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Dirt is the second studio album by the American rock band Alice in Chains and was released on September 29, 1992, through Columbia Records. Peaking at number six on the Billboard 200, the album was well received by music critics and has since been certified four-times platinum by the RIAA and has gone on to sell 5 million copies worldwide, making Dirt the band's highest selling album to date. It was the last album to feature bassist Mike Starr before he was dismissed from the band in 1993.
The album spawned five singles: "Would?", "Them Bones", "Angry Chair", "Rooster", and "Down in a Hole". The songs on the album focused on depression, anger, anti-social behavior, drug use, war, death, and other emotionally charged topics.
Background And RecordingEdit
The recording of Dirt began in the spring of 1992. Producer Dave Jerden, who had previously worked with the band on their debut, Facelift, wanted to work with them again. He admired vocalist Layne Staley's lyrics and voice, and lead guitarist Jerry Cantrell's guitar riffs. For the songs "Them Bones", "Rain When I Die", "Down in a Hole", "Dirt", and "Would?", Cantrell brought in his black Gibson Les Paul and an amplifier he had bought when he was seventeen which had much heavier distortion than any amplifier he had used in the past. Dirt was recorded at Eldorado Recording Studio in Burbank, California, London Bridge Studio in Seattle, and One on One Studios in Los Angeles from March to May 1992.
When recording the album, Staley had previously checked out of rehab in Portland, Oregon and quickly went back to using heroin. Drummer Sean Kinney claimed in a 2005 interview that Staley had told Kinney that he was extremely high on heroin and marijuana during the recordings of "Down in a Hole" and "Angry Chair" as well as taking oxycodone for back pain. Cantrell had also agreed with Kinney's report, saying that Staley, Jerden and the rest of the band would smoke marijuana in the studio room, even saying that Staley would shoot heroin in front of everyone. Jerden later said that he was told Staley felt animosity toward him dating back to the Dirt sessions due to Jerden repeatedly recommending to Staley that he get sober at the time. Jerden said, "Apparently he got all mad at me [during the Dirt sessions]...And what's my job as a producer? To produce a record. I'm not getting paid to be Layne's friend."
Staley was not the only one who went through heavy drug use; Sean Kinney and bassist Mike Starr were also struggling with alcohol addiction. Cantrell was also going through severe clinical depression from the deaths of his mother and his friend, Andrew Wood, and used Xanax, an anxiety medication prescribed by his doctor to ease his depression as well as his heavy drinking on tour. "I was going through a tough time, everyone was, but that's what made the album stronger and more intense, I look back on that period of time as the longest four years of sex, drugs and alcohol we all went through," Cantrell said in a 2007 interview with The Seattle Times.
All lyrics written by Layne Staley, except where noted. All music written by Jerry Cantrell, except where noted.
|1.||"Them Bones"||Jerry Cantrell||2:30|
|2.||"Dam That River"||Cantrell||3:09|
|3.||"Rain When I Die"||Cantrell, Sean Kinney, Mike Starr||6:01|
|4.||"Down in a Hole"||Cantrell||5:38|
|10.||"Iron Gland" (Appears without a title, not featured on some editions)||0:43|
|11.||"Hate to Feel" (Track 9 on some editions)||Staley||5:16|
|12.||"Angry Chair" (Track 10 on some editons)||Staley||4:47|