Like a Stone

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"Like a Stone"
Audioslave like a stone.png
Single by Audioslave
from the album Audioslave
ReleasedJanuary 21, 2003 (2003-01-21)[1]
FormatCD single
GenreAlternative rock
Length4:54 (album version)
Audioslave singles chronology
"Like a Stone"
"Show Me How to Live"
Music video
"Like a Stone" on YouTube
Audio sample

"Like a Stone" is a song by the American rock supergroup Audioslave, released as the second single from their eponymous debut studio album Audioslave 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 Recording Industry Association of America (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.[2][3] 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."[4]

The melancholy tone and certain parts of the lyrics of "Like a Stone" have prompted some to wonder if Cornell wrote the song about the 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."[5]

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.[6] The video was produced by Oualid Mouaness, edited by Jim Rhoads and set in an old Spanish mansion in Silver Lake in Los Angeles where Jimi Hendrix once lived and wrote.[6] Commerford's then 1-year-old son, Xavier was featured in the video.[citation needed] It shows the band performing inside the mansion where they also set up a recording booth.[7] According to Avis, the strange green/blue color palette of the video was to suggest bruising and abuse.[6]

As of January 2020, the music video has reached over 600 million views on YouTube.[7]

UK CD single: track listing[edit]

A CD Single version of "Like A Stone" released in the United Kingdom in 2003 contained the following tracks.[8] 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" – 4:54
  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)



  1. ^ "FMQB Airplay Archive: Modern Rock". Friday Morning Quarterback Album Report, Incorporated. Archived from the original on March 22, 2013. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  2. ^ Audioslave (DVD). Interscope Records/Epic Records. July 29, 2003.
  3. ^ "Songfacts - Like A Stone by Audioslave". Songfacts. Retrieved May 14, 2007.
  4. ^ "The Audioslave Fan Forum - Audioslave FAQ". Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved May 14, 2007.
  5. ^ "AUDIOSLAVE Select 'Like A Stone' As Second Single". Blabbermouth. December 11, 2002. Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c Avis, Meiert (April 13, 2014). "Audioslave - Like A Stone – Meiert Avis". Archived from the original on December 8, 2015. Retrieved September 24, 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Audioslave - Like a Stone (Official Video)". YouTube. October 25, 2009. Retrieved January 24, 2020.
  8. ^ "CD Single - Audioslave". 45worlds. Retrieved January 24, 2020.
  9. ^ " – Audislave – Like a Stone". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  10. ^ "Brazil" (PDF). ABPD. October 6, 2001. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  11. ^ " – Audioslave – Like a Stone". Top 40 Singles.
  12. ^ "Audioslave Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  13. ^ "Audioslave Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  14. ^ "Audioslave Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
  15. ^ "Audioslave Chart History (Adult Top 40)". Billboard. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  16. ^ "Audioslave Chart History (Mainstream Top 40)". Billboard. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  17. ^ Pedro. "Longbored Surfer - 2003". Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  18. ^ "Audioslave Chart History (Hot Rock Songs)". Billboard.
  19. ^ "Audioslave Chart History (Rock Digital Song Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
  20. ^ "Audioslave Chart History (Rock Streaming Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved November 4, 2017.

External links[edit]