Fear the Voices
|"Fear the Voices"|
|Single by Alice in Chains|
|from the album Music Bank|
|Recorded||March–May 1992 at Eldorado Recording Studios, Burbank, California; London Bridge Studio, Seattle, Washington; One on One Studios, Los Angeles, California|
|Genre||Heavy metal, grunge, alternative metal|
|Writer(s)||Mike Starr, Jerry Cantrell, Layne Staley|
|Producer(s)||Dave Jerden, Alice in Chains|
|Alice in Chains singles chronology|
"Fear the Voices" is the last single that Alice in Chains released with vocalist Layne Staley and the only single that was co-written by bassist Mike Starr. The song was included on the box set Music Bank (1999).
Origin and recording
"Fear the Voices" is an outtake from the Dirt album, recorded in 1992. The song would remain unreleased until 1999, when it was released on the Music Bank box set and also issued as a promotional single.
According to Dirt producer Dave Jerden, the song was primarily written by then Alice In Chains bassist Mike Starr  and, Mike himself claimed, Eddie Van Halen - while on the Facelift tour opening for Van Halen (although the Music Bank insert credits Starr, guitarist Jerry Cantrell and vocalist Layne Staley as all contributing to the song).
|“||At that point they were having problems with Mike Starr. Mike Starr had a song that he wanted on the album, and they didn’t wanna put it on the album. Layne sang on it, and Mike said Layne didn’t sing it right and Layne got really mad.||”|
Starr provided further details:
|“||I wrote a song called “Fear the Voices.” We did record it, but they didn’t let it on the album because Jerry didn’t have nothin’ to do with the writing of the music. But they put it on the box set later, and it got some recognition and got played on the radio.||”|
Another cool song from that demo for the Crowe movie. Thinking about it now, that was a fruitful tape! We got "Would?" for the movie, part of Sap and we got started on the Dirt, so the tune itself was a good song, but we were just turning to the height of our blackness.
The song seems to be anti-censorship, making reference to then Washington state governor Booth Gardner's March 20, 1992 signing of a bill that would impose a jail term to anyone caught selling an album a judge would deem "erotic" to a minor. Prior to the signing, MTV had publicized Gardner's office phone number, bringing in over 4,000 faxed signatures (mostly against the bill). This incident is directly referenced in the song's lyric, "So they put your number on the television, Mr. Gardner/A messed up generation put the pressure on you/You're a coward," and, "Fear the voices you hear today/If you steal our choices, we'll blow you away."
Release and reception
- Layne Staley – lead vocals
- Jerry Cantrell – vocals, lead guitar
- Mike Starr – bass
- Sean Kinney – drums
|US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)||11|
- Prato, Greg. Grunge is Dead : The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music. p. 261. April 2009.
- Liner notes, Music Bank box set. 1999.
- "Parental Warning Labels Differ for Different Companies". Apnewsarchive.com. 1992-05-12. Retrieved 2016-07-27.
- "Full text of "Music lyrics and commerce : hearings before the Subcommittee on Commerce, Comsumer Protection, and Competitiveness of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, second session, February 11 and May 5, 1994"". Archive.org. Retrieved 2016-07-27.
- "Alice in Chains – Chart history" Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs for Alice in Chains. Retrieved November 7, 2016.