In 1992 Grunge was the only genre of music on the radio and in college dorms around the US. Alice in Chains were riding high (literally) on the success of their first album Facelift and hit single Man in a Box. After a successful opening stint with Van Halen and a best selling EP, Sap, Jerry Cantrell, Layne Staley, Mike Starr and Sean Kinney were ready to rise to the top of the grunge/metal scene.
But drugs, particularly heroin, were having a detrimental effect on the band which produced an album full of darkness, self-hatred and sickness. With titles like Sickman, Junkman, Down in a Hole, Hate to Feel, and Godsmack it's obvious Layne Staley is in pain but he delivers some extraordinary performances throughout the record.
Selling over 6 million copies with over 6 million singles as well, Alice in Chains couldn't really capitalize on all that success as they couldn't afford to take Layne Staley out on the road for fear of him being arrested or ODing. Still, with hits like Would?, Them Bones, Angry Chair & Rooster, this record will always be remembered, though it should be seen as a cautionary tale.
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