Black Gives Way To Blue image

Black Gives Way To Blue

2009, 13 tracks, 1 hour 1 min 4 sec

Narratives(1)

May 24, 2019

Life Goes On, or How I Got Taught a Valuable Life Lesson from Alice In Chains

There are a few things in life that are always certain. Death and taxes, obviously, but also the fact that it always goes on. You can keep up or to cling to the past, life will nonetheless move forward whether you like it or not. You, and only you, decide if you want to be left behind or not. We have all been there; faced a terrible loss that made us want to move backwards in time, just a little bit, and stay right there. But it won’t happen. All we can do is accept it and move forward. Throughout history, this has been a hard fact for many musical acts to face. There are countless examples of bands that never quite recuperated after the death of a band member. Some have been largely forgotten in the wake of the loss. Others have posthumously become more renowned