News Segment


January 27, 2004

NEW YORK (Billboard) – The legacy of Seattle rock act Alice in Chains will be celebrated on a two-disc retrospective, “The Essential,” due March 16 from Columbia/Legacy.

A stalwart of rock radio in the 1990s, the group was an undeniable influence on such recent acts as Staind and Godsmack, the latter of whom is named after an Alice in Chains song.

Beyond familiar songs such as “Them Bones,” “Rooster,” “No Excuses,” “Heaven Beside You,” “Would?” and “I Stay Away,” the 29-track set sports two contributions to the 1993 “Last Action Hero” soundtrack (“What the Hell Have I,” “A Little Bitter”) that have been remixed by producer Toby Wright. Also included are two cuts from the group’s 1996 “Unplugged” release and the 1999 boxed set “Music Bank.”

Singer Layne Staley’s struggles with drug abuse had derailed Alice in Chains by the release of its 1995 self-titled album, the last it would record. He was rarely seen in public in the ensuing years and was found dead of a drug overdose on April 19, 2002, in Seattle.

Columbia previously issued a 10-track Alice in Chains “Greatest Hits” package in July 2001.

Jonathan Cohen courtesy of Billboard