Sap (EP)

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Alice in Chains Sap.jpg
EP by
ReleasedFebruary 4, 1992[1]
RecordedNovember 1991[2]
StudioLondon Bridge Studio, Seattle, Washington
ProducerAlice in Chains and Rick Parashar
Alice in Chains chronology
Singles from Sap
  1. "Got Me Wrong"
    Released: November 1994

Sap is the second studio EP by the American rock band Alice in Chains, released on February 4, 1992, through Columbia Records.[1][3] Sap is mostly acoustic and marks the first time that guitarist Jerry Cantrell sings lead vocals in an Alice in Chains release, with the song "Brother".[4] The EP was produced by Alice in Chains and Rick Parashar and features guest vocals by Ann Wilson of the band Heart, Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and Mark Arm of Mudhoney. The track "Got Me Wrong" became a hit two years later after being featured on the soundtrack to the 1994 film Clerks. On January 14, 1994, Sap was certified gold by the RIAA for the sale of more than 500,000 copies.[5]

Background and recording[edit]

Following the tour for Facelift, Alice in Chains entered the studio to record a song for the Cameron Crowe movie Singles, but decided to turn the engagement to their advantage. As the guitarist Jerry Cantrell recalled: "So in the session that was meant for recording that one song ['Would?'], we ended up demoing about 10 songs, which included all the stuff that ended up on the [1992] Sap EP, 'Rooster' and a couple of others from Dirt.”[6]

While in the studio, drummer Sean Kinney had a dream about "making an EP called Sap."[2] The band decided "not to mess with fate,"[2] and Sap was recorded and mixed in 1991 with producer Rick Parashar at London Bridge Studio.[7]

The EP was recorded in four or five days in November 1991.[8][2]

Music and lyrics[edit]

Lead vocalist Layne Staley encouraged guitarist Jerry Cantrell to sing lead vocals on the EP.[7][4] Cantrell sings lead vocals on "Brother" and splits lead vocals with Staley on "Got Me Wrong".[8]

The EP features guest vocals by Ann Wilson from the band Heart, who joined vocalist Layne Staley and guitarist Jerry Cantrell for the choruses of "Brother" and "Am I Inside". It also features Mark Arm of Mudhoney and Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, who appeared together on the song "Right Turn", credited to "Alice Mudgarden" in the liner notes.[9] The song was featured in the 2001 film Black Hawk Down.[10] It was guitarist Jerry Cantrell who invited Wilson, Cornell and Arm to sing on Sap.[7]

Regarding the lyrical content, Cantrell said he wrote "Brother" about his relationship with his younger brother.[11] The song specifically refers to the period after Cantrell's parents divorced, when his younger brother went off to live with his father while he stayed with his mother, and Cantrell said that the song "was a way of trying to build a bridge."[11] Commenting on "Got Me Wrong", Cantrell said he wrote the song about a relationship where one person thinks he or she can change the other person, and added that the song speaks of "the different ways that men and women see each other."[11]

A version of the song "Rooster" was recorded during the sessions for Sap and was to be included on the EP, but the band then decided to use the song on their second full-length album instead.[6] This version is featured on the band's 1999 box set Music Bank.

The hidden track, "Love Song", described by Cantrell as "the most bizarre song we've ever recorded", was Kinney's idea and all the members switched instruments in the recording. Staley plays drums, Cantrell plays bass, Kinney sings and plays piano and Starr plays guitar.[8]

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[12]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[13]

On February 4, 1992, Alice in Chains released their second EP, Sap. The band did not want any ads or promotion for the EP, they just put it in the stores to see if people would buy it.[7] Cantrell said that Alice in Chains released Sap "without any fuss or fanfare so as the real Alice fans could find it."[11] The EP was released while Nirvana's Nevermind was at the top of the Billboard 200 charts, resulting in a rising popularity of Seattle-based bands, and the term grunge music.[14] Sap was soon certified gold.[5]

The album was re-released on March 21, 1995, when "Got Me Wrong" became a hit after its inclusion on the soundtrack to the 1994 film, Clerks. The re-released version included lyrics and slightly different artwork. The aforementioned song, as well as "Brother," were performed live during Alice in Chains' MTV Unplugged concert.

