Nutshell (song)

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Song by Alice in Chains from the album Jar of Flies
Released January 25, 1994
Recorded 1993
Genre Alternative rock, acoustic rock, grunge
Length 4:19
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Layne Staley, Jerry Cantrell, Mike Inez, Sean Kinney
Producer(s) Alice in Chains, Toby Wright
Jar of Flies track listing
"Rotten Apple"
(Track 1)
(Track 2)
"I Stay Away"
(Track 3)
Tempo: 128 bpm

"Nutshell" is a song by Alice in Chains that originally appeared on the band's 1994 critically acclaimed extended play Jar of Flies. "Nutshell" is also known for having opened the band's performance on MTV Unplugged in 1996. This rendition of the song was included on the compilation album Music Bank (1999), as well as The Essential Alice in Chains (2006).[1]


Although never released as a single, it is still today one of Alice in Chains' best-known songs. The song is notable for its emotional acoustic instrumentation and its electric guitar solo, as well as its dark lyrics dealing with loneliness, despair, and death. The lyrics are also thought to be an expression of Staley's frustration with lack of privacy. It is considered a staple of 1990s alternative rock despite not hitting a single U.S. Billboard chart or any charts around the world.


The song has been covered by numerous bands including Staind,[2] who included a live version of "Nutshell" on its greatest hits album. In 2006, Shinedown and Seether covered the song together.[3] Adema covered "Nutshell" on its 2002 EP Insomniac's Dream. Corey Taylor, vocalist for the bands Slipknot and Stone Sour, also played an acoustic version of the song.[4] HURT performed an acoustic cover, opening their act, at the Layne Staley Tribute in 2008.[5] An instrumental version was recorded by Ukrainian pianist Viktoriya Yermolyeva in the 2000s.

Sully Erna of the band Godsmack covered the song on his solo tour in 2013 dedicating it to a number of famous musicians who have left a big legacy after they have died with their names being displayed on the projector screen as he played the song. The names including Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Dimebag Darrell, Freddie Mercury, Jimi Hendrix, Amy Winehouse, Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Bon Scott, and AIC's own Layne Staley to name a few.

American alternative country artist Ryan Adams released a limited edition cover version in 2011.

City and Colour frontman Dallas Green covered the song in 2013.[6]