I remember when I first heard this song back in ’94 (and tried singing it, especially the end). I said to myself, “No way!”. I can’t believe Cornell is pulling this off. But he did! I had no idea I would actually be doing a vocal demonstration of it almost 30 years later
(ha ha)! But this song is so tough to sing, I thought it would be a great example of how to sing a high distorted vocal (of which Chris was a master of).
This song is actually about a street artist named Artis the Spoonman, who played the spoons on the streets of Seattle, where Soundgarden formed. Artis played his spoons on the song and is credited on the album (Spoons: Artis The Spoonman). He is also featured in the video.
Artis said he earned a flat fee of $1,000 for performing on the song, and another $7,000 to appear in the video. Describing how Soundgarden contacted him, he said: “In 1992, they had me do a tweener [a performance between acts] between them and Melvins. And their manager at the time, Susan Silver, she told me Chris Cornell is writing a song, ‘Spoonman,’ and would I like to record on it when it’s done?”
And so in ’93, almost a year and a half later, they called Artis into the studio that day and recorded it. They did four takes (two hours) and that was that!
It won the 1995 Grammy for Best Metal Performance.
I hope you enjoy this analysis as much as I enjoyed doing it!
Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy – Where the PROOF is in the SINGING!