The long-delayed Alice in Chains box set, due in October, will feature
previously unreleased live recordings, demos, classic tracks, two new
songs and a CD-ROM adventure game based on the grunge band's music.
Music Bank (Oct. 26) will feature 48 songs on three CDs and a
game called "The Journey" on a fourth CD. "The Journey" will use the
Seattle band's music to illustrate a quest game starring the
bandmembers. The CD-ROM also will include a video for the new song
"Get Born Again," video footage for "I Stay Away" and "No Excuses,"
multimedia material from the 1994 Jar of Flies CD-ROM, and
interview clips, according to the band's official website.
The set's first disc features "a bunch of stuff they cut when they
were trying to get signed," Jen Kern, a spokesperson for Alice in
Chains' management, said.
About half of the 17 tracks on that disc are demos the band recorded
before it was signed to Columbia, including previously unreleased
1988 demos of "I Can't Have You Blues," "Whatcha Gonna Do," "Social
Parasite," "Sea of Sorrow," "Bleed the Freak" and "Killing Yourself."
They were recorded with former bassist Mike Starr in an eight-track
studio in a treehouse, according to a band press release.
The box set is named for a Seattle warehouse where the group lived and
rehearsed in those days. Alice in Chains singer Layne Staley managed
the rehearsal space in the late 1980s, according to the website.
The first disc also features a previously unreleased live recording
of "Queen of the Rodeo," from a Nov. 5, 1990, show in Dallas.
Other highlights include a previously unreleased 1991 demo of
"Rooster" and a handful of songs from the group's first album,
Facelift (1990), including "We Die Young," "Man in the Box,"
"I Can't Remember" and "Love, Hate, Love."
The first disc opens with "Get Born Again"
one of two songs the band guitarist Jerry Cantrell, Staley, bassist Mike Inez and drummer Sean Kinney
tracked in September and October 1998. They were the first songs the
band had recorded in more than three years.
"Get Born Again" was released in June on the 15-track sampler
Nothing Safe The Best of the Box and was a hit at rock
radio over the summer. The album was certified gold. The other song
from that session, the previously unreleased "Died," ends the third
Kern said the group has no plans to work on a new studio album. Alice
in Chains' last live shows were during a four-date opening run for
pop-metal rockers Kiss in 1996.
Alice in Chains emerged from the fertile Seattle rock scene in the
late 1980s with a heavy-metal sound built around Staley's haunting
vocals and Cantrell's morose guitar lines. Completing a superstar
Seattle quartet that also included Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Soundgarden,
Alice in Chains were one of the most successful of the so-called
"grunge" bands of the early '90s.
The interactive CD-ROM was created by Seattle artist Jesse Higman, who
has designed T-shirts for Alice in Chains, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam.
Higman, 31, said he worked on the project for almost four years.
The game, based on Higman's paintings and, loosely, on Dante's
"Inferno," tells the story of the devil's attempts to control the band.
"It's got the vibe of a children's horror story," Higman said.
"But it's kind of funny, and it makes you go through each circle of
hell with a moral problem to solve."
The game, which takes an hour and a half to navigate, uses music from
all of the band's albums and is packed with lyrical references to the
group's work, Higman said. "The basic premise is the devil is not
really the power behind music, but that he's been conspiring to
destroy it. He realizes it's the thing that makes humanity great and
unites us all."
Disc two contains a number of songs from the album Dirt (1992)
and the EPs Sap (1991) and Jar of Flies (1994).
In addition to the previously unreleased "Fear the Voices," notable
songs on the disc include demo versions of "Junkhead" and "Lying Season,"
which appeared on the "Singles" soundtrack. Disc two also contains the
unlisted Dirt track "Iron Gland."
Disc three contains mostly previously released material from
Dirt, the band's self-titled 1995 album and its Unplugged
(1996) set. It also has remixes of "What the Hell Have I" and "A Little
Bitter," both originally from the soundtrack to "The Last Action Hero," and a
mix of "Again" that's previously unreleased in the U.S.
Music Bank Track Listing:
1. "Get Born Again" from Nothing Safe Best of the Box; released June 1999
2. "I Can't Have You Blues" (1988 demo) previously unreleased
3. "Whatcha Gonna Do" (1988 demo) previously unreleased
4. "Social Parasite" (1988 demo) previously unreleased
5. "Queen of the Rodeo" (live) recorded Nov. 5, 1990, in Dallas; previously unreleased
6. "Bleed the Freak" (1988 demo) previously unreleased
7. "Killing Yourself" (1988 demo) previously unreleased
8. "We Die Young" from Facelift; released 1990
9. "Man in the Box" from Facelift
10. "Sea of Sorrow" (1988 demo) previously unreleased
11. "I Can't Remember" from Facelift
12. "Love, Hate, Love" from Facelift
13. "It Ain't Like That" from Facelift
14. "Confusion" from Facelift
15. "Rooster" (1991 demo) previously unreleased
16. "Right Turn" from Sap; released 1992; features Ann Wilson, Chris Cornell and Mark Arm
17. "Got Me Wrong" from Sap
1. "Rain When I Die" from Dirt; released 1992
2. "Fear the Voices" previously unreleased
3. "Them Bones" from Dirt
4. "Dam That River" from Dirt
5. "Sickman" from Dirt
6. "Rooster" from Dirt
7. "Junkhead" (1992 demo) previously unreleased
8. "Dirt" from Dirt
9. "God Smack" from Dirt
10. "Iron Gland" unlisted track from Dirt; features Tom Araya
11. "Angry Chair" from Dirt
12. "Lying Season" (demo) previously unreleased
13. "Would?" from Dirt
14. "Brother" from Sap
15. "Am I Inside" from Sap
16. "I Stay Away" from Jar of Flies; released 1994
17. "No Excuses" from Jar of Flies
1. "Down in a Hole" from Dirt
2. "Hate to Feel" from Dirt
3. "What the Hell Have I" (remix) original version on "Last Action Hero" soundtrack, released 1993
4. "A Little Bitter" (remix) original version on "Last Action Hero" soundtrack
5. "Grind" from Alice in Chains; released 1995
6. "Again" (Tattoo of Pain mix) from Alice in Chains; previously unreleased in North America
7. "Head Creeps" from Alice in Chains
8. "God Am" from Alice in Chains
9. "Frogs" from Alice in Chains
10. "Heaven Beside You" from Alice in Chains
11. "Nutshell" from Unplugged; released 1996
12. "The Killer Is Me" from Unplugged
13. "Over Now" from Unplugged
14. "Died" recorded SeptemberOctober 1998; previously unreleased