? It's pure gut-wrenching soulful singing and it beats the crap out of any other singer out there. I smell pretentious critics and wanna-be badasses in the mix here, and I've got more respect for him for taking a chance with a song like this, than I would if he just kept making Black Hole Sun-type stuff for the rest of his career.

Tom

Wow...I have to admit that I rolled my eyes when I heard about it. Chris is one of the most soulful singers around... could NOT imagine that it would be done tastefully, even with him...I was so surprised... I think it's amazing.A great song in the first place... made famous by a retarded freak... but still a great song.I think that Soundgarden/Chris took a nosedive after around '95... AS is no exception... this redeems him. Much respect...~Rev

Rev

I heard it on Howard Stern - sounded pretty good to me. An interesting cover.

John

Stereogum what is wrong with you honestly Wretched ? Were you on pot when you heard this chris cornell pursues a solo carreer and takes some risks and u slander him for it WTF Jeez

Siyorn

You can never really take Stereogum seriously -well, i can't. Props to Cornell -the only solo song I've heard from him is his stellar rendition of "Ave Maria." Then again, there's Audioslave...

barrett

The man will always be a legend, no matter what. He does the song justice with his raw, husky vocals. I love it.

Tony Brown NZ

Am I ever glad I stumbled onto this...I've always liked Chris Cornell, but lately I've been becoming a huge fan since Audioslave was started. Awesome tune.

Garf

it´s a pretty nice and quiet version, letting out audioslave, every thing chris cornell does is loveable

miguel

This is amazing. Cornell is the best modern singer. It takes alot to make a song thatsa uptempo into an acoustic song, let alone a MJ song. Cornell's work is so expressive, and you can see him grow, mature, and age with his music. I mean hell, compare Jesus Christ Pose by Soundgarden on Badmotofinger to this. Trick question, YOU CAN'T. His name is still Chris Cornell, but he's changed. He's married, a father, sober, and HAPPY. He's a model of what musicians should be like. It's not just about writing music that sounds good on the radio. Honestly, he's got so much more talent than all these current rock singers. Talent does not equal popularity. It's a shame that there isn't as much appreciation as there should be, but hey, you don't have to be #1 on Billboard Charts for X amount of time to be a great musician.

J.B.

Cornell ownes your pathetic asses!!!!!

Kaka Lips

god this is absolutely beautiful.

311stylee

AWESOME!!! Went to see him at The Pageant in St. louis and he sang that. At first did not recognize it. Great performer!!!!

Gayle

Yeah, the guy who wrote this review doesn't know ****. This is really unique and well done. Considering it's also live, and he sings it extremely well, this is extremely well done and professional. I was kinda hoping it'd be more upbeat and I agree that the original is moore upbeat but that doesnt mean that this isn't bad. It's just different.

Sravan

I couldn't disagree more with the original post. I thought Chris' handling of Billie Jean was exceptional. This is a song about a man who is being railroaded into paternity. Whether he is lying or truly is the boy's father (the song isn't clear on that detail) it is an extrememly emotionally dark song, much more suited to this bluesy rock interpretation than the original pop version.

gldnrtvr

John Zeiss' review is spot on. Cornell BUTCHERED this song with his over-emo rendition. If this leech was as talented as some posters here think, he would write his own masterpiece rather than doing what his ilk have done since time immortal, copying/stealing and trying to make a name/dime off of those far more talented.

CCIAL

No doubt Chris Cornell can sing like nobody's business. But this cover of Billy Jean sounds like he just didn't put much thought into what MADE the song. It just sounds like he ripped the tune off of some old blues standard and belched out the vocals in his typical raspy style. The original had so much in it. That bassline,that vocal melody! MJ was a genius. I think Cornell would agree.

The Dooby

Have you guys heard his Ave Maria cover?? It freakin blows down the house! That's when I knew Cornell was much more than a moniker to the alternative-grunge 90's.

swh

I heard this on Opie and Anthony yesterday, I liked it a lot...some people need to stop hating, if you hate, hate on Michael, don't hate on a song.

