Such a brilliant song. I'm very proud of Layne for writing it. When I've stepped up vocally in the past he's been so supportive, and here was a fine example of him stepping up with the guitar and writing a masterpiece.
"Angry Chair" was released as a single in 1992. "Angry Chair" peaked at number 34 on the BillboardMainstream Rock Tracks chart and at number 27 on the BillboardModern Rock Tracks chart. It is notable for being the only song by the band to chart higher on the Modern Rock Tracks chart than on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and most Alice in Chains singles usually either fail to enter the Modern Rock chart or chart lower. The UK single was released in May 1993. "Angry Chair" reached the top 40 in the UK and the top 30 in Ireland.
Ned Raggett of Allmusic said that "Layne Staley and Jerry Cantrell unsurprisingly are the ones who transform the song into something really spectacular" and added that the song features "entrancing verses, ominous, echo-swathed and charged with a looming destruction."
Dirt marked the introduction of Staley's guitar playing contributions to the group, and "Angry Chair" was one of the few songs he regularly played guitar on during live performances. The song is also a fan favorite. The ending to the song was often used as a lead in to another famous Alice in Chains song "Man in the Box" in concert. The current members of Alice in Chains performed an acoustic version of "Angry Chair" with ex-Stone Temple Pilots/ex-Velvet Revolver lead singer Scott Weiland in concert on September 30, 2007 in Austin, Texas.
Alice in Chains performed an acoustic version of "Angry Chair" for its appearance on MTV Unplugged in 1996 (although the song was omitted from the aired performance) and the song was included on the Unplugged live album and home video release. Live performances of the song can also be found on the "Heaven Beside You" and "Get Born Again" singles and the live album Live.