But when it comes to the bands that make up the Big Four of grunge, none ever unleashed an album as monolithic and downright harrowing as Alice in Chains' masterpiece, Dirt.
But when it comes to the bands that make up the Big Four of grunge, none ever unleashed an album as monolithic and downright harrowing as Alice in Chains' masterpiece, Dirt. The band's second full-length overall, it built and expanded upon the template they had laid out on their debut, Facelift, in the process jacking up the intensity and raw emoting to incredible, and at times uncomfortable, extremes.
Jerry Cantrell's riffs were darker and sludgier; drummer Sean Kinney and bassist Mike Starr's rhythms lumbered like an elephant trudging through molasses; and Layne Staley's raw-throated wail was agonized in a way that was almost painful to listen to. Furthermore, the album's second half boasted a five-song "mini-suite" of sorts about the ravages of heroin addiction, a topic that at least half the band had firsthand knowledge of at the time.
Despite its darkness, Dirt proved to be a massive mainstream success, spawning five hit singles, including the Andrew Wood ode "Would? Army man during and after the Vietnam War. Furthermore, the album sold more than four million copies in the U. But the turbulence captured on the album would soon overtake Alice in Chains. Starr was dismissed from the band during the Dirt tour due to issues with drugs, and Staley's vices proved to be an ongoing and worsening problem, resulting in the band canceling shows and even breaking up for a period.
Both musicians eventually succumbed to their addictions, with Staley passing away in and Starr in Alice in Chains continues on today, having released the impressive The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here in , and also opening some early dates on Guns N' Roses' current reunion tour.
He recalled the sessions for that first album to Music Radar: They did some drinking, but there were no drugs. They wanted to know where the strip clubs in L. We were driving down Hollywood Boulevard, so I pointed to one called the Tropicana. Layne told me that he didn't like being famous.
He told me flat-out, 'People look at you like you're a piece of merchandise. Dirt was recorded during the Los Angeles riots Similar to Megadeth's Countdown to Extinction, Dirt was cut during the riots that erupted following the acquittal of four LAPD officers caught on camera beating unarmed black motorist Rodney King. In an interview with Guitarist, Cantrell recalled how that atmosphere of violence permeated the sessions, which took place at One on One Recording in North Hollywood, where Metallica had recently tracked their Black Album.
That was some pretty scary shit to have to go through, and it definitely affected the overall feel of the album. Layne Staley improvised one of Dirt's most memorable moments The very first vocal sounds heard on Dirt are the series of "Ahh!
There's a reason why Staley is wearing sunglasses in the "Rooster" video Jerry Cantrell wrote Dirt's biggest hit, "Rooster," about his father, who had served two combat tours in Vietnam and whose nickname was also Rooster. The accompanying video featured Cantrell Sr. When it came to shooting the band's performance, however, director Mark Pellington ran into a problem. He was totally pinned.
Put him in sunglasses. Let's get a couple of takes. When Alice in Chains went on tour with Ozzy, Staley performed some of the dates seated in a wheelchair In recent years, both Dave Grohl and Axl Rose have powered through performances while suffering from broken bones by sitting atop a throne onstage.
But Layne Staley beat them to it by decades. Soon after the release of Dirt, the singer spent several of his band's fall dates opening for Ozzy Osbourne confined to a wheelchair, after a mishap on an all-terrain vehicle backstage at a show in Oklahoma City resulted in him riding over his own foot.
An unusual way to start off the tour, but, as Staley reasoned in an interview at the time, "I didn't break my neck, so there's no excuse not to play. Overall, the band took a lighthearted approach to the incident, even printing up an official tour shirt emblazoned with an X-ray of Staley's broken foot under the band's logo. In the lyrics to the album's title track Staley sings about being covered with dirt. One night on tour, he and his bandmates literally were. Rock bands that are on the road together have a history of pranking one another.
But fellow Seattle-ites Gruntruck may have pulled one of the best on Alice in Chains during their tour together in late Explained Gruntruck bassist Tim Paul in Everybody Loves Our Town, "It was the Dirt tour, so we found a hardware store that was open late and bought these five-pound bags of potting soil.
Mike Starr was booted from Alice in Chains for drugs His final show with the band, before he was replaced by Ozzy Osbourne bassist Mike Inez, was at the Hollywood Rock festival in Brazil in January, According to Starr in a radio interview, he spent the night shooting up with Kurt Cobain. Indeed, in an interview, Cobain attested to as much, though slightly jokingly. Afterward, Starr said he went back to Staley's room and continued his drug binge.
After passing out, he recalled, "I wake up And he's crying and punching me in the face. I'm like, 'What's wrong? What did I do? And while the fat suits they donned for a few rounds of sumo wrestling were eye-popping, that was nothing compared to Cantrell's getup, which consisted of little more than a snorkel and a bright blue Speedo.
Alice in Chains co-headlined the Lollapalooza festival … and never did a full-scale tour with Staley again In the summer of Alice in Chains and Primus co-headlined the third iteration of the Lollapalooza festival, topping an eclectic mainstage lineup that featured, among others, Arrested Development, Front and Tool.
The run would prove to be Alice's final full-scale tour; the following spring and summer they were scheduled as one of the openers on Metallica's Shit Hits the Sheds jaunt, but they canceled at the last minute, as Staley was in the throes of his heroin addiction.
When we first got together as a band, we were all brothers. We lived in the same house and partied together and drank as much as each other. But then we started to split apart and went different ways, and we felt like we were betraying each other. Sign up here instead Related.
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One I didn't like, the second one Trip hop Mix had horns and strings without too many guitars or drums, which I kinda liked.
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