William

Well, it's obvious those that are saying "This is better than the crap MJ churns out" don't know jack about Michael, or don't want to. That's because the original song is not a pop song. It's old school RnB. His next few albums infused more pop with his soul/funk/RnB roots.I'm sure if no one told you guys you'd probably say Michael Jackson started off in a pop group. Far, far from it. And when people say 'Pop' for Michael Jackson, it's not that crap you're hearing from Avril Lavigne. It's the true popular music, which extends to RnB and Hip Hop, and Pop Rock. The broad range.As for Cornell's version: It's pretty darn cool. Reminds me a little of Christina Aguilera's style right now though. Better than the Smooth Criminal cover.But seriously, it's extremely hard to beat the original bassline and MJ's vocals. Extremely hard. Oh, and don't even talk about what's the better live performance. Billie Jean's live performance totally wipes the floor of any live performance in the world. Simple, yet amazing.In any case, it's time for old schoolers like MJ and Chris to take it to the new talent of today. Seriously, it's just trash. Hopefully both their new albums will give music a wake up call.

Aaron

This is a great cover.

paul

This song puts the original to shame for the reason that this rendition brings out the prolonged drama that is the story, whereas, the original is JUST a pop tune.

Phil

[...] out this posting by Stereogum at Prefixmag.com for a live version of Chris doing “Billie Jean” - I actually like it, minus the Mariachi [...]

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! | sixthandelm.co

This is an incredible song - now one of my favourites, where the original was OK, but I didn't "like" it very much. Cornell's version has such emotion and brings depth to the song.I just saw Cornell live last night, and he performed Billie Jean accoustically - it was absolutely beautiful. Jackson could never come close.

Ashley

Anyone who doesn't think this is better than the original is on drugs! He sings with such emotion that you could almost believe he is singing about himself.

Tenebrist

Wow, this thread is a year old and people are still posting to it, cool! When I first heard the Billie Jean cover, I didn't know what to think, it was so different. I have seen Chris Cornell perform it live several times this year, and I must say, it is not my favorite cover he does, but he adds something soulful and simmering to this song that no other artist would have ever dreamed of. Chris is a creative genius, no doubt.

Steph

I love it

Zoompix

I love it too! It was a great song in the 80's, it's a great completely DIFFERENT song now!

I agree w/ Pete:
"music critics are such bottom-feeder elitist second guessers at what is cool to like and what's cool to hate.this is good."

:0)

Laurie

I saw him live at the Beacon in NYC last year and he rocked this song. I think its a great song and he does a great cover.

Mike

To say this version is wretched is quite harsh. He takes probably Michael Jackson's greatest hit and put his spin on it. I think it's brilliant. Anyone can just sing it the same way the original artist did.

Slam Dogg

agreed... Wretched.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/Al/batmulletjpg.jpg Al

horrifying

Nat Weiner

You guys are nuts. This cover is amazing. Open your minds.

AJ

Well, he made it his own, anyway. Frig it's awful. AJ, what's amazing about it?

Harvey

Where can I get this mp3??

Rajko

Let's get this crazy comment section rolling again, because that David Cook guy on American Idol just did this on the show. The judges all praised it as being really original, which must mean they're oblivious to the Cornell version.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/broctoon/jar.jpg broctoon

The David Cook version was very similar and obviously came from this version but the band arrangement was slightly different on Idol. Ryan Seacrest actually did announce it as "Chris Cornell's version of Billie Jean". Whether the judges have ever heard this version or not is unclear but he wasn't trying to "pass it off" as the David Cook version. I think the Cornell version is very good, but I like this style of any song. If you don't like it that's great. It is after all a free country. Bashing him for doing it is just stupid. Great music like great poetry and art can be interpreted in an infinite number of ways. Beauty is, after all, in the eye of the beholder. The song is great no matter how you perform it and that can't be changed. You could do a dramtic reading of this song and it could be great.

dorminy

I dont watch idol... but I can imagine that their version was equally, wretched.

