Alice in Chains

~ Group


Originally named ‘Diamond Lie’. Following the addition of Layne Staley, they were also periodically named ‘Mothra’ and ‘Fuck’ (amongst other names) until settling on ‘Alice in Chains’, after Staley’s old band.

Annotation last modified on 2013-12-23 22:28 UTC.


Alice in Chains is an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1987 by guitarist/vocalist Jerry Cantrell and drummer Sean Kinney, who then recruited bassist Mike Starr and lead vocalist Layne Staley. Mike Starr was replaced in 1993 by Mike Inez.

Although widely associated with grunge music, the band's sound incorporates heavy metal elements. Since its formation, Alice in Chains has released five studio albums, three EPs, two live albums, four compilations, and two DVDs. The band is known for its distinctive vocal style, which often included the harmonized vocals between Staley and Cantrell (and later Cantrell and William DuVall). Cantrell started to sing lead on the 1992 acoustic EP Sap, and his role continued to grow in the following albums, making Alice in Chains a two-vocal band.

Alice in Chains rose to international fame as part of the grunge movement of the early 1990s, along with other Seattle bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden. The band was one of the most successful music acts of the 1990s, selling over 20 million records worldwide, and over 14 million records in the US alone. Their debut album, Facelift, was released in 1990 and has been certified double-platinum by the RIAA, selling over two million copies. In 1992, the band's second album, Dirt, was released to critical acclaim and was certified quadruple platinum. Their second acoustic EP, Jar of Flies, debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart in 1994, becoming the first ever EP and first Alice in Chains release to top the charts, and it has been certified triple platinum by the RIAA. The band's third album, Alice in Chains, was released in 1995 and has been certified double platinum. It achieved No. 1 position on the Billboard 200 chart. The band has had 16 top ten songs on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and nine Grammy Award nominations.

Although never officially disbanding, Alice in Chains was plagued by extended inactivity from 1996 onwards due to Staley's substance abuse, which resulted in his death in 2002. The band reunited in 2005 for a live benefit show, performing with a number of guest vocalists. They toured in 2006, with William DuVall taking over as lead vocalist full-time. The new line-up released the band's fourth studio album, Black Gives Way to Blue, in 2009, which received gold certification by the RIAA and three Grammy nominations. Their fifth studio album, The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here, was released in 2013. The band toured extensively and released several videos in support of these albums. Alice in Chains is currently working on their sixth studio album, tentatively set for release in early 2018.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1990 Facelift Alice in Chains 3.9 8
1992 Dirt Alice in Chains 4.4 12
1995 Alice in Chains Alice in Chains 4.3 7
2009 Black Gives Way to Blue Alice in Chains 4.25 10
2013 The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here Alice in Chains 4 4

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1992 Dirt & Sap Alice in Chains 1
1993 Dirt/Facelift Alice in Chains 1
1999 Nothing Safe: The Best of the Box Alice in Chains 4.65 3
1999 Music Bank Alice in Chains 2
2001 Greatest Hits Alice in Chains 4.35 2
2001 Jar of Flies/Facelift/Dirt Alice in Chains 2
2003 Facelit/Dirt/Alice in Chains Alice in Chains 2
2006 Dirt/Unplugged Alice in Chains 2
2006 The Essential Alice in Chains Alice in Chains 4.65 1
2007 ×2: Facelift / Alice in Chains Alice in Chains 1
2011 Original Album Classics Alice in Chains 1

Album + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1996 MTV Unplugged Alice in Chains 4.5 8
2000 Live Alice in Chains 2
2015 Live at the Palladium Hollywood 1992 Alice In Chains 2


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1992 Would? Alice in Chains 3
1993 Rooster Alice in Chains 1
1993 Angry Chair Alice in Chains 1
1993 Down in a Hole Alice in Chains 2
1993 Them Bones Alice in Chains 3
1993 What the Hell Have I Alice in Chains 2
1994 No Excuses Alice In Chains 1
1995 Grind Alice in Chains 2
1995 Heaven Beside You Alice in Chains 3
1996 Again (Remixed) Alice in Chains 4
1996 Over Now Alice in Chains 2
1999 Get Born Again Alice in Chains 2
2009 A Looking in View Alice in Chains 1
2009 Check My Brain Alice in Chains 5 4
2013 Hollow Alice in Chains 1
2013 Stone Alice in Chains 2
2016 Tears Alice in Chains 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1988 The Treehouse Tapes Alice in Chains 1
1992 Sap Alice in Chains 4.55 3
1993 Jar of Flies Alice in Chains 4.55 5

EP + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2007 Discover Beyond Alice in Chains 1
2007 Discover More Alice In Chains 1
2010 Discover Further Alice in Chains 1

EP + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1991 Live Facelift Alice in Chains 3


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1995 The Nona Tapes Alice in Chains 2

Other + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2001 Music Bank: The Videos Alice in Chains 2
2003 Music Bank: The Videos + Nothing Safe: The Best of the Box Alice in Chains 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1994 Jar of Flies / Sap Alice in Chains 5
2008 Discover Alice in Chains 1

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