Say Hello 2 Heaven is the first track off of Temple of the Dog's self-titled solitary album. The song was written by Chris Cornell as a tribute to Cornell's recently deceased room-mate and friend Andrew Wood. Chris Cornell's vocal performance is often considered one of his best. "Say Hello 2 Heaven" was released in 1991 as the second single from the band's sole studio album, Temple of the Dog (1991). The song reached number five on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.
"Say Hello 2 Heaven" was one of two songs, the other being "Reach Down", to be written by vocalist Chris Cornell when he was on tour with Soundgarden in Europe prior to approaching former Mother Love Bone members Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard to record the songs. The recordings were originally planned to be released merely as a single before Temple of the Dog formed and decided to write more music. Cornell stated:
"Right after Andy died, we Soundgarden went to Europe, and it was horrible, because I couldn't talk about it, and there was no one who had loved him around. I wrote two songs, "Reach Down" and "Say Hello 2 Heaven". That was pretty much how I dealt with it. When we came back, I recorded them right away. They seemed different from what Soundgarden naturally does, and they seemed to fit together. They seemed like music he would like. I got the idea to release them as a single, and to get at least Stone and Jeff, or all of Love Bone, to play on it. I had the idea for a couple days, then, with an artist's lack of self-confidence, I decided it was a stupid idea. Somehow those guys heard the tape, and they were really, really excited. Stone and Jeff and our drummer, Matt, had been working on a demo for what ended up being Pearl Jam, so we had the idea that we would make an EP or a record, and maybe even do some of Andy's solo songs."
Cornell wrote "Say Hello 2 Heaven" as a tribute to his roommate, Mother Love Bone vocalist Andrew Wood, who at the time had recently died of a heroin overdose.
"Say Hello 2 Heaven" peaked at number five on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. Outside the United States, the single was released commercially in Germany and the United Kingdom. David Browne of Entertainment Weekly called the song "something of an alternative-rock power ballad."
"Say Hello 2 Heaven" was first performed live at the band's November 13, 1990 concert in Seattle, Washington at the Off Ramp Café. Cornell added "Say Hello 2 Heaven" to his solo live set in 2007.
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