Or as Weiner put it... horrifying.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/Al/batmulletjpg.jpg Al

I researched this after hearing David Cook on Idol.I have never been an Idol fan. I couldn't understand who's version of Billie Jean he was about to sing. I knew better than to think it would be MJ. I loved it. I have to say that after hearing Chris' version, compared to David Cook , I truely like David's version even better. Chris rocks, but so did David last night. I now have to go on I-Tunes and download this. Awesome !!!

Sarah

Yay! The thread that never stops is back!

/site_media/uploads/images/users/broctoon/jar.jpg broctoon

this thing will never die.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/Jboh213/n38409054_33275787_4276.jpg jboh

I have to laugh over the thought that David Cook 'ripped off' Cornell. So many on Idol have done note for note renditions of the most popular versions of songs and have never been accused of ripping anyone off.

I agree w/ dorminy- I think because Simon commented that nobody had done anything like that before, he led those that knew Cornell's version to think Cook was attempting to perpetrate a scam. But Seacrest did introduce the song as Chris Cornell's version. So there was no rip off, per se.

The only one I can remember not being labelled a ripoff artist by the masses for copping a musical style is Billy Joel. Not that I necessarily liked it all, he covered new wave (Glass Houses), Beatles (Nylon Curtain) Four Seasons/Doo Wop (An Innocent Man), and got away with it because he wrote such undeniable hits.

Lee

At first, I couldn't recognize the song...didn't hear them announce it through all the lame teenagers screaming around Ryan. The waving arms is becoming quite annoying...I hardly can get myself to watch the show to begin with. Thank God for DVR which is the only reason I ever watch. Anyway, I was impressed with Cook but I have to admit, I immediately wondered if someone else had done it that way before. Sure enough, iTunes quickly answered that question and as soon as I googled both names this post came up.

Still, I did rewind and Ryan S. DID ANNOUNCE it before as Cornell's version. Cook had every right to do it as all the contestants are required to do other artists songs. He did good...and probably in the end, gives more attention to Cornell. Remember, if they could write their own songs and be successful, they wouldn't be on this show. This is what the show is about.

I do wish the judges had given some credit to Cornell because it was a bit misleading. To be honest, I didn't know of Cornell until just 5 minutes ago, but being the judges work in this industry, at least one of them should of mentioned it.

I still like the Michael Johns guy better I think. A little corny but great voice...I like when he does Queen...and that's a hard artist to take on.

Ken

Oh my god!
I love your version of Billy Jean more than micheal's!
You Rock!!!!

soo

Ryan may have introduced the song as Chris Cornell's, but I missed it and I'm guessing the judges did, too, based on their response. Their dumb though. They should have known he wasn't creative enough to have come up with that arrangement on his own.

Jocelyn

I agree with the posting earlier, this version of Billy Jean is in the style of a Bob Dylan track. And at times hints at early Bob Seager and other western type music. The western flavor for this emotional charged song wraps this song like a warm sweater....I dig!

Chad

I just read and wonder why no one can step outside of themselves for a moment and think about the nature of the "American Idol" ----Television---- show. These contestents are not allowed to sing their own songs. They are given a genre to follow and have to pick from artist of that particular era.

As far as Cornell's version. Very original, very powerful, and another way to look at something--already done. Everyone hears something different, and thank God! Because that is what makes us all different and the ability to have likes and dislikes. I think if we like or dislike someone's version of this song, well that is great. That is why we have SO many genre's of music. To make our own opinions and chose what WE like.

As for my opinion of David Cook's version of this song. It was very powerful. He has a unique voices and something that is very pleasant for a lot of people to listen to. As far as how "close" he was to Cornell's version, well--in my opinion, not close--but extremely original in his own right. Styles were the same, but different all around. I would like to say that I give David Cook an immense amount of praise for stepping aside and doing something that was great. He could record this song, and believe or not to all the naysayers, it would sell--and sell great. He does have talent. And we can only watch in awe as we see him perform with his abilities. Most of us cannot get up there and do what he did, with the emotion and conviction that he did. So fantastic job there David! Keep it up, as for the most of us, we will watch again to see what you do next.

