Alice In Chains - Unplugged (1996)

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Alice In Chains - Unplugged (1996)

Príspevokod užívateľa Horex » 19 Jan 2021, 10:27

Alice In Chains - Unplugged (1996)

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Year : 1996
Style : Heavy Metal , Grunge
Country : United States
Audio : 320 kbps + all scans
Size : 110 mb


Bio:

In many ways, Alice in Chains was the definitive heavy metal band of the early '90s. Drawing equally from the heavy riffing of post-Van Halen metal and the gloomy strains of post-punk, the band developed a bleak, nihilistic sound that balanced grinding hard rock with subtly textured acoustic numbers. They were hard enough for metal fans, yet their dark subject matter and punky attack placed them among the front ranks of the Seattle-based grunge bands. While this dichotomy helped the group soar to multi-platinum status with their second album, 1992's Dirt, it also divided them. Guitarist Jerry Cantrell always leaned toward the mainstream, while vocalist Layne Staley was fascinated with the seamy underground. Such tension drove the band toward stardom in their early years, but following Dirt, Alice in Chains suffered from near-crippling internal tensions that kept the band off the road for the remainder of the '90s, and culminated in Staley's accidental death by overdose in 2002. The group reunited in 2006 with William DuVall taking over as lead vocalist, and released a string of well-received albums, including 2009's gold-selling and Grammy-nominated Black Gives Way to Blue and 2013's The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here.Staley formed the initial incarnation of the band while in high school in the mid-'80s, naming the group Alice N Chains. Staley met Cantrell in 1987 at the Seattle rehearsal warehouse the Music Bank and the two began working together, changing the group's name to Alice in Chains. Cantrell's friends Mike Starr (bass) and Sean Kinney (drums) rounded out the lineup, and the band began playing local Seattle clubs. Columbia Records signed the group in 1989 and the label quickly made the band a priority, targeting heavy metal audiences. Early in 1990, the label released the We Die Young EP as a promotional device and the song became a hit on metal radio, setting the stage for the summer release of the group's debut, Facelift. Alice in Chains supported the album by opening for Van Halen, Poison, and Iggy Pop, and it became a hit, going gold by the end of the year. As the band prepared their second album, they released the largely acoustic EP Sap in 1991 to strong reviews.Prior to the release of Alice in Chains' second album, Seattle became a media sensation thanks to the surprise success of Nirvana. As a result, Alice was now marketed as an alternative band, not as a metal outfit, and the group landed a song, the menacing "Would?," on the Singles soundtrack during the summer of 1992. "Would?" helped build anticipation for Dirt, the group's relentlessly bleak second album that was released in the fall of 1992 to very good reviews. Following its release, Starr left and was replaced by Mike Inez. Dirt went platinum by the end of 1992, but its gloomy lyrics launched many rumors that Staley was addicted to heroin. Alice in Chains soldiered on in the face of such criticism, performing successfully on the third Lollapalooza tour in 1993, which helped Dirt reach sales of three million.The band released the low-key EP Jar of Flies in early 1994. It debuted at number one upon its release, becoming the first EP to top the album charts. Despite the band's continued success, they stayed off the road, which