Alice in Chains Biography

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Alice in ChainsAlice in Chains is an American rock band that hailed from Seattle, Washington in 1987. They became one of the most commercially successful rock bands coming from the Seattle grunge music scene. They were able to sell over 14 million albums in the US alone and have been considered as one of the most influential rock bands that gave way to the emergence of the grunge scene.

The group was formed when guitarist and song writer Jerry Cantrell met Layne Staley met at a party sometime in 1987. Cantrell invited Staley to join his band which was then called Diamond Lie. Cantrell soon added bassist Mike Starr and drummer Sean Kinney to complete the line up. The band began to play at local clubs as well as beginning to write original songs together. It was around this time that the band also changed their name to Alice in Chains.

The band signed with Columbia Records in 1989, from where the band was able to come up with their first official release in the form of the We Die Young EP in July of 1990. It became a moderate hit for the band and paved the way for the band to release their first LP entitled Facelift on the same year. The album had the hit "Man in the Box" which became popular and went into a regular rotation on MTV. The album reached Gold status by the end of the year.

The album that launched the band into the mainstream was Dirt, which was released in 1992. The songs displayed the band’s heavy guitar driven sound that was complemented by the complex vocal harmonies of Staley and Cantrell. The album became a critical as well as a commercial success, earning for the band their first Platinum album by the end of the same year. It was during the succeeding tour that bassist Mike Starr left the band and was replaced by Mike Inez.

By 1994, the band was scheduled to tour with Metallica during the summer, but surprisingly withdrew. Their withdrawal from the band fueled rumors that the band has done so because of the worsening drug addiction of their front man Staley. The rumors were later found out to be true. The band was still able to come out with a self-titled album in November of 1995. It debuted at number one on the US charts but eventually suffered due to the lack of a supporting tour to promote the album. This led more and more fans to speculate that the band is definitely suffering due to Staley’s worsening heroin addiction. The self-titled album turned out to be the last Alice in Chains album produced with Staley.

The band went on to perform their first concert after a long while in 1996 for MTV Unplugged. The band then went on to open for KISS on their reunion tour. It became the bands last concert performing with Staley as singer. The band then went on a hiatus, seeing that it is becoming increasingly difficult for Staley to continue working due to his weakening health. Although Staley contributed time and again to the release of some of the band’s compilation albums, they never went all the way into becoming a complete band. Everything finally came to a halt on April of 2002 when Staley was found dead in his condo due to a drug overdose.

In 2005, the remaining members of Alice in Chains reunited to perform at a benefit concert in Seattle for the victims of the Tsunami disaster. The band was received well by the fans and group felt that it was good playing together again. Since then, the band has been active going on tours and plans on releasing a new album are underway.

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