26 Years Ago: Alice In Chains Unearth 'Dirt'

September 28, 2018

When grunge had officially taken over the airwaves in the early '90s, the world was their oyster for bands like NirvanaPearl JamSoundgarden and Alice In Chains.

On September 29th, 1992, Alice In Chains released their second album Dirt, which has often been regarded by fans and critics as their greatest album period. Embodying their classic sound of heavy dropped "D" tuned guitars, intoned vocals, drug-themed tracks and a slight leaning to the metal realm while still remaining "grunge." 

Thanks to MTV's airing of their first ever video "Man In The Box" from their debut album Facelift, Alice In Chains were set up for success by shattering expectations with the heavy and sulking collection of Dirt

Drug addiction was a recurring theme throughout Dirt, appearing in songs like "Them Bones," "Angry Chair," "Junkhead," "Sick Man," and "Godsmack," which features lyrics like, "What in God's name have you done? / Stick your arm for some real fun," and "I can feel the wheel, but I can't steel / When my thoughts become my biggest fear."

What really launched the album was their fourth single "The Rooster," featuring the haunting vocals of Layne Staley with the lyrics Cantrell wrote after his father, a Vietnam War veteran who was dubbed "The Rooster." The song expresses the sorrows and horrors that war brings, all based on when Cantrell's father opened up about his experience serving. "The Rooster" became the biggest single to be released off the album, earning the No. 7 spot on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart. Dirt made its top position at No. 6 on the Billboard album chart with over 5 million copies sold worldwide.