Alice In Chains – Dirt
I remember the first time I got this album. We were at the mall, and my Dad had asked me what I wanted for Christmas that year (1992), and I said this CD. His eyes glazed over, and I could see his mind working through the option of going into a record store (an alien land, for him) and trying to search out this album. Instead, he reached into his pocket, pulled out $20 and said “here, go get it yourself!” When I came back with it, he held it at arm’s length like it was going to bite him, handed it back and said “Good thing you did that, I’d still be in there…”
I loved this album, right from first spin. I hadn’t owned Facelift before it, though I’d heard the songs from it at a buddy’s place. So this was the first AiC in my own collection. Of course, years later, I ditched the album for money to cover a cross-country move, but I replaced it when I was able, because I definitely missed it.
What a brilliant record. You probably know all about it already, so I won’t need to belabour each song. And you’ll know that sound, so unlike anything else that was going on… sure, it was bluesy metal like grunge, but there was something in the way they approached their sound, with Staley’s vocals over top, that made them stand out from their peers.
Sadly, several members of the band were wrestling drug addiction at the time of recording, not to mention suffering depression and other things as well. The whole thing added up to a sludgy album that could only have happened in that time, under those circumstances, and by those players.
Interestingly, the 0:44 track, labelled by my iTunes as Intro (Dream Sequence) is, according to Wiki, a riff Cantrell used to play to annoy his band mates, so he threw that, a nod to Sabbath’s Iron Man and then Tom Araya’s vocals to Layne’s and called it Iron Gland. I definitely prefer his title.
Here’s all you need to know:
Them Bones / Dam That River / Rain When I Die / Down In A Hole / Sickman / Rooster / Junkhead / Dirt / Godsmack / Iron Gland / Hate To Feel / Angry Chair / Would?
This is a classic record. So good!