Veteran music producer Michael Beinhorn recalled taking a big risk when he confronted Chris Cornell about the quality of his songwriting – but the result was Soundgarden's signature track “Black Hole Sun.”

Beinhorn hadn’t worked with the band before being invited to helm their fourth album Superunknown. Discussing the 1994 album with Rick Beato in a recent interview, he said he knew there was a problem when he first listened to the demos.

“I realized that we couldn’t make a record out of this at all,” the producer said. “I was like, ‘You gotta be kidding me.’ I had to have a conversation with them, and it wasn’t a good one.” Beinhorn knew he wasn’t making a positive early impression, believing the band felt: “Yeah, like you’re gonna tell us what we can put on our record.”

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He continued: “But I explained to them, ‘Look, I really feel strongly that you need to write more songs [or] it’s just not going to be the record that it could be… I realized that I was putting myself in a very dangerous position with them.”

Watch Soundgarden’s ‘Black Hole Sun’ Video

Despite his concerns about being told, “We’d rather get this other guy to produce,” the band went along with his position. “They were just sending second-rate Soundgarden songs,” he explained. “It wasn't up to par with what I felt we needed on this record. I was like, ‘What are you writing the songs for?’ And immediately, I got to the bottom of it. He felt that he needed to make something familiar to Soundgarden fans. And I was like, ‘Ultimately, this record is for you. This has to be your expression.’

“And somehow I made sense of it to him… I said, ‘What do you like?’ And he said, ‘The Beatles and Cream.’ I just said to him, ‘Okay, write a song that sounds like The Beatles and Cream.’”

Michael Beinhorn Feared Chris Cornell Would ‘Fuck Up’ ‘Black Hole Sun’

On received four new songs from Cornell, Beinhorn was instantly inspired by the “Black Hole Sun” demo. “I was like, ‘What the fuck is this?’” But he still had his doubts. “I’m just waiting for this song to go way off the rails, because so far, what I’m hearing is one of the best songs I’ve ever heard in my life,” he remembered. “This thing, it's going on and on [to] the verse, and I’m thinking, ‘This is immaculate [but] he’s gonna fuck the chorus so bad…’

“He hits the chorus – and it’s beautiful. I’m getting these sensations in my body I’ve never felt before. I’ve listened to this song 15 times in a row, and I call [Cornell] up… and I’m like, ‘You’re a fucking genius! We’re ready to make a record.”

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Gallery Credit: UCR Staff