“Outshined” by Soundgarden

The best way to describe to the meaning of Outshined is by resorting to Chris Cornell’s own explanation of the tune. And the way he explained it is as being based on an emotional dichotomy that he often experienced, being one of the few personal songs he’s ever written. That is to say that at times he felt extremely self-confident, as if he could take on the entire world. But then contrastingly, being prompted even by the slightest negative impetus, he may suddenly find himself descending into a serious case of self-loathing. And it is that sort of emotional rollercoaster which lies at the center of Outshined. 

And apparently the title of the track lends more to the latter emotion, i.e. the singer feeling as if he can’t match up to who or what he is comparing himself to. But that being said he also recognizes in the chorus, as alluded to above, that this is fleeting feeling. And inevitably he will be ‘up on his feet again’.

Facts about “Outshined”

Outshined, written by Chris Cornell, was one of the first Soundgarden tunes to actually blow up. It came out via A&M Records on 8 October 1991, being the second single from Soundgarden’s album Badmotorfinger. And it went on to chart in the US, UK and Canada.

The album Badmotorfinger also features the band’s iconic track “Slaves & Bulldozers“.

The producer of the track is Terry Date.

Matt Mahurin directed the official version of the music video to Outshined. It proved to be quite popular on MTV alright. However, Soundgarden members Cornell and Thayil expressed a particular disdain for it. And in terms of the latter, who was Soundgarden’s guitarist, he was cheesed because Mahurin edited his solo out of the clip. This was apparently in the name of shortening its length.

This song is noted for featuring one of Soundgarden’s most-famous lines, “I’m looking California and feeling Minnesota”. In fact there was even a 1996 movie starring Cameron Diaz and Keanu Reeves, called Feeling Minnesota, which was named after that lyric.

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