Alice in Chains: The Story of One of the Pillars of Grunge and Alternative Rock (Part 2)

After the worldwide recognition and commercial success of the band’s two albums, Alice in Chains decided to have a world tour in 1993. After the said tour, the band headed to the studio and recorded the ‘Jar of Flies’ EP, which was only recorded in a span of one week. The EP did not disappoint fans and followers, as it took the top spot of the Billboard Top 200 charts. This occurrence was very monumental – because it is the very first EP in history that reached the number one spot on the albums charts. The EP also spawned the band’s first #1 single in ‘No Excuses.’

However, after all of the success, fame, and fortune, the looming problem regarding drug abuse was starting to take its toll on the group. Alice in Chains frontman Layne Staley was sent to rehab to treat his addiction to heroin. Staley was said to overcome his addiction after the treatment but started to use heroin once again during their rehearsal of their upcoming tour with thrash metal heavyweights Metallica. The band’s appearance in the said tour was cancelled.

In 1995, the band was in a temporary slump and Staley was doing some side projects with other bands. However, the band regrouped, recorded their next studio album, and released their self titled album later that year. Once again, the album reached the top of the Billboard charts and was certified double platinum by the RIAA. The next year saw the band perform in MTV Unplugged, a show where bands play stripped down versions of their songs. The performance was recorded and released as an album, which was also a hit. A home video was also released and it gained platinum status according to RIAA.

The following year spelt trouble for the band, as Staley began to distance himself to everyone. His sudden change of attitude started after the demise of his loved one Demri Parrott. He was said to stay in his home most of the time, using drugs, and making life hard for himself. During the band hiatus, guitarist Cantrell began to work on his own solo projects. After several years, Staley recorded two songs for their band’s box set.

In 2002, tragic news swept across the globe. Layne Staley died due to drug overdose. Fans and supporters mourned as others were still in shock about the news. Cantrell dedicated one of his solo albums to Staley.

2008-2010 was the period when the band decided to release their first album after years of inactivity. The album ‘Black Gives Way to Blue’ was certified gold in the U.S. and was said to have sold half a million copies worldwide.

In 2011, another sad day for the band has dawned. Bassist Mike Starr died. The sad thing is that both Staley and Starr’s cause of death was related to substance abuse.

Notable Songs by Alice in Chains:

– ‘Man in the Box’

– ‘Down in a Hole’

– ‘No Excuses’

– ‘Rooster’

– ‘Would?’

– ‘Nutshell’