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Song of the Day: Alice in Chains' "Don't Follow"

Published May 2, 2012 12:30 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Big Four of the Seattle scene in the early 1990's were Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, and Soundgarden.

Although I always preferred the more cathcy PJ and Nirvana to the others, Alice in Chain's album "Dirt" is one of best albums to come from that era — a harrowing account of life under the influence, and a chilling foreshadowing of what would later happen to lead singer Layne Staley and to one-time SLC resident Mike Starr. The first four songs off of "Dirt" constitute what may be the best opening four songs off any record made in the 1990's. (For my high school newspaper, though, I panned it at the time and received my first correction when I mistakenly labeled Jerry Cantrell as the lead singer. The liner notes were no help, by the way — both he and Staley were listed as "vocals/guitar.")

In 1994, the EP "Jar of Flies" was released, though Starr was out of the band at this point. While "I Stay Away" and "No Excuses" got the most attention, I remember listening to "Don't Follow," near the end of the album, over and over again when I stayed at my sponsor family's house on certain long weekends away from the Academy. It reminded me of how homesick I was. It's also a great example of gutairist Cantrell's singing, with Staley only singing the bridge. In way, it was redemption for my earlier correction.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzn0h5r8gYU

And here is the same track, posted as a tribute to Staley: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EsQXaMqcpo