Opinion: Chris Cornell's five greatest songs

OPINION: With the shock news that Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell passed away suddenly on Wednesday night (local time), Newshub has gathered together what we think are the band's top five songs so you can have a stroll down memory lane.

Soundgarden was one of the world's biggest rock bands in the early 1990s, and dominated the so-called grunge scene along with Nirvana and Pearl Jam. The band headlined two Big Day Outs at Auckland's Mt Smart Stadium - in 1994 and 1997.

'Black Hole Sun'

Arguably the band's most recognised song, 'Black Hole Sun' was a massive hit worldwide, but only peaked at no 22 on the New Zealand singles chart in 1994. It was a no 1 smash in the US, catapulting Soundgarden from a beloved cult band into a major stadium rock act.

'Rusty Cage'

The lead off track from the band's second and breakthrough album Badmotorfinger released in 1991. 'Rusty Cage' was probably the first Soundgarden song most Kiwis had heard of, and the video debuted on New Zealand television courtesy of Karyn Hay's ground-breaking show Radio With Pictures. The album Badmotorfinger reached no 16 on the Kiwi album charts.

'Fell on Black Days'

Voted no 52 on the 77 Best Singles of the 1990s list by legendary New Zealand music magazine The Movement, it certainly left an impact on Kiwi listeners.

'The Day I Tried to Live'

Yet another hit from the band's seminal third album Superunknown, the song peaked at no 13 on the US Mainstream Rock chart, and has been a staple of their live performances ever since.

'Burden In My Hand'

Released in 1996, 'Burden in My Hand' was the band's biggest hit from their mega-selling album Down on the Upside. At this stage of their career, Soundgarden were bonafide rock-gods, but their success had seen some of their long-term fans turn their backs on the band. The song topped the US Mainstream Rock charts.

Tony Wright is a senior Newshub digital producer and reporter.