And to everyone else, isn't it great to be in America? Where we can all actually VOICE our opinions like this. I am thankful for the ability!

Terri

Here, Here, Terri!

Lee

I love it. Loved it better by David Cook, but Chris Cornell had the idea to slow it down and it works.

Linda

I could not help but listen for the original beat that rocked the original but Chris did a great job. He's an incredible talent and I will follow his music always! Rock on Chris!

LC

Actually David Cook from american idol sung it even BETTER that Chris Cornell. Go David Go...... record it....cuz it was awesome

LilyPrice

Great thread, and thanks John Zeiss for starting it with your post, but I couldn't disagree with you more. There are many people who remember the original song as standard pop fare they couldn't stomach, and what Chris Cornell did here was revive the song and make it completely new.

And Michael Jackson, if he's offended, is crying all the way to the bank, since he's collecting royalties on each and every sale of the song. I'm sure, given his current financial difficulties, he's grateful to Chris Cornell and also to David Cook, who in my opinion, did the best version of the three. Cook took Cornell's arrangement and tweaked it to make it more melodic, thus giving it a more mass-market appeal. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and the fact that Cook even knew of Cornell's version means he's light years ahead of his fellow contestants.

Cook wrote and produced an independent album in 2006, Analog Heart, which got local acclaim in Tulsa but never went anywhere until he auditioned for American Idol and emerged as a serious contender. Now he's a frontrunner and his solo album, which is available as an MP3 recording on Amazon, has shot to the top of the charts. His iTunes sales of AI performances are blowing away most of the competition as well. I think he will have as wide, if not wider, appeal as Chris Daughtry. Not bad for a kid who's 25 and from a modest background and who appears to be genuinely nice guy to boot.

Cook has some real vocal chops and appears to be the rare rocker who actually knows how to support his voice well enough that he hasn't blown out his vocal cords like a lot of rockers do. His falsettos on the studio versions of the songs he's performed are stellar.

trishrosenthall

i think that this is amazing cause it was originally micheal jackson and it also is only acoustic and it sounds like he had nothing...............and it seems like he came from no where

JASON BLAH

This song is a bullsh*t..

Michael Jackson

No One Can Change This Song For Micheal Jackson
It Sounded Pathetic.
MJ 4 Life

RS

Loved it. I like the original, but I like this one even more.

Josh

I really liked this version than the original.

Jonathan

this craps in MJs mouth.

Ven

I'd actually like to see that.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/thestorfer/1202393jpeg.jpeg andross

Screw the haters. I just heard this song off the web for the first time- Chris made it his bitch, well and truly.

B5K

I think the author of this article needs a new career. Cuz it's obvious he doesn't know what he's talking about. Great cover. And I'm sure MJ appreciated and enjoyed it.

craig

The author of this post really has no idea what they are on about. Thanks to the internet, it's far too easy for some ******* with an opinion to claim themselves to be a 'music journalist'.

Skip

Are you crazy??? Listen to me & listen to me good: Michael Jackson is my musical equivalent of the Alpha & Omega. Music died when he died. I normally HATE remakes in general. BUT, THIS... IS.. AWESOME! I applaud Chris for the effort & for taking a chance. I am also HAPPY that this is the way music should be. We as Americans have been so caught up in this crap of "R'n'R" & even "C/W" is for whites only & that "R&B" & hip-hop are only for blacks. I so look forward to a day when the racial barriers for music are destroyed for good & good music can be performed & enjoyed by ALL. I am also sure in my heart that Michael MUST have loved this before he died, because he was a connoisseur of all things artistic. & I'm sure he still approves even in death.

Lady Robyn

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