Cochise (song)

"Cochise" is a song by American hard rock band Audioslave. Recorded with producer Rick Rubin, it was featured as the opening track on the band's 2002 self-titled debut album Audioslave. The song was also released as the first single from the album on October 14, 2002, reaching the top ten of both the United States Billboard Mainstream Rock and Alternative Songs charts.

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Composition and lyrics

Originally titled "Save Yourself" after a line in the song's chorus, "Cochise" is named after Cochise, an Apache Indian chief "who declared war on the Southeast and drove out thousands of settlers". Speaking about the eponymous subject, guitarist Tom Morello remarked that "Cochise the Avenger, fearless and resolute, attacked everything in his path with an unbridled fury", adding that the song "kinda sounds like that". Despite this, the song's lyrics are generally unrelated to Cochise, and instead feature a number of religious references.

Promotion and release

"Cochise" was originally made available for online streaming on LAUNCHcast from September 25, 2002. The track made its live debut as the opening song of the band's debut performance, in New York City for the Late Show with David Letterman on November 25, 2002, and was subsequently performed as the closing song at the majority of shows on the album's promotional concert tour.

The song was later featured on a number of external media releases, including as a playable track on the 2005 music video game Guitar Hero, on the 2006 comedy film Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, as a playable track on the Guitar Hero TV mode of 2015 music video game Guitar Hero Live, and in the trailer for 2015 wrestling video game WWE 2K16.

Music video

The music video for "Cochise" was directed by Mark Romanek and filmed near the Sepulveda Dam in Los Angeles, California on September 25 and 26, 2002. Due to the large number of pyrotechnics used in the video, local residents believed that the explosions were caused by terrorists; speaking about the filming process, Morello revealed that "The local police and news station literally received thousands of calls from people who thought the city was under siege ... All the freeways were blocked because they thought there was an attack occurring". The extreme use of pyrotechnics and fireworks in the video also marked "Cochise" as a very expensive music video.

A teaser trailer was released for the video in mid-October, before the full video was made available for digital download later in the month. It was later included on the band's first video album, Audioslave, released in July 2003. The video was nominated for Best Video at the 2003 Kerrang! Awards, and was included in the MTV2 Headbangers Ball "Best Metal Videos of the New Millennium" list in 2004.



"Cochise" reached number 69 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, as well as number 2 on the Mainstream Rock chart, number 9 on the Alternative Songs chart, and number 68 on the Radio Songs chart. The single entered the UK Singles Chart at its peak position of number 24 on February 1, 2003, before dropping down to 41 and then 56. The song debuted at number 2 on the UK Rock & Metal Singles Chart, remaining on the chart until mid-June. It also reached number 33 on the Italian Singles Chart.


Media response to "Cochise" was generally positive. BBC Music's Amy McAuliffe noted that the song "sets the tone for the rest of the album [with] heavy, powerful riffage over rumbling bass lines and thumping colossal drums", comparing its style to that of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath.'s Don Kaye compared the style to Cornell's former band Soundgarden, highlighting the frontman's vocal performance and Morello's "meaty, straightforward" guitar riffs. Chris Heath of Dotmusic also praised the song's vocal and guitar performances, while Paul McNamee of the NME claimed that while the album was "overblown, overlong, piss-poor", lead single "Cochise" is "fierce and furious".

Chris Nettleton of Drowned in Sound praised many elements of the song, including Cornell's vocal performance and Morello's main guitar riff, but added that he wished the band "had chosen to break some new boundaries, instead of retreading an old town with new shoes". He also proposed that the song would have been better with political lyrics in the style of Rage Against the Machine, suggesting that "With those morons in the White House seeming out of control, politically incisive lyrics would have been just what the doctor ordered". Entertainment Weekly's David Browne, on the other hand, proposed that the "elliptical lyrics" to "Cochise" feature a "hint of social consciousness".

"Cochise" was nominated for the award for Best Single at the first annual Metal Hammer Golden God Awards in 2003.

Track listing

All tracks written by Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk.

CD single
No. Title Length
1. "Cochise" 3:42
2. "We Got the Whip" 4:05
Total length: 7:47
Maxi single
No. Title Length
1. "Cochise" 3:42
2. "We Got the Whip" 4:05
3. "Gasoline" (live from Letterman) 4:43
Total length: 12:30
Enhanced CD single
No. Title Length
1. "Cochise" 3:42
2. "We Got the Whip" 4:05
3. "Gasoline" (live from Letterman) 4:43
4. "Cochise" (music video) 3:42
Total length: 16:12

Chart positions

Chart (2002-2003) Peak
Italian Singles (FIMI) 33
UK Singles (OCC) 24
UK Rock & Metal Singles (OCC) 2
US Billboard Hot 100 69
US Alternative Songs (Billboard) 9
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard) 2
US Radio Songs (Billboard) 68

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