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Alice in Chains is one of the most acclaimed and influential rock bands of the 1990s, with their unique style of alternative metal fused with fret-churning riffs and soulful, blues-tinged melodies. Forming in Seattle, Washington in 1987 the band’s lineup initially featured lead vocalist Layne Staley, guitarists Jerry Cantrell and Sean Kinney, and bassist Mike Starr. After finding success with their landmark second album Dirt (1992), the group gained worldwide recognition and an international fanbase.
Alice in Chains began life as a side-project for Jerry Cantrell and Layne Staley. Having known each other since their teenage years, the two had frequently collaborated, performing songs together whenever they got together. As Cantrell's new group Sleze began to gain momentum on the Seattle music scene, Layne was invited to join as the group's vocalist in 1987, and they soon changed their name to Alice in Chains. With the addition of former members of Senate, Sean Kinney and Mike Starr, the 90s grunge rock powerhouse was born.
Alice in Chains distinguished themselves from their contemporaries by allying a heavy, riff-led sound, closely associated with hard rock and heavy metal, to an instinctively melodic and often progressive sound. Singles such as "Man in the Box," "Them Bones," and "Would" helped the band become one of the most iconic of the 90s alt-rock and grunge scenes. Alice in Chains boast a wealth of memorable songs, from the socially conscious ballad "Down in A Hole" to moody masterpieces such as "Rain When I Die." Their distinctive sound and passionate delivery has made them a favorite among rock fans around the world ever since.
Alice in Chains were one of the most popular musical acts of their era, releasing their third LP Jar of Flies in 1995 debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard albums chart. The group's music video for the single "No Excuses" earned them their first MTV Video Music Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1994 and MTV’s ‘Beavis and Butt-head’ hailed the band as the best rock act of the year.
Alice in Chains is often credited as a "founding father" of Seattle grunge, and as such influenced many later bands of a similar style. Similar artists include grunge acts like Pearl Jam and Nirvana, as well as heavy rock powerhouses such as Soundgarden and Foo Fighters. Lovers of progressive rock and alternative metal should also check out dream-pop duo A Perfect Circle, featuring the singing and songwriting of Alice in Chains' Jimi Cantrell.
Fans of Alice in Chains won't want to miss the iconic anthems we've grown to love from them. Essential tracks include classics such as "Man in the Box," "Them Bones," and "Would." Other fan favorite tracks include "No Excuses," "Rain When I Die," "Down in a Hole," and "Lies, Lies Lies."
With the release of their last studio album Black Gives Way To Blue in 2009, Alice In Chains remain one of the most beloved rock bands of the past 30 years. If you’re a fan of legendary alt-rock and grunge, you can’t go wrong with Alice In Chains.
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