Like a Stone

Last updated on 29 July 2017

"Like a Stone" is a song by the American rock supergroup Audioslave, released as the second single from their eponymous debut studio album Audioslave on January 28, 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.

Audioslave like a stone.png
Audioslave like a stone.png

Background and composition

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

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. It shows the band performing inside the mansion where they also set up a recording booth.

Track listing

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)


Weekly charts

Chart (2003) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[4] 35
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[5] 14
US Billboard Hot 100 31
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[6] 1
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)[7] 1
US Billboard Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks 23
US Billboard Top 40 Mainstream 27
Preceded by
"Somewhere I Belong" by Linkin Park
Billboard Modern Rock Tracks number-one single
May 17 – 24, 2003
Succeeded by
"Headstrong" by Trapt
Preceded by
"Somewhere I Belong" by Linkin Park
Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks number-one single
April 19 – July 5, 2003
Succeeded by
"Send the Pain Below" by Chevelle


External links


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