Sweet Revenge

Songfacts®:

  • The third track from Chris Cornell's third studio album finds the ex-Soundgarden frontman vowing sweet revenge on those who've wronged him. While it seems like he's addressing people trying to steal credit for his work ("They just want to take what is mine, how much more can they get"), Rolling Stone had a different interpretation.

    At the time, Cornell was locked in a legal battle with his ex-wife, Susan Silver, who was also the manager for Soundgarden. In 2005, he filed a $1 million lawsuit against her on the grounds that she cheated him out of royalties and withheld his Grammys and other music-related possessions from him. While he was working on the Scream album in 2008, he finally got back 15 of his guitars from her, including the Gretsch he played in the "Black Hole Sun" video. When the magazine asked if the vengeful track was about his ex-wife, Cornell replied: "I wouldn't disagree. But I have this weird philosophy that the truth comes out more when it's subconscious. If I said, 'I want to write a song about how I'm feeling,' it wouldn't come out."
  • Like the rest of the album, this electro-pop number is a sonic departure from Cornell's grunge roots, thanks to his partnership with prolific hip-hop/pop producer Timbaland. Cornell told Rolling Stone: "There's something about that blind trust between Timbaland and me - two people that have almost nothing in common, except for a love of music - that is really rejuvenating."

    The project didn't go over well with most of his fans, which didn't come as a surprise to the rocker, who added: "If you're not going to get behind electronic music, this album's definitely not for you. I took a risk on doing something that may be disliked by a lot of my fans, but maybe I can turn them on to a new concept."
  • This features backing vocals from Jim Beanz and James Fauntleroy, frequent Timbaland collaborators who also co-wrote the song with Cornell.
  • A portion of the lyrics were quoted in a 2019 lawsuit Cornell's widow, Vicky, filed against the remaining members of Soundgarden (the singer committed suicide in 2017):

    Everybody out for my blood, everybody want my percent
    They just want what is mine, how much more can they get


    Vicky claimed her late husband's former bandmates were withholding royalties from her in order to "strong-arm Chris' Estate into turning over certain audio recordings created by Chris before he passed away." The filing suggests the lyrics "hauntingly resonate" with the band's alleged actions.

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