Posts Tagged ‘Layne Staley’

For at least two months after Chris Cornell died a year ago, I didn’t listen to any Soundgarden music or any other Cornell music at all.

And I avoided all videos or Cornell-related content.

I wrote something here right after his death was announced: and something a few months later when Cornell’s friend Chester Bennington committed suicide on Cornell’s birthday.

But, aside from that, I went cold-turkey. I was too upset, too emotional, about Cornell to carry on business as usual: and business as usual, for me, would’ve been to be listening to Soundgarden or Audioslave tracks or albums at least once or twice a week. (more…)

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aliceinchains_layne_dog

Yep, another of those ’20 year anniversary’ posts that I’ve done too many of here already.
But worth it for Alice in Chains, who remain one of my favorite acts in the world and whose 1995 album – the self-titled or ‘Dog’ album – is now two decades old.

I actually think the Dog album is very underrated even among AIC fans, who tend to rave about 1992’s Dirt album or 91’s breakthrough Facelift record and tend to neglect the 1995 release.

This record resonates for a combination of reasons. It was the last AIC album made with singer Layne Staley, who died in 2002, and therefore the last ‘proper’ AIC album of you’re inclined to look at it that way. It also displays AIC, I believe, at their most nuanced as songwriters. But more than anything else, it is just a great record, full of great music. (more…)

layne_sajmade

Someone, via social media, criticised me for writing such a long piece about Kurt Cobain‘s death and not saying anything about Layne Staley (who by strange twists of fate also died on April 5th, though eight years later).

The reason I wrote something about Kurt was because it was specifically the 20th year since his death, whereas Layne died twelve years ago, which doesn’t have the same resonance to it as a passage of time.

For the record, I did refer to Layne in the Kurt post. However, I’m saying a little more here about Layne’s passing too, as he was someone else I really had a huge amount of love for (and still do).

(more…)

1463175_10202343377967927_660474011_ALEXANDRAPALACE

Over 20 years since the earth-shattering Dirt album, Alice in Chains are not only still going strong, but may just be the greatest band on the face of the earth…

It still seems extraordinary to me how much incredibly powerful rock music was made in the nineties, not just coming out of the Seattle scene, but all across the broader alternative landscape (everything from bands like Smashing Pumpkins and the Chilli Peppers in the US to Manic Street Preachers and Radiohead in the UK, and then solo artists like PJ Harvey and Tori Amos, with everything in-between). The depth and the enduring power of some of the music made at that time makes one wonder if there was something in the water; certainly there hasn’t been anything like it since – moments of scattered greatness and revelation here and there, yes, but not anything like that degree of brilliant music being made by a range of brilliant artists in a short space of time. (more…)