Alice In Chains Biography
Alice in Chains (commonly abbreviated as AIC) is a Seattle, Washington-based American rock band founded in 1987 by guitarist and vocalist Jerry Cantrell and drummer Sean Kinney, who later added bassist Mike Starr and lead vocalist Layne Staley. Mike Inez took over for Starr in 1993. William DuVall replaced Staley, who died in 2002, as co-lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist in the band in 2006. The band was named after Staley’s previous band, Alice N’ Chains, which was a glam metal outfit. “Man in the Box” is one of their top hits.
Alice in Chains’ sound combines heavy metal elements and is often connected with grunge music. The band was recognised for its particular singing approach, which included harmonized vocals between Staley and Cantrell on several occasions (and later Cantrell and DuVall). Cantrell began singing lead vocals on the acoustic EP Sap in 1992, and his involvement grew in subsequent albums, making Alice in Chains a two-vocal band.
Alice in Chains, along with other Seattle bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden, rose to international popularity during the early 1990s grunge era. Facelift (1990), Dirt (1992), Alice in Chains (1995), as well as the EP Jar of Flies, were all hits during this period (1994). Despite never formally disbanding, Alice in Chains was dormant from 1996 to 2002 owing to Staley’s substance usage, which eventually led to his death in 2002.
The band reformed in 2006, with DuVall taking over full-time as lead vocalist, and they’ve since released three additional albums: Black Gives Way to Blue (2009), The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here (2013), and Rainier Fog (2015). (2018).
The band’s first official recording, a promotional EP called We Die Young, was issued in July 1990, and it quickly became a key priority for the company. “We Die Young,” the EP’s main single, became a metal radio hit. The label pushed Alice in Chains’ debut album into production with producer Dave Jerden after its popularity. Cantrell noted that the album was meant to have a “moody aura” that was “directly influenced by Seattle’s sombre atmosphere and feel.”
Facelift, the resulting album, was released on August 21, 1990, and reached number 42 on the Billboard 200 chart in the summer of 1991. Facelift was a slow start, with only 40,000 copies sold in the first six months before MTV placed “Man in the Box” to its regular daytime rotation. The album’s follow-up song, “Sea of Sorrow,” reached number 27 on the Mainstream rock charts, and Facelift sold 400,000 copies in the United States in six weeks. Facelift was hailed as “one of the most essential records in developing an audience for grunge and alternative music among hard rock and heavy metal enthusiasts,” according to Steve Huey of AllMusic.
On September 11, 1991, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified Facelift gold for selling 500,000 copies, making it the first album from Seattle’s Grunge movement to do so. The band proceeded to grow their fan base by opening for Iggy Pop, Van Halen, Poison, and Extreme. Facelift has subsequently been certified triple-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for sales of three million copies in the US.
Alice in Chains has sold over 30 million albums worldwide, including over 14 million in the United States. The band has 18 singles in the Top 10 of Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks list, 5 No. 1 hits, and 11 Grammy Award nominations.
On VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock, the band was placed number 34, while Hit Parader named them as the 15th best live band. Alice in Chains has released six studio albums, three EPs, three live albums, four compilations, two DVDs, 43 music videos, and 32 singles since their inception in 1994.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Alice In Chains Most Famous Song?
Alice In Chains is most famous for their song “Would?” from the album Dirt. The song is about lead singer Layne Staley’s friend, Andrew Wood, who was the lead singer of the grunge band Mother Love Bone. Wood died of a heroin overdose in 1990.
How Many Number 1 Hit Does Alice In Chains Have?
Alice In Chains has four number one hits: “Would?”, “Again”, “No Excuses”, and “I Stay Away”.
Who Was The Lead Singer For Alice In Chains?
The lead singer for Alice In Chains was Layne Staley. He was also the lead guitarist and co-founder of the band. Staley died in 2002 from a drug overdose.
What Is Alice In Chains Famous For?
What Was Alice In Chains First Album?