Heaven Beside You

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"Heaven Beside You"
Single by Alice in Chains
from the album Alice in Chains
Released 1996
Format CD, vinyl
Recorded April – August 1995 at Bad Animals Studio in Seattle, Washington
Genre Grunge
Length 5:27
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Lyrics: Jerry Cantrell
Music: Jerry Cantrell & Mike Inez
Alice in Chains singles chronology
"Heaven Beside You"
"Over Now"
Alice in Chains track listing
"Sludge Factory"
(Track 3)
"Heaven Beside You"
(Track 4)
"Head Creeps"
(Track 5)

"Heaven Beside You" is a song by Alice in Chains, from their third album Alice in Chains (1995). The song was included on the compilation albums Music Bank (1999), Greatest Hits (2001), and The Essential Alice in Chains (2006).


"Heaven Beside You" was written and sung by guitarist Jerry Cantrell with Layne Staley doing harmonies during the chorus. The song is a mid-tempo song that contrasts the general overall "heaviness" of Alice in Chains' eponymous album.


"Heaven Beside You" was written by Jerry Cantrell after the break-up with his girlfriend of seven years.[1] Cantrell was unable to remain faithful to the woman who he described as "the most beautiful girl I've ever seen in my life," and added, "I still love her, but I'm too much of a fucking wolf—kill, attack, move on...It's so tough when you're so used to being hard. You can't tell an oak tree to be a pine."[1] In the liner notes of 1999's Music Bank box set collection, Jerry Cantrell said of the song:

Another attempt to reconcile the fact that my life and paths are tearing me apart from the person I love. All the things I write about her are a way for me to maybe speak to her, express things I could never express.[2]

Release and reception[edit]

"Heaven Beside You" was released as a single in 1996. "Heaven Beside You" peaked at number 52 on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart, making it Alice in Chains' second-highest charting single after "No Excuses". "Heaven Beside You" peaked at number three on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and at number six on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. "Heaven Beside You" reached the top 40 in the UK.

Allmusic's Steve Huey regarded the song "among the band's best work."[3] Ned Raggett of Allmusic said that the song "continued in the vein of Jar of Flies with its lead acoustic riff and generally low-key presentation" and added that "Cantrell's electric work is some of his best, moving beyond the admittedly powerful blasts of feedback he was known for to find a new, textured approach that balanced volume with a richer, less oppressive feel."[4]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Heaven Beside You" was released in 1996 and was directed by Frank W. Ockenfels III. The video is available on the home video release Music Bank: The Videos.

Live performances[edit]

Alice in Chains performed an acoustic version of "Heaven Beside You" for its appearance on MTV Unplugged in 1996 and the song was included on the Unplugged live album and home video release.

Appearances in other media[edit]

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

Track listing[edit]

Version one
No. Title Length
1. "Heaven Beside You"   5:27
2. "Would?" (live) 3:27
3. "Rooster" (live) 6:15
4. "Junkhead" (live) 5:09
Version two
No. Title Length
1. "Heaven Beside You"   5:27
2. "Angry Chair" (live) 4:24
3. "Man in the Box" (live) 5:46
4. "Love, Hate, Love" (live) 7:50


Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1996) Peak
Canadian RPM Alternative 30[5] 7
UK Singles Chart[6] 35
US Billboard Hot 100 Airplay[7] 52
US Mainstream Rock Tracks[8] 3
US Modern Rock Tracks[8] 6


  1. ^ a b Wiederhorn, Jon (February 8, 1996). "To Hell and Back". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2011-04-24. 
  2. ^ Liner notes, Music Bank box set. 1999.
  3. ^ Huey, Steve. "Alice in Chains". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-05-29. 
  4. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Heaven Beside You". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-02-27. 
  5. ^ "Rock/Alternative – Volume 62, No. 26, February 12, 1996". RPM. Retrieved 2012-04-22. 
  6. ^ Roberts, David, ed. (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). HIT Entertainment. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  7. ^ "Billboard chart search: Alice In Chains "Heaven Beside You"". Billboard charts. Archived from the original (XML) on August 11, 2011. Retrieved July 16, 2010. 
  8. ^ a b "Alice in Chains > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved July 18, 2010. 

External links[edit]