Fell on Black Days

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"Fell on Black Days"
Single by Soundgarden
from the album Superunknown
B-side"Kyle Petty, Son of Richard" / "Fell on Black Days" (video version)
Released1994
FormatCD single, Vinyl
RecordedJuly 1993 – September 1993 at Bad Animals Studio, Seattle, Washington
GenreGrunge
Length4:42
LabelA&M
Songwriter(s)Chris Cornell
Producer(s)Michael Beinhorn, Soundgarden
Soundgarden singles chronology
"My Wave"
(1994)
"Fell on Black Days"
(1994)
"Pretty Noose"
(1996)
"My Wave"
(1994)
"Fell on Black Days"
(1994)
"Pretty Noose"
(1996)
Superunknown track listing
"My Wave"
(Track 2)
"Fell on Black Days"
(Track 3)
"Mailman"
(Track 4)

"Fell on Black Days" is a song by the American rock band Soundgarden, released in 1994 as the fifth single from the band's fourth studio album, Superunknown (1994). The song peaked at number four on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. It would later appear on the band's greatest hits album A-Sides and the 2007 Chris Cornell compilation The Roads We Choose - A Retrospective.

Composition[change | change source]

The song was written by frontman Chris Cornell. The time signature of the song is in 6/4.[1]

Lyrics[change | change source]

Cornell on the song:

"Fell on Black Days" was like this ongoing fear I've had for years...It's a feeling that everyone gets. You're happy with your life, everything's going well, things are exciting - when all of a sudden you realise you're unhappy in the extreme, to the point of being really, really scared. There's no particular event you can pin the feeling down to, it's just that you realise one day that everything in your life is FUCKED![2]

Release and reception[change | change source]

It was released as a single in a large number of different versions, each with different B-sides. Several of the singles featured an original demo version of the song. This demo is completely different from the more familiar version. It features different lyrics and music, with considerably heavier drop-D guitar. Only the chorus contains lyrical similarities to the final version. Soundgarden performed this version live on Pearl Jam's Self-Pollution radio broadcast in early 1995.

It appeared on Billboard magazine's Hot 100 Airplay chart, peaking at number 54 in its tenth week and remaining on the chart until its twentieth week. The song peaked at number four on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and number 13 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart.

Outside of the United States, the single was released in Australia and the United Kingdom. In Canada, the song reached the top 70 on the Canadian Singles Chart and remained in the top 70 for two weeks. "Fell on Black Days" reached the top 50 in the Netherlands and in Ireland it was a moderate top 20 success.

After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Clear Channel included the song on its list of possibly inappropriate songs.

Accolades[change | change source]

Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
The Movement New Zealand "The 77 Best Singles of the 90s"[3] 2004 52

Music video[change | change source]

In the music video, the band was filmed performing the song in-studio, with Brendan O'Brien producing the recording. The video was directed by Jake Scott. The video was released in November 1994.[4] It is available on the CD-ROM Alive in the Superunknown. The video version of the track can be found on the "Fell on Black Days" single and Songs from the Superunknown.

Live performances[change | change source]

A live version of the song appears on the "Black Hole Sun" and "Fell on Black Days" singles.

In 2005, when Audioslave toured with Seether, Cornell sang "Fell on Black Days" with Shaun Morgan, Seether's lead vocalist.

Cover versions[change | change source]

In 2006, Classic Case did a cover of "Fell on Black Days" on the band's Black Unicorn Split EP with "He is Legend".

Track listing[change | change source]

Radio Promo CD
  1. "Fell on Black Days" (radio edit) (Chris Cornell)
Alternate Mix Promo CD
  1. "Fell on Black Days" (alternate mix) (Cornell)
  2. "Fell on Black Days" (Cornell) – 4:42
UK CD #1
  1. "Fell on Black Days" (Cornell) – 4:42
  2. "Kyle Petty, Son of Richard" (Cornell, Kim Thayil)
  3. "Fell on Black Days" (video version) (Cornell) – 5:26
UK CD #2
  1. "Fell on Black Days" (Cornell) – 4:42
  2. "Girl U Want" (Gerald Casale, Mark Mothersbaugh) – 3:29
  3. "Fell on Black Days" (demo) (Cornell)
European CD #1
  1. "Fell on Black Days" (Cornell) – 4:42
  2. "Motorcycle Loop" (short version) (Thayil)
  3. "Girl U Want" (Casale, Mothersbaugh) – 3:29
  4. "Fell on Black Days" (demo) (Cornell)
European CD #2
  1. "Fell on Black Days" (Cornell) – 4:42
  2. "Kyle Petty, Son of Richard" (Cornell, Thayil)
  3. "Birth Ritual" (Cornell, Matt Cameron, Thayil)
  4. "Fell on Black Days" (live) (Cornell)
European CD #3
  1. "Fell on Black Days" (Cornell) – 4:42
  2. "My Wave" (live) (Cornell, Thayil)
UK/European Picture 7"
  1. "Fell on Black Days" (Cornell) – 4:42
  2. "Motorcycle Loop" (Thayil)
  3. "Kyle Petty, Son of Richard" (Cornell, Thayil)
Australian CD #1
  1. "Fell on Black Days" (Cornell) – 4:42
  2. "Kyle Petty, Son of Richard" (Cornell, Thayil)
  3. "Fell on Black Days" (demo) (Cornell)
  4. "Motorcycle Loop" (short version) (Thayil)
  5. "Fell on Black Days" (live) (Cornell)
Australian CD #2
  1. "Fell on Black Days" (Cornell) – 4:42
  2. "Kyle Petty, Son of Richard" (Cornell, Thayil)
Jukebox 7"
  1. "Fell on Black Days" (Cornell) – 4:42
  2. "My Wave" (Cornell, Thayil) – 5:12

Chart positions[change | change source]

Year Chart Position
1994 Dutch Singles Chart[5] 45
US Billboard Hot 100 Airplay[6] 54
US Mainstream Rock Tracks[7] 4
US Modern Rock Tracks[7] 13
Canadian Singles Chart[8] 66
1995 Irish Singles Chart[9] 14
UK Singles Chart[10] 24

References[change | change source]

  1. Rotondi, James. "Alone in the Superunknown." Guitar Player. June 1994.
  2. True, Everett. "Journey into the Superunknown". Melody Maker. March 19, 1994.
  3. "The 77 Best Singles of the 90s". The Movement. Retrieved 2008-05-06.
  4. "Soundgarden music videos". Music Video Database. Retrieved 2008-02-22.
  5. "Dutch Single/Album Chart / Soundgarden / Longplay". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 2008-02-19.
  6. "Billboard.com / Soundgarden / Longplay". Billboard. Retrieved 2008-02-19.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Soundgarden Artist Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 2007-12-08.
  8. "Canadian Charts - "Fell on Black Days"". RPM. Retrieved 2008-03-07.
  9. "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 2007-12-08.
  10. "EveryHit.com". Retrieved 2007-12-08.