fueled speculation that Staley was mired in heroin addiction. Later that year, Staley did give a few concerts as part of the Gacy Bunch, a Seattle supergroup also featuring Pearl Jam's Mike McCready, the Screaming Trees' Barrett Martin, and John Saunders. The group subsequently renamed itself Mad Season and released Above in early 1995. Later that year, Alice in Chains re-emerged with an eponymous third album, which debuted at number one on the American charts. Again, the band chose not to tour, which launched yet another round of speculation that the band was suffering from various addictions and were on the verge of disbanding. The group did give one concert -- their first in three years -- in 1996, performing for an episode of MTV Unplugged, which was released as an album that summer. Despite its success, the album did nothing to dispel doubts about the group's future and neither did Cantrell's solo album, Boggy Depot, in 1998.Cantrell basically released Boggy Depot because he couldn't get Staley to work, but its very existence -- and the presence of Inez and Kinney on the record, not to mention Alice producer Toby Wright -- seemed to confirm that the group was on moratorium at best, and defunct at worst. Staley, for his part, stayed quiet, conceding his spot on Mad Season's second album to Screaming Trees singer Mark Lanegan. In 1999, Sony put together a three-disc Alice in Chains box set, Music Bank, divided between the group's best work and assorted rarities. At the turn of the new millennium, Columbia Records issued Live, which plucked material from bootlegs, demos, and festival shows covering the years 1990, 1993, and 1996.As if the group hadn't been repackaged as many times as possible with its limited repertoire, a ten-track best-of set, Greatest Hits, appeared in July 2001. With no sign of the group reclaiming their spot atop the alt-metal heap (and such copycat acts as Godsmack, Days of the New, Puddle of Mudd, and Creed taking the Alice in Chains formula to the top of the charts), Cantrell completed his sophomore solo effort, Degradation Trip, in 2002. But just two months before the album's release, in April 2002, the news that every Alice in Chains fan had been fearing for years had finally come to pass: Layne Staley was found dead due to a lethal overdose of cocaine and heroin. (Former bassist Mike Starr also battled his own addictions through the years, and in fact appeared on the VH1 reality show Celebrity Rehab in 2010; Starr continued to fight chemical dependency until his death in March 2011 in Salt Lake City, Utah.) Although understandably grief-stricken, Cantrell launched his solo album's supporting tour according to schedule, opting to open shows in the summer for another Alice in Chains-influenced band, Nickelback. Alice in Chains spent the next few years in limbo, eventually reuniting in 2005 for a benefit show with Damageplan vocalist Pat Lachman filling in for the deceased Staley. After rotating through a handful of different singers, the group eventually settled on Comes with the Fall vocalist William DuVall, who appeared on the group's 2009 comeback record Black Gives Way to Blue.Black Gives Way to Blue was a successful comeback, debuting at five on the Billboard 200 and going gold in the U.S. and Canada, while racking up two Grammy nominations. The group toured into 2010 and then in 2011 set to work on another album, titled The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here, which arrived in the summer of 2013. May 2018 saw the release of the single "The One You Know" ahead of the arrival of the band's sixth studio long-player, which was issued later that August.

