Like a Stone

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"Like a Stone"
Single by Audioslave
from the album Audioslave
Released January 28, 2003
Format CD single
Recorded 2002 (2002)
Genre Alternative rock
Length 4:54
Certification Gold (RIAA)
Audioslave singles chronology
"Like a Stone"
"Show Me How to Live"
Audioslave track listing
"What You Are"
"Like a Stone"
"Set It Off"
Audio sample
file info · help

"Like a Stone" is a song by American rock band Audioslave, featured on their 2002 debut studio album, Audioslave. When released as the band's second single in January 2003, the song topped both the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks and Hot Modern Rock Tracks charts, and reached number 31 on the Hot 100 chart, making it their biggest US hit. "Like a Stone" has been certified Gold by the RIAA. It became the fifth best performing alternative song on the Alternative Songs chart of the decade and the eighth best performing rock song on the Mainstream Rock chart of the decade.

Background and composition[edit]

Bassist Tim Commerford claims that the song is about an old man waiting for death, who sits in a house alone after all his friends and family have passed on, waiting to be reunited with them.[1][2] However, while Commerford originally thought it was a song about love and romance, band's singer and songwriter Chris Cornell explains that "It's a song about concentrating on the afterlife you would hope for, rather than the normal monotheistic approach: You work really hard all your life to be a good person and a moral persona and fair and generous, and then you go to hell anyway."[3]

The melancholy and certain parts of the lyrics of "Like a Stone" has prompted some to wonder if Cornell wrote the song about late Alice in Chains singer Layne Staley, who died in April 2002. Cornell has denied this, saying "No. I'm not one of those guys where, like, something happens and then I go run around, 'Ooh, 9/11, and now it's 9/12, let me write about that. I wrote the lyrics before he died. [...] You can misinterpret that stuff pretty easy, but I don't tend to sit down and plan on writing about a specific issue. They come up or they don't."

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Like a Stone" was written and directed by Grammy winner Meiert Avis, who has also directed videos for State Radio, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, J-Lo and many others. The video was produced by Oualid Mouaness, edited by Jim Rhoads and set in an old Spanish mansion in Los Angeles where Jimi Hendrix once lived and wrote. Commerford's then 1-year-old son was featured in the video.

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Chris Cornell; all music composed by Audioslave, except "Super Stupid" written by George Clinton, Eddie Hazel, Billy Bass Nelson and Tawl Ross.

  1. "Like a Stone" – 4:57
  2. "Like a Stone" (live on BBC Radio 1) – 4:58
  3. "Gasoline" (live on BBC Radio 1) – 4:45
  4. "Set It Off" (live on Late Show with David Letterman) – 4:01
  5. "Super Stupid" (live on BBC Radio 1)
  6. "Like a Stone" (music video)