Check My Brain

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"Check My Brain"
Single by Alice in Chains
from the album Black Gives Way to Blue
Released August 17, 2009 (2009-08-17)
Format Digital download
Recorded October 23, 2008 (2008-10-23)[1]-March 18, 2009 (2009-03-18)[2] at Studio 606 in Northridge, California
Genre Alternative metal, heavy metal
Length 3:57
Label Virgin/EMI
Writer(s) Jerry Cantrell
Producer(s) Nick Raskulinecz
Alice in Chains singles chronology
"A Looking in View"
(2009)
"Check My Brain"
(2009)
"Your Decision"
(2009)
Black Gives Way to Blue track listing
"All Secrets Known"
(Track 1)
"Check My Brain"
(Track 2)
"Last of My Kind"
(Track 3)

"Check My Brain" is a song by the American rock band Alice in Chains, featured on their fourth studio album Black Gives Way to Blue (2009). It was released as the second single from the album on August 17, 2009.[3] The single topped the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks and Billboard Rock Songs charts in September 2009.[4] This was the first time an Alice in Chains song would hit #1 on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart since their 1994 single "No Excuses". "Check My Brain" received a nomination for "Best Hard Rock Performance" at the 52nd Grammy Awards. It was also their first #1 on the Alternative Songs chart.

Lyrics[edit]

"Check My Brain" features the lyric "California's all right/Somebody check my brain...".[5] The chords in the chorus are F5, E♭5, B♭5, A♭5, B♭5, C5, F5.[6] The lyric is in reference to guitarist Jerry Cantrell moving to Los Angeles, California in 2003, with Cantrell commenting, "I like how I am right now...and I like where I'm living."[5]

Cantrell on the song:

There's a certain aspect of sarcasm, I guess, being a guy from Seattle who lives in L.A., ex-drug addict who lives in the belly of the beast and doesn't partake, and being totally cool with that...It's like being the bad gambler and living in Vegas. It's right there. It's just the irony of that and a little bit of sarcasm. And it's not putting this place down at all. It's just kind of like, 'Wow, you know, check my brain, wow.'[7]

Release and reception[edit]

On August 12, 2009, the band released a 30 second sample of the new single.[8] On August 14, 2009, the full version of the song was released to radio stations. On August 17, 2009, "Check My Brain" was released as the second single from the album and as of October 10, 2009, it has peaked at number 92 on the Billboard Hot 100, and at number one on the Billboard rock charts — Rock Songs, Alternative Songs and Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks.[9] In Canada, the song reached the top 70 on the Canadian Hot 100.

The song was released as downloadable content for the Rock Band and Rock Band 2 music video games for the Xbox 360, Wii and PlayStation 3 consoles, as part of Alice In Chains Pack 01, which also includes older hits "Rooster", "Would?", and "No Excuses", along with "A Looking in View", also from Black Gives Way to Blue. It was added to the Xbox Live Marketplace and in-game Music Store for the Wii on September 29 and it was added to the PlayStation Network on October 1.

The song was featured in the Season 4 premiere of the Showtime series Californication.

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Check My Brain" premiered on September 14, 2009 and was directed by Alexandre Courtes.[10] The video shows the band in a discolored setting in Los Angeles, California where Cantrell moved in 2003.

Live performances[edit]

Alice in Chains debuted "Check My Brain" on August 1, 2009 in Marlay Park, Dublin, Ireland. They played it again the next day at the Sonisphere Festival in Knebworth Park, Stevenage, United Kingdom, and again two days later on August 4, 2009 at The Scala in London. It has been a staple at concerts during the band's 2009-2010 tour.

Personnel[edit]

Production

Chart performance[edit]

"Check My Brain" has become one of the band's most commercially successful singles of their career, especially on rock radio. This was their second number one on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, after 1994's "No Excuses". It became their first number-one song on the Alternative Songs chart and also topped Billboard's Rock Songs chart, which combines mainstream and alternative rock airplay. "Check My Brain" debuted at #99 of the Hot 100 on the chart issue of October 3, 2009, peaking at #92. In addition, it has charted on the Canadian Hot 100, reaching #62.

Positions[edit]

Chart (2009) Peak
position
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[11] 62
Polish Singles Chart[12] 16
US Billboard Hot 100[13] 92
US Hot Rock Songs (Billboard)[14] 1
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)[15] 1
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[16] 1

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Alice in Chains Working With Rush/Foo Fighters Producer". Blabbermouth.net. 2008-10-23. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  2. ^ "Alice In Chains Set To Release First Album In 14 Years". Ultimate-Guitar.com. 2009-04-09. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  3. ^ "Alice in Chains Confirm "Check My Brain" Release Date & More". grungereport.net. 2009-07-26. Retrieved 2009-07-30. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Rock Songs". Billboard. Retrieved September 2009
  5. ^ a b "A studio visit with Alice in Chains". Los Angeles Times. 2009-04-25. Retrieved 2009-07-04. 
  6. ^ "Alice in Chains "Check My Brain" Guitar Center Sessions on DIRECTV". 
  7. ^ "Alice in Chains To Headline 99.5 KISS FM 'Bone Bash' - Aug. 17, 2009". Blabbermouth.net. 2009-08-17. Retrieved 2009-08-19. 
  8. ^ "Alice In Chains Posts "Check My Brain" Clip Online". metalunderground.com. 2009-08-12. Retrieved 2009-08-12. 
  9. ^ "Chart Beat Wednesday: Alice In Chains, Jason Aldean, Katy Perry". Billboard. 2009-08-26. Retrieved 2009-08-26. 
  10. ^ "'Check My Brain' Video To Premiere On Monday". Blabbermouth.net. 2009-09-11. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  11. ^ "Alice in Chains Album & Song Chart History" Canadian Hot 100 for Alice in Chains.
  12. ^ "Polish Singles Chart |". 
  13. ^ "Alice in Chains Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Alice in Chains.
  14. ^ "Alice in Chains Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot Rock Songs for Alice in Chains.
  15. ^ "Alice in Chains Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs for Alice in Chains.
  16. ^ "Alice in Chains Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Alternative Songs for Alice in Chains.