Album:

Unplugged is a live album and DVD by the American rock band Alice in Chains, released on July 30, 1996 by Columbia Records. It was recorded on April 10, 1996 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Majestic Theatre for the television series MTV Unplugged. The show was directed by Joe Perota and first aired on MTV on May 28, 1996. The MTV Unplugged was Alice in Chains' first concert in two and a half years, and contains live, acoustic versions of the band's biggest hits and lesser-known songs. A new song, "The Killer Is Me", was performed for the first time during the concert. The acoustic version of "Over Now" (originally released on Alice in Chains' 1995 self-titled album) was released as a single. The album debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart, and has been certified platinum by the RIAA. The performance was released on DVD on October 26, 1999, and re-released as a CD/DVD package featuring unaired footage on September 18, 2007. The home video release has received gold certification by RIAA.MTV’s Unplugged series is responsible for some of the best live albums you’ll find. Certainly Kiss’ instalment is up there, and so is Alice in Chains’. It’s somewhat strange that Alice’s first live album was an acoustic performance, but they have always been a two sided band. At least in the early days, you could count on an acoustic EP between electric albums. Their Unplugged focuses on mellow(ish) moments from everything but their debut, Facelift.“Nutshell” from Jar of Flies is a brilliant opener. It sets a dark, quiet tone that follows through the whole album. For this show, Alice added guitarist Scott Olsen to free up Jerry Cantrell’s hands to solo. The eerie quiet of the audience only adds to the tension. “Brother” from Sap is next; a showcase for the harmonies of Layne Staley and Jerry Cantrell. Their vocal blend was Alice’s most defining feature. The big single from Jar of Flies, “No Excuses” rounds out this trio. Once again the harmonies kill it. MTV Unplugged is an unforgiving format. They had to do it live. They could do multiple takes, but one of them has to be perfect. “No Excuses” is perfect, and just listen to the percussion work of Sean Kinney!A number of album tracks, better known as heavy electric songs, are next. Right after a lil’ bit of “Enter Sandman”, Alice in Chains do the newbie “Sludge Factory” for the first time ever. Due to Layne’s health, Alice were unable to tour in ’95-’96. They played only five shows; Unplugged was the first. (The other four were opening for Kiss, who also had an Unplugged album in 1996.) “Sludge Factory” is a difficult song from a murky album. Though was well received, “Down in a Hole” from Dirt earns more shouts of familiarity. Layne clearly poured himself into the song.“Angry Chair” is one of Alice in Chains’ heaviest songs; to hear it unplugged is strange but oddly appropriate. Instead of raging, it simmers. “Rooster” too is more peaceful, though an undercurrent of angst is always present. It’s a song about Jerry’s dad, a Vietnam vet. Sean Kinney’s marching band style drums give a slight military feel. Layne absolutely wails on “Got Me Wrong” from Sap, and if you want intensity then check out “Would?”. Even though the band hadn’t played live in ages, and despite Layne’s fragility, they were certainly as good as ever on MTV Unplugged.A cluster of new material lies on the back end. “Heaven Beside You” was always (largely) acoustic, but live it has a swagger. For songs that were always challenging, “Frogs” is certainly one, and it is no less so unplugged. It is more about the atmosphere than the notes. “Over Now”, however, is a blast.Alice finished the set with a new song called “Killer is Me”. Like many of their songs it has atonal qualities that make it a difficult pill to swallow. It has never been recorded in the studio, which makes the unplugged show that much more special.Listening to MTV Unplugged, you can’t help but miss Layne. A fun side of him shone that night. “I just wanna hug you all!…but I’m not gonna,” he exclaims at the end. It is true that the band eventually found a way to carry on with William Duvall, and they have done so very well. But Layne…he was something special that only happens once.

Line Up:

Layne Staley – vocals; acoustic rhythm guitar on "Angry Chair"
Jerry Cantrell – acoustic lead guitar, vocals
Mike Inez – acoustic bass; acoustic rhythm guitar on "Killer Is Me"
Sean Kinney – drums, percussion

Additional performer:

Scott Olson – acoustic rhythm and solo guitar; acoustic bass on "Killer Is Me"

Production:

Produced by Toby Wright and Alice in Chains
Produced for MTV by Alex Coletti
Recorded by Toby Wright and John Harris, assisted by Brian Kingman, John Bates, and Rich Lamb
Mixed by Toby Wright, assisted by John Bleich and John Seymour
Digitally edited by Don C. Tyler
Mastered by Stephen Marcussen
DVD audio by John Alberts, Toby Wright, and Mike Fisher
Directed by Joe Perota
Line producer – Audrey Morrissey
Art direction – Mary Maurer
Design – Doug Erb
Photography – Danny Clinch
Management – Susan Silver

Tracklist:

01. Nutshell Layne Staley/Jerry Cantrell/Mike Inez/Sean Kinney Jar of Flies 4:57
02. Brother Cantrell Sap 5:27
03. No Excuses Cantrell Jar of Flies 4:57
04. Sludge Factory Staley/Cantrell/Kinney Alice in Chains 4:36
05. Down in a Hole Cantrell Dirt 5:46
06. Angry Chair (Cut from MTV Broadcast, included on the re-release) Staley Dirt 4:36
07. Rooster Cantrell Dirt 6:41
08. Got Me Wrong Cantrell Sap 4:59
09. Heaven Beside You Cantrell/Inez Alice in Chains 5:38
10. Would? Cantrell Dirt 3:43
11. Frogs (Cut from MTV Broadcast, included on the re-release) Staley/Cantrell/Kinney/Inez Alice in Chains 7:30
12. Over Now Cantrell/Kinney Alice in Chains 7:12
13. Killer Is Me (Cut from MTV Broadcast, included on the re-release) Cantrell 5:23

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