Would?

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"Would?"
Single by Alice in Chains
from the album Dirt
Released September 7, 1992
Format CD single, cassette, vinyl
Recorded March–May 1992 at Eldorado Recording Studios, Burbank, California; London Bridge Studio, Seattle, Washington; One on One Studios, Los Angeles, California
Genre Grunge,[1] alternative metal[2]
Length 3:27
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Jerry Cantrell
Producer(s) Alice in Chains, Rick Parashar
Alice in Chains singles chronology
"Sea of Sorrow"
(1992)
"Would?"
(1992)
"Them Bones"
(1992)
Dirt track listing
"Down in a Hole"
(Track 12)
"Would?"
(Track 13)
Audio sample
file info · help

"Would?" is a song by Alice in Chains that was produced, engineered, and mixed by Rick Parashar. The song first appeared on the soundtrack to the 1992 movie Singles—in which the members of Alice in Chains make a cameo appearance—and later appeared on the band's album Dirt, also released in 1992. The song was included on the compilation albums Nothing Safe: Best of the Box (1999), Music Bank (1999), Greatest Hits (2001), and The Essential Alice in Chains (2006).

Lyrics[edit]

The song, written by guitarist/co-vocalist Jerry Cantrell, concerns the late lead singer of Mother Love Bone, Andrew Wood, who died of a heroin overdose in 1990. In the liner notes of 1999's Music Bank box set collection, Jerry Cantrell said of the song:

I was thinking a lot about Andrew Wood at the time. We always had a great time when we did hang out, much like Chris Cornell and I do. There was never really a serious moment or conversation, it was all fun. Andy was a hilarious guy, full of life and it was really sad to lose him. But I always hate people who judge the decisions others make. So it was also directed towards people who pass judgments.[3]

Release and reception[edit]

“Would?” was released as a single in 1992, coinciding with the release of the movie Singles. The song peaked at number 19 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. The UK single was released in January 1993[4] and reached the top twenty in the UK and the top forty in the Netherlands. It is one of the band's most well-known songs.[5]

Steve Huey of Allmusic said that the song is "a touch more melancholy than many of the group's best-known rockers" and "one of the band's most fully realized individual moments."[6] James Hunter of Rolling Stone called the song "a Seattle song that in 1999 evokes no grunge nostalgia. It's timeless, one of the most stylish singles of the decade, the work of a band which understands that life gets way out of hand but that first-rate rock recordings can't."[7] The song was named one of the top tracks of the 1990s by Pitchfork Media in 2010.[1]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Would?" was released in 1992 and was co-directed by Cameron Crowe and Josh Taft. The music video won the award for Best Video from a Film at the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards.[8] The video is available on the home video release Music Bank: The Videos.

Live performances[edit]

Alice in Chains performed an acoustic version of "Would?" for its appearance on MTV Unplugged in 1996, 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" single and the live album, Live.

Cover versions[edit]

The song was covered by Opeth on their single "Burden", a song from their 2008 album Watershed.

Fictional band Queens of Dogtown covered "Would?" on the television series Californication. The song was also featured on the soundtrack to the show's fourth season.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Would?"   3:27
2. "Man in the Box"   4:46
3. "Brother"   4:27
4. "Right Turn"   3:17

Personnel[edit]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1992-3) Peak
position
Canadian RPM Rock/Alternative Chart[9] 21
Dutch Singles Chart[10] 33
UK Singles Chart[11] 19
US Mainstream Rock Tracks[12] 19

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The Top 200 Tracks of the 1990s: 200-151". Retrieved 2010-10-18. 
  2. ^ Robinson, Joe. "Top 11 Metal Albums of the 1990s". Loudwire.
  3. ^ Liner notes, Music Bank box set. 1999.
  4. ^ Strong, M. C. (1998). The Great Rock Discography. Giunti. p. 87. ISBN 88-09-21522-2. 
  5. ^ "spreadit.org music". Retrieved February 5, 2009. 
  6. ^ Huey, Steve. "Would?". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2009-02-27. 
  7. ^ Hunter, James (1999-09-02). "Nothing Safe: Best of the Box". Album Reviews. Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2008-10-05. 
  8. ^ "1993 MTV Video Music Awards". Rockonthenet.com. Retrieved 2007-12-08. 
  9. ^ "Rock/Alternative - Volume 64, No. 13, November 11, 1996". RPM. Retrieved 2010-07-30. 
  10. ^ "Discografie Alice in Chains" (in Dutch). Dutchchars.nl. Retrieved 2008-02-14. 
  11. ^ "Alice in Chains UK Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2013-09-12. 
  12. ^ "Dirt - Alice in Chains : Awards (Billboard Singles)". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2013-09-12. 

External links[edit]