In addition to the CD, the album was also released in a limited edition double vinyl along with Jar of Flies (Jar of Flies was on sides 1 and 2, Sap was on side 3, and an etching of the Alice in Chains logo was on side 4). In the UK, Sap and Jar of Flies were issued as a double CD, as Sap had not previously had a UK release. In the UK, "Brother" and "Right Turn" were initially released on the "Would" single and "Got Me Wrong" and "Am I Inside" were released on the "Them Bones" single. Hidden track "Love Song" never appeared on a UK single release and was previously unreleased when Sap was released with Jar of Flies.

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics and music written by Jerry Cantrell, except where noted.[15]

1."Brother" 4:27
2."Got Me Wrong" 4:12
3."Right Turn[I]" 3:17
4."Am I Inside"Layne Staley5:09
5."Love Song" (Hidden Track) 3:44
Total length:20:49

"Alice Mudgarden" is Alice in Chains with Mark Arm of Mudhoney and Chris Cornell of Soundgarden. Cantrell and Staley insisted that both Arm and Cornell be involved with a song on the EP.

"Love Song" is a hidden track and there are no credits for it in the album. The ASCAP database lists all four members as songwriters.[16]



Chart (1994) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[17]
with Jar of Flies
Danish Singles (IFPI)[18] 6
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[19]
with Jar of Flies
Chart (2020) Peak
US Billboard 200[20] 134
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[21] 20


Year Single Peak
US Main[22][23] US Mod[24][23]
1994 "Got Me Wrong" 7 22


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[25] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ a b "SAP EP". Retrieved February 4, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d "Alice In Chains Timeline". Archived from the original on October 7, 1999. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  3. ^ Morris, Chris (October 24, 1992). "Alice In Chains Album Races Into Top 10 Despite Bum Leg". Billboard. pp. 17, 22.
  4. ^ a b "Jerry Cantrell Recalls How Alice in Chains Developed Their Twin-Vocal Sound". April 25, 2017. Retrieved February 4, 2020.
  5. ^ a b "SAP - Gold & Platinum - RIAA". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved February 4, 2020.
  6. ^ a b Yates, Henry (November 15, 2006). "The Story Behind The Song: Rooster by Alice In Chains". Classic Rock Magazine. Retrieved February 4, 2020.
  7. ^ a b c d Gilbert, Jeff (January 1993). "Rain Man: Alice in Chains' Jerry Cantrell Cleans Up His Act and Hits Pay Dirt". Guitar World. Vol. 14 no. 1. pp. 30–32.
  8. ^ a b c Katherine, Turman (April 1992). "Alice In Chains' Jerry Cantrell reflects on his band's breakthrough success and Sap, their new, acoustic based EP". Guitar World. Vol. 13 no. 4. pp. 23, 24, 102–104.
  9. ^ "Right Turn" (Media notes). Alice in Chains. Columbia Records. 1992. Buttnugget publishing/Jack Lord Music 67059.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  10. ^ "Alice in Chains. Soundtrack. 'Right Turn'". Internet Movie Database. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved September 13, 2013.
  11. ^ a b c d Liner notes, Music Bank box set. 1999.
  12. ^ Huey, Steve. "Sap review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved July 23, 2009.
  13. ^ Brackett, Nathan. "Alice in Chains". The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. November 2004. pg. 13, cited March 17, 2010
  14. ^ Gill, Chris (September 1999). Dirt. Guitar World.
  15. ^ Sap at Discogs (list of releases). Retrieved September 12, 2013.
  16. ^ "ACE Repertory - Love Song". Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  17. ^ " – Alice in Chains – Jar of Flies %2B SAP". Hung Medien. Retrieved April 10, 2020.
  18. ^ "Top 10 Sales in Europe" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 10 no. 50. December 11, 1993. p. 24. Retrieved April 10, 2020.
  19. ^ " – Alice in Chains – Jar of Flies %2B SAP". Hung Medien. Retrieved April 10, 2020.
  20. ^ "Alice in Chains Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  21. ^ "Alice in Chains Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  22. ^ "Alice in Chains | Chart History. Mainstream Rock". Billboard. Eldridge Industries. March 4, 1995. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  23. ^ a b "Sap – Alice in Chains | Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Archived from the original on November 20, 2013. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  24. ^ "Alice in Chains | Chart History. Alternative Songs". Billboard. Eldridge Industries. January 14, 1995. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  25. ^ "American single certifications – Alice in Chains – Sap". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH.