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 (often abbreviated as AIC) is an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1987. Since 2006, the band's lineup has comprised vocalist/guitarists Jerry Cantrell and William DuVall, bassist Mike Inez and drummer Sean Kinney. Vocalist Layne Staley and bassist Mike Starr are former members of the band. The band took its name from Staley's previous group, Alice N' Chains. Often associated with grunge music, Alice in Chains' sound and style is deeply rooted in heavy metal music. The band is known for its distinctive vocal style, which often included the harmonized vocals between Staley and Cantrell (and later Cantrell and DuVall), 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. They achieved success during the era with the albums Facelift (1990), Dirt (1992) and Alice in Chains (1995), as well as the EP Jar of Flies (1994). The band was plagued by extended inactivity from 1996 onward, largely due to Staley's substance abuse, which resulted in his death in 2002 and caused the band to go on hiatus. Alice in Chains regrouped in 2005, with DuVall joining in 2006 as rhythm guitarist and later sharing lead vocal duties, and the band has since released three more albums: Black Gives Way to Blue (2009), The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here (2013) and Rainier Fog (2018).

Since its formation, Alice in Chains has released six studio albums, three EPs, three live albums, four compilations, two DVDs, 43 music videos and 32 singles. The band has sold more than 30 million records worldwide, and over 20 million records in the US alone. The band has had 18 Top 10 songs on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and 5 No. 1 hits, and has received eleven Grammy Award nominations. The band was ranked number 34 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock and as the 15th greatest live band by Hit Parader.

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1990FaceliftAlice in Chains3.9515
1992DirtAlice in Chains4.2518
1995Alice in ChainsAlice in Chains4.314
2009Black Gives Way to BlueAlice in Chains4.312
2013The Devil Put Dinosaurs HereAlice in Chains47
2018Rainier FogAlice in Chains4.256

Album + Compilation

1992Dirt & SapAlice in Chains1
1993Dirt / FaceliftAlice in Chains1
1999Nothing Safe: The Best of the BoxAlice in Chains4.756
1999Music BankAlice in Chains43
2001Greatest HitsAlice in Chains4.54
2001Jar of Flies / Facelift / DirtAlice in Chains2
2003Facelift / Dirt / Alice in ChainsAlice in Chains2
2004The Essential Alice in ChainsAlice in Chains4.53
2006Dirt / MTV UnpluggedAlice in Chains2
2007×2: Facelift / Alice in ChainsAlice in Chains1
2008DiscoverAlice in Chains1
2011Original Album ClassicsAlice in Chains1

Album + Live

1996MTV UnpluggedAlice in Chains4.511
2000LiveAlice in Chains4.54
2023Sea Of SorrowAlice in Chains1


1992Angry ChairAlice in Chains2
1992RoosterAlice in Chains2
1992Would?Alice in Chains4
1993Down in a HoleAlice in Chains2
1993Them BonesAlice in Chains3
1993What the Hell Have IAlice in Chains2
1994No ExcusesAlice in Chains1
1995GrindAlice in Chains4
1995Over NowAlice in Chains3
1995Heaven Beside YouAlice in Chains3
1996AgainAlice in Chains44
1999Get Born AgainAlice in Chains2
2009A Looking in ViewAlice in Chains1
2009Check My BrainAlice in Chains54
2013HollowAlice in Chains1
2013StoneAlice in Chains2
2016TearsAlice in Chains1
2018The One You KnowAlice in Chains1
2018So Far UnderAlice in Chains1
2018Never FadeAlice in Chains1


1990We Die YoungAlice in Chains44
1992SapAlice in Chains4.457
1994Jar of FliesAlice in Chains4.459

EP + Compilation

1994Jar of Flies / SapAlice in Chains6
2007Discover MoreAlice in Chains1
2007Discover BeyondAlice in Chains1
2010Discover FurtherAlice in Chains1

EP + Live

1991Live FaceliftAlice in Chains3

EP + Demo

1988The Treehouse TapesAlice in Chains41


1995The Nona TapesAlice in Chains2

Other + Compilation

2001Music Bank: The VideosAlice in Chains2
2003Music Bank: The Videos + Nothing Safe: The Best of the BoxAlice in Chains1

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