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Alice In Chains – A Short History

August 30, 2012

US-Mid-Atlantic Banks

Alice In Chains – A Brief History

Seattle, Washington is synonymous with several far more notable characteristics in our collective psyche. It is identified for coffee, rainy weather and the Space Needle, but in the course of the 1990’s it was globally renowned for its music scene. The city grew to become the cultural epicenter of Grunge a wildly well-known musical design that swept the airwaves and grew to become the resounding chorus for Generation X. Grunge emerged mainly as a new genre developing upon influences from 80’s substitute rock, hefty metal and punk rock. Grunge songs categorically had harsh harmonies mired in slow tempos peppered with lyrics that had been angry, depressed, frustrated, saddened or scared (Bogdanov, Woodstra &amp Erlewine, 2001). Grunge sound was ultimately crafted by experienced bass and rhythm guitarists strumming coarse riffs, with a drummer pounding gritty beats, headed by a lead singer painfully crooning in sheer angst. No other single genre of music became as definitive to the 1990’s as was Grunge, and no other single group became as definitive of Grunge music than Alice In Chains.

Alice In Chains started its story in Seattle in 1987 when garage band singer Layne Staley met fellow musician Jerry Cantrell throughout a likelihood encounter at a celebration. Cantrell invited Staley to his group “Diamond Lie” alongside his pal and bassist Mike Starr. Drummer Sean Kinney was dating Cantrell’s sister at the time and completed the quartet. The group modified their title to “Alice In Chains” based mostly on one particular of Staley’s former garage bands, “Alice N’ Chainz” which was a glam-rock band that played music influenced by “Guns N’ Roses” in drag (Wikipedia, n.d.). Swiftly gaining notoriety around Seattle, the group was signed to Columbia Records in 1989 and in June 1990 released their first EP titled “We Die Youthful.” The title track grew to become a modest hit on regional radio stations but quickly paved the path for their initial total-length LP, “Facelift” that identical year. Facelift’s first single “Guy In The Box” which was co-written by Staley and Cantrell, was inspired following a dinner with record executives that incorporated a discussion about how veal are raised. Alice In Chains started touring as the opening act for Iggy Pop and Van Halen (Wikipedia, n.d.), which aided the album Facelift become certified gold a little above a year later.

In 1992, Alice In Chains released their 2nd EP known as “Sap” which featured a collection of 5 acoustic tracks. It featured collaborations with Ann Wilson of Heart as well as fellow Seattle rocker, Chris Cornell of Soundgarden. Fast getting to be a staple of the Seattle music scene, the band made their onscreen debut taking part in a sleazy bar band in a cameo role for the duration of Cameron Crowe’s 1992 movie “Singles.” That yr also marked the release of their second LP titled “Dirt.” The album showcased the signature Alice In Chains sound with hefty guitar-laden songs perpetually shadowed by dark lyrics. The album established the group as mainstream rock stars by currently being certified platinum and stays their most commercially productive album to date. Nonetheless several of the album’s bleak songs dealing with addiction and loneliness fed rumors that lead singer Staley was spiraling deeper into the depths of drug abuse (Wikipedia, n.d.). Throughout the nonstop touring schedule of the group and conflicts in excess of drug use inside the band, Mike Starr left Alice In Chains and was replaced by Ozzy Osbourne bassist Mike Inez.

The following yr, the group met in 1993 to record two singles for the Arnold Schwarzenegger film “Final Action Hero,” titled “A Small Bitter” and “What The Hell Have I?” That summer season, Alice In Chains joined the Lollapalooza tour with Babes In Toyland, Primus, Rage Against The Machine and Instrument to much acclaim (Wikipedia, n.d.). Building on the notoriety of Lollapalooza, the group began work on one more EP throughout late 1993 referred to as “Jar Of Flies.” The album was released to significantly fanfare in January 1994 debuting at variety one on album sales charts, the first EP to ever do so (Wikipedia, n.d.). Jar Of Flies was a departure from the usual hard rock sound of Alice In Chains, rather featuring a more melodically centered collection of mid-tempo acoustic songs. While the album was written and completed for the duration of the span of a week, music critics have praised the operate as a “mini-masterpiece” (Wikipedia, n.d.). Yet Alice In Chains refrained from touring in assistance of Jar Of Flies, including extra speculation regarding Staley’s drug abuse.

In 1995, Staley fronted lead vocals on the album “Over” for his side group “Mad Season” which was a Seattle super-group composed of Screaming Trees drummer Barrett Martin and Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready (Wikipedia, n.d.). November of that year also marked the return of Alice In Chains with their self-titled LP also identified as “Tripod” by enthusiasts due to the fact of the gloomy 3-legged canine featured on the cover. Alice In Chains supporters welcomed the album as a departure from the prior acoustic sound of Jar Of Flies and a return to the much more definitive grunge style from Dirt and Facelift. On April ten, 1996, Alice In Chains carried out live in New York City for an MTV Unplugged present in front of 400 men and women. A visibly gaunt and substantial Staley performed several of reworked acoustic songs with the rest of his group and the support of guitarist Scott Olson. Shortly immediately after the overall performance on July 3, 1996 in Kansas City, Missouri, Staley carried out for the final time on stage as lead singer for Alice In Chains during an opening act for Kiss. The group replaced Stone Temple Pilots immediately after they had ironically dropped out due to their personal lead singer Scott Weiland’s drug use (Ashton, 2002).

Staley grew to become more depressed and reclusive immediately after the 1996 death of his girlfriend Demri Parrott through bacterial endocarditis from a dirty heroin needle (MTV, n.d.). Meanwhile with Alice In Chains on hiatus, Cantrell released a solo project in 1998 called “Boggy Depot.” His album featured collaborations from fellow Alice In Chains members Inez and Kinney and is therefore sometimes referred to by supporters as the “lost” Alice In Chains album. The unique band members met in the studio 1 last time in 1998 to record the singles “Get Born Again” and “Died” for their approaching 48-song occupation spanning box set, “Music Bank” released in 1999.

Whilst Alice In Chains by no means officially broke up, any possibility of a reunion sadly ended on April 20, 2002 when Staley was found dead in his Seattle condominium from a speedball overdose mixture of cocaine and heroin (Ashton, 2002). The badly decomposed entire body was identified as Staley’s and the coroner had determined that the death occurred on April 5, 2002. Ironically, his death was eight years to the day that Kurt Cobain of Nirvana died of a self-inflicted gunshot to the head (MTV, n.d.).&#13Staley’s death marked an official end to the original Alice In Chains. But four many years later, March 10, 2006 the surviving members of Alice In Chains reunited to start a North American tour in Atlantic City, New Jersey with “Comes With The Fall” lead singer William DuVall. While no new materials has yet been written or recorded, the touring group showcases several of the classic songs that made Alice In Chains such a resounding good results for the duration of the 1990’s. Alice In Chains represents a definitive illustration of the staying power that specific songs have over time. Even immediately after much more than a decade since the original group’s final new album, a lot of Alice In Chains songs stand the test of time and stay timeless requirements on modern rock radio playlists even right now.

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