“Black Hole Sun” was released in 1994 as the third single from the band’s fourth studio album Superunknown from 1994. The song topped the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, where it spent a total of seven weeks at number one.
Commenting upon how the song was misinterpreted as being positive, Cornell said, “No one seems to get this, but ‘Black Hole Sun’ is sad. But because the melody is really pretty, everyone thinks it’s almost chipper, which is ridiculous.” When asked about the line, “Times are gone for honest men”, Cornell said:
It’s really difficult for a person to create their own life and their own freedom. It’s going to become more and more difficult, and it’s going to create more and more disillusioned people who become dishonest and angry and are willing to fuck the next guy to get what they want. There’s so much stepping on the backs of other people in our profession. We’ve been so lucky that we’ve never had to do that. Part of it was because of our own tenacity, and part of it was because we were lucky.