Rock N Roll Research Essay
Over the year’s rock and roll has been shaped and changed by many bands who have either added on; or have changed the sound of rock to a higher level. The bands who have change it significantly are recognized greatly for their contributions. Conversely, there still are bands out there that have contributed greatly and are not recognized on such a high level of fame for it. Alice in Chains was a group that was somewhat unappreciated and played a vital role in developing the growth of rock and roll. Alice in Chains for years produced many multi-platinum albums. They also became major influences to new music as well as old music, as the drug phase came upon them, they are still seen as inspirations to many as Layne Staley, the lead singer, is known to have had one the longest suicides in rock and roll history due to the abuse of drugs.
Alice in Chains was one of the biggest bands to emerge from the grunge scene; Rolling Stone magazine acclaimed them as one of the four horseman of grunge (Rolling). The other three were Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Pearl Jam. Alice in Chains went multi-platinum off every studio album they had produced, they also hold the record for having the first EP to hit number one on the billboards (Rolling). However, billboard spots were just the tip of the iceberg, they had numerous Grammy nominations; individually every studio album produced with new Alice in Chains tracks have reached platinum at least once. There top selling album, entitled Dirt, has sold over 4 million copies. The album ironically made its success due to the power of Alice in Chains’ hardships and struggles with drugs, as most of the album tracks were heroin related. The album was often described as a ‘concept album about heroin’ (Edge). After the success of ‘Dirt,’ the band was at its prime soon after releasing their number one billboard EP, Jar of Flies. Furthermore, in 1995, Alice in Chains would release their last studio album to date, entitled ‘Alice in Chains’. Despite the lack of touring, and support throughout the small portions of it, the album had still reached a multi platinum status as it sold over two million copies (Wiki). With such a drastic climbing fan base, they had inspired the grunge scene in Seattle greatly.
Alice in Chains was influenced by a lot of music. They cited there major influences from Led Zeppelin to Black Sabbath, and of course Metallica (Alice). Ironically, after Alice in Chains had unofficially disbanded, Metallica cited Alice in Chains as a major influence for their album St. Anger (Metallica). Metallica loved the sound of Alice in Chains, and had planned to tour with them in the summer of 1994 along side with Suicidal tendencies. However, due to the re-occurring drug addiction of Layne Staley (Lead Singer/Creator) they had to cancel their tour. Additionally, Alice in Chains had their own distinct sound; they were often described as grunge, hard rock, and alternative. However, Jerry Cantrell, the lead guitarist, described the bands primary sound as heavy metal with a mixture of blues, rock and roll, and a touch of punk. This sound was a huge influence to many newer bands; some of the major ones who have listed Alice in Chains as a musical influence are bands such as Godsmack, Nickelback, Puddle of Mudd, Creed, and Staind. Sully Erna, lead singer of Godsmack, has cited Layne Staley as his primary influence for music. Staind covered some of their songs live and also created a song called “Layne” as a dedication to his memory (Wikipedia).
Unfortunately, Alice in Chains had a rumor following them that there was major drug abuse within the band, mainly Layne Staley. Although the band did deny these accusations, the rumors were of course true (Edge). As Alice in Chains was based out of Seattle, at the time, the drug of...
Citations: “Alice in Chains: Biography.” 2001. Rolling Stone. 2008. 22 Mar. . (Rolling)
Alice in Chains. Biography. 13 Mar. 2008. Alice in Chains. 22 Mar.
Metallica. Biography. 2008. Metallica. 22 Mar.
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