Audioslave’s Cochise has one of the best riffs of the 21st century, but it was first recorded in 1996 with a different singer – hear Tom Morello’s radical original demo

Audioslave during Lollapalooza 2003 - Atlanta at Hi-Fi Buys Amphitheater in Atlanta, Georgia, United States.
(Image credit: Frank Mullen/WireImage)

Audioslave’s Rick Rubin-produced debut, released in 2002, was a landmark effort for several reasons. For one, it ushered in the rise of the supergroup era, as Chris Cornell joined forces with Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk. But more importantly, it was an absolute monster of a rock record, teaming Zeppelin-esque swagger with grunge’s serrated edge and Morello’s off-the-wall guitar solos.

After a rocky start – the band split up and reformed before they even played a show – the group’s debut effort was trailed by the release of lead single Cochise, which was steamrollered into public consciousness by one of Tom Morello’s all-time great hooks, and one widely heralded as one of the best riffs of the 21st century.

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Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism from Cardiff University, and over a decade's experience writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as 20 years of recording and live experience in original and function bands. During his career, he has interviewed the likes of John Frusciante, Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Matt Bellamy, Kirk Hammett, Jerry Cantrell, Joe Satriani, Tom DeLonge, Ed O'Brien, Polyphia, Tosin Abasi, Yvette Young and many more. In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.