Grind (song)

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Alice In Chains Grind.jpg
Single by Alice in Chains
from the album Alice in Chains
Released October 6, 1995[1]
Format CD, vinyl
Recorded April–August 1995 at Bad Animals Studio in Seattle, Washington
Length 4:45
Label Columbia
Songwriter(s) Jerry Cantrell
Producer(s) Toby Wright, Alice in Chains
Alice in Chains singles chronology
"Got Me Wrong"
"Heaven Beside You"
"Got Me Wrong"
"Heaven Beside You"
Alice in Chains track listing
(Track 1)
"Brush Away"
(Track 2)

"Grind" is a song by American rock band Alice in Chains. It is the opening track and the lead single from their album Alice in Chains (1995). The single spent 16 weeks on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks chart[2] and peaked at No. 7.[2] 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). Jerry Cantrell sings lead vocals on the song with Layne Staley harmonizing with him. "Grind" was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1996.


Written by guitarist/vocalist Jerry Cantrell, "Grind" addresses the various rumors that surrounded the band at the time. The opening lines, "In the darkest hole, you'd be well advised/Not to plan my funeral before the body dies", address the rumors that the band had broken up and the many rumors of vocalist Layne Staley's death that had occurred frequently around this time. In the liner notes of 1999's Music Bank box set collection, Jerry Cantrell said of the song:

That was pretty much at the height of publicity about canceled tours, heroin, amputations, everything, thus it was another "FUCK YOU for saying something about my life" song. Any single rumor you can imagine, I've heard. I've been dead a few times, Layne's been dead countless times and lost limbs. I get on the phone every time I hear a new one, "Hey Layne, radio in New York says you lost two more fingers." "Oh really? Cool." I'd spoof The Six Million Dollar Man; "Since technology's moved on it only cost us 2 million to put Layne back together and we got better parts."[3]

Release and reception[edit]

"Grind" was written by guitarist/vocalist Jerry Cantrell.

An early cut of the song was leaked to radio prematurely, so the band released it via satellite uplink a few days later, on October 6, 1995, to combat illegal versions being played in rotation.[1]

The song peaked at number seven on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart,[2] number 18 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks and reached the top 30 in the UK.

"Grind" was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1996.[4]

Editorial reviews frequently singled out the dark, compelling lyrics of the song. Jon Wiederhorn of Rolling Stone noted, "'Grind' shimmers and shudders beneath a web of trippy wah-wah guitar and half-distorted vocal harmonies, and features one of the album's many hook-filled choruses."[5]

Allmusic's Steve Huey regarded the song "among the band's best work" but also noted that the less refined tracks on the album make the defiance of "Grind" sound "more like denial."[6]

Regarding band rumors, Jon Pareles of The New York Times commented that the song advises against believing "what you may have heard and what you think you know."[7]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Grind" was released in November 1995.[8] It was directed by Rocky Schenck, who had previously directed the "We Die Young", "Them Bones", and "What the Hell Have I" music videos for the band.[9] The video was shot at Hollywood National Studios from October 8 to October 21, 1995.[9] It is a live-action video with animated sequences featuring the band underground of an old building where Sunshine the Dog is. The dog in the video is not the same dog on the cover of Alice in Chains' self-titled album, and contrary to false information spread on the internet, it did not belong to Jerry Cantrell either. It was a different dog hired just for the video according to Cantrell.[10] The old man in the video was played by actor Richard Stretchberry.[11]

The video received heavy rotation on MTV in late 1995 and early 1996, and it is available on the home video releases The Nona Tapes (1995)[12] and Music Bank: The Videos (1999).[13]

Appearances in other media[edit]

The song was released as downloadable content for the Rock Band video game series on January 12, 2010.[14]

Cover versions[edit]

It was later covered by alternative metal band Hurt at the Layne Staley Tribute 2008.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Grind" 4:45
2. "So Close" 2:45
3. "Nutshell" 4:19
4. "Love, Hate, Love" 6:26


Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1995) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[15] 77
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[16] 53
Canada Rock/Alternative (RPM)[17] 3
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[18] 23
UK Rock and Metal (Official Charts Company)[19] 1
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)[20] 7
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[21] 18


  1. ^ a b "Alice In Chains Timeline". Archived from the original on October 7, 1999. Retrieved April 10, 2018. 
  2. ^ a b c "Alice in Chains Chart History – Grind". Billboard. Retrieved November 7, 2017. 
  3. ^ Liner notes, Music Bank box set. 1999.
  4. ^ "38th Grammy Awards – 1996". Retrieved 2007-12-08. 
  5. ^ WIEDERHORN, JON (November 30, 1995). "Alice in Chains". Album Reviews. Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2008-10-05. 
  6. ^ Huey, Steve. "Alice in Chains". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-05-29. 
  7. ^ PARELES, JON (December 3, 1995). "RECORDINGS VIEW;Alice in Chains Finds Persecutors All Around". Arts. The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-05. 
  8. ^ "The 120 Minutes Archive". Retrieved November 7, 2017. 
  9. ^ a b de Sola, David (2015). Alice in Chains: The Untold Story. St. Martin's Press. p. 236. ISBN 1466848391. 
  10. ^ "Jerry Cantrell on the three-legged dog on the cover of Alice in Chains' 1995 album and 'Grind' video". YouTube. Retrieved November 7, 2017. 
  11. ^ "Alice In Chains - Grind (1995)". IMVDb. Retrieved April 4, 2018. 
  12. ^ "Alice In Chains - The Nona Tapes". YouTube. Retrieved April 4, 2018. 
  13. ^ "Alice In Chains – Music Bank - The Videos". Discogs. Retrieved April 4, 2018. 
  14. ^ "Rock Band Add Alice in Chains Five Pack". IGN. January 8, 2010. Retrieved November 7, 2017. 
  15. ^ "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles Chart – Week Ending 10 Dec 1995". (original document published by ARIA). Retrieved July 19, 2017.  N.B. The HP column displays the highest peak reached.
  16. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 2851." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  17. ^ "Top RPM Rock/Alternative Tracks: Issue 2820." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  18. ^ "Alice in Chains: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  19. ^ "Official Rock & Metal Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  20. ^ "Alice in Chains Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  21. ^ "Alice in Chains Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved November 6, 2016.

External links[edit]