Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Alice In Chains - Sea of Sorrow

The summer of '91 I attended my second concert ever: Operation Rock and Roll!!! Now I ask you, with a moniker like that, how could it be anything but awesome? It was, if I can do this from memory - Metal Church, Dangerous Toys, Motorhead, Judas Priest (Painkilllllllleeeeerrrrr tour no less) and Alice Fucking Cooper. Holy Old Crow, right? My buddy Zak lived a stone's throw from the (then) World Music Theatre in Tinley Park, IL. He had the obligatory cool uncle who chaperoned us because he himself was a fan of Mr. Cooper. So we had a good old time.

Anyway... On the way out that night they were handing out a casette. Just a simple thing in a cardboard slip-sleeve with a canon on the cover and one song by all the band's that had played the show and a bunch that hadn't. Alice In Chain's Sea of Sorrow was, I think, the third song on the first side. It was the first time I'd ever heard Alice In Chains. You may have noticed, I've been a fan ever since.

I've always liked this song because the use of the piano makes it stand slightly apart from the rest of their catalogue, but without really deviating from their "sound". That sound largely being made up of Cantrell's dark and lush songwriting and the unique harmonies that resulted from his voice with Layne Staley's. Even though Layne died I do believe Cantrell has cracked the code a second time and in a respectful way with what he has going now as Alice In Chains. I don't really care too much for the group's newer video, which I posted and talked a bit about here, but I love the song and can't wait for the record (which, as far as I've been able to ascertain, still does not have a definitive release date).

I also don't care for a lot of the elements of the above video for Sea of Sorrow. I've said before, videos where the band 'plays' irritate me. I get it, why it's done, but THEY'RE NOT PLAYING so it just seems dumb. Be that as it may, in the 90's you couldn't throw a frog without hitting a video with the band playing, unless maybe that frog was aimed at TOOL. Regardless, I love the song, love some of the B&W imagery, and LOVE seeing a young, healthy, LIVING Layne Staley.

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