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The Soundgarden frontman's decision to rework Jackson’s most famous song for his 2007 second solo release, Carry On, was a gutsy move.
The album's darkly soulful reworking of Billie Jean broke new ground, but before the release of the album’s electrified version, Cornell debuted his brooding arrangement during an intimate 2006 acoustic session in Sweden using his Martin D-28.
His recent Songbook acoustic tours have continued this stripped-down rendition, and the intimacy has only improved an already dramatic reinterpretation – enhancing the slowed-down, smoky barroom feel of Cornell’s expressive vocal phrasing and arpeggio-to-strum guitar dynamic.