Unplugged (Alice in Chains album)

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MTV Unplugged
Live album by Alice in Chains
Released July 30, 1996
Recorded April 10, 1996 on MTV Unplugged, Brooklyn, New York
Genre Acoustic rock, alternative rock, grunge
Length 71:26
Label Columbia
Producer Alice in Chains, Alex Coletti, Toby Wright, Audrey Morrissey
Alice in Chains live albums chronology
Unplugged
(1996)
Live
(2000)
Alice in Chains video chronology
The Nona Tapes
(1995)
Unplugged
(1996)
Music Bank: The Videos
(1999)
Singles from Unplugged
  1. "Over Now"
    Released: 1996
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars[1]
Entertainment Weekly C link
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[2]
Sputnik 4.5/5 stars[3]

MTV Unplugged is a live album and DVD by the American rock band Alice in Chains. It was recorded at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Majestic Theatre as part of the MTV Unplugged series of concerts and contains live, acoustic versions of the band's songs and has been certified platinum by the RIAA.

Overview[edit]

Alice in Chains resurfaced on April 10, 1996 to perform their first concert in two and a half years for MTV Unplugged, a program featuring all-acoustic set lists.[4][5] The show first aired on MTV on May 28, 1996. A live album of the performance was released in July 1996, which debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, and was accompanied by a home video release. The album has received platinum certification by the RIAA and the home video release has received gold certification by the RIAA.[6] A full length DVD of the concert was also later released in 1999. The songs "Angry Chair", "Frogs", and "The Killer Is Me" were cut from the original MTV broadcast but are included on both the CD and home video releases. The album was re-released as a CD/DVD package on September 18, 2007.[7]

The performance was one of the band's final appearances with vocalist Layne Staley. The performance featured some of the band's highest charting singles, including "Down in a Hole", "Heaven Beside You", and "Would?", and introduced a new song, "The Killer Is Me".[8] The show marked Alice in Chains' first appearance as a five-piece band, adding second guitarist Scott Olson.[4] It is often hailed as one of the most memorable editions of MTV Unplugged, with a reputation comparable to the famous editions featuring Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Eric Clapton, and Bob Dylan.

Mike Inez's bass had the phrase "Friends Don't Let Friends Get Friends Haircuts..." written on it, directed at the members of Metallica who were in the audience and had recently cut their hair short. Inez and drummer Sean Kinney did pay tribute to Metallica, however, playing the intro to their hit song "Enter Sandman" just before "Sludge Factory". Before "Angry Chair," Jerry Cantrell paid further tribute by playing the intro to "Battery" going into the Hee Haw song, "Gloom, Despair, and Agony on Me". This was omitted from the CD but can be found on the VHS and DVD.

Reception[edit]

The album initially received mixed reviews from critics[citation needed]. Allmusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote in his review of the album: "It doesn't offer anything that the albums don't already. The acoustic arrangements of the harder songs sound like novelties, and the rest sound like rehashes of their previous work, only without much energy."[1] Sandy Masuo of Rolling Stone wrote in her review "Unplugged certainly reaffirms the emotional range and technical prowess of Alice in Chains. But it lacks electricity in more ways than one. The concentrated catharsis in Alice in Chains' music is still best heard with the amps cranked up to 11."[2]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Nutshell"   Jerry Cantrell, Mike Inez, Sean Kinney, Layne Staley 4:58
2. "Brother"   Cantrell 5:27
3. "No Excuses"   Cantrell 4:57
4. "Sludge Factory"   Cantrell, Kinney, Staley 4:36
5. "Down in a Hole"   Cantrell 5:46
6. "Angry Chair" (Cut from MTV Broadcast, included on the re-release) Staley 4:36
7. "Rooster"   Cantrell 6:41
8. "Got Me Wrong"   Cantrell 4:59
9. "Heaven Beside You"   Cantrell, Inez 5:38
10. "Would?"   Cantrell 3:43
11. "Frogs" (Cut from MTV Broadcast, included on the re-release) Cantrell, Inez, Kinney, Staley 7:30
12. "Over Now"   Cantrell, Kinney 7:12
13. "Killer Is Me" (Cut from MTV Broadcast, included on the re-release) Cantrell 5:23
Total length:
71:26
  • The DVD release shows another take of "Sludge Factory," in which Layne Staley mixes up the lyrics at the beginning of the song which is ended shortly after. They then go into the "formal" take which was used on the CD.

Personnel[edit]

Alice in Chains
Additional performer
Production

Chart positions[edit]

Album[edit]

Chart (1996) Peak
position
Australian ARIA Charts[9] 12
Austrian Albums Chart[10] 23
Finnish Albums Chart[11] 13
German Albums Chart[12] 46
Netherlands Albums Chart[13] 33
New Zealand Albums Chart[14] 8
Norwegian Albums Chart[15] 9
Swedish Albums Chart[16] 7
Swiss Albums Chart[17] 41
UK Albums Chart[18] 20
US Billboard 200[6] 3

Singles[edit]

Year Song Peak chart positions
US Main
[8]
US Mod
[8]
1996 "Over Now" 4 24
"Would?" 19
"Down in a Hole" 24
"Nutshell" 15
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.

Video[edit]

Chart (1996) Peak
position
US Top Music Videos[19] 7

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Album review at AllMusic. Retrieved 12 July 2011.
  2. ^ a b Masuo, Sandy (1998-02-02). "Unplugged". Album Reviews. Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2008-10-05. 
  3. ^ "Alice in Chains MTV Unplugged". Rock music reviews. Sputnikmusic. 2012-03-31. Retrieved 2012-11-29. 
  4. ^ a b Perota, Joe (Director) (1996-04-15). Unplugged - Alice in Chains (Television production). New York City: MTV. Archived from the original on 2007-02-17. 
  5. ^ "Alice in Chains Concert Chronology: MTV Unplugged Session". John Bacus. Retrieved 2007-12-12. 
  6. ^ a b "Alice in Chains - Artist chart History". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2007-11-09. 
  7. ^ ALICE IN CHAINS: 'MTV Unplugged' Re-Release To Include Unaired Footage
  8. ^ a b c "Artist Chart History – Alice in Chains". Billboard charts. Retrieved 2008-02-14. 
  9. ^ "Discography Alice in Chains". Australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2009-07-19. 
  10. ^ "Discography Alice in Chains" (in German). Austriancharts.at. Retrieved 2008-02-14. 
  11. ^ "Discography Alice in Chains" (in Finnish). Finnishcharts.com. Retrieved 2008-02-14. 
  12. ^ "Discography Alice in Chains". musicline.de. Retrieved 2009-07-19. 
  13. ^ "Discografie Alice in Chains" (in Dutch). Dutchchars.nl. Retrieved 2008-02-14. 
  14. ^ "Discography Alice in Chains". Charts.org.nz. Retrieved 2008-02-14. 
  15. ^ "Discography Alice in Chains" (in Norwegian). Norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved 2008-02-14. 
  16. ^ "Discography Alice in Chains" (in Swedish). Swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 2008-02-14. 
  17. ^ "Discography Alice in Chains" (in German). Hitparade.ch. Retrieved 2008-02-14. 
  18. ^ Roberts, David, ed. (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). HIT Entertainment. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  19. ^ "Top Music Video – Unplugged". Billboard charts. Retrieved 2008-02-14. [dead link]

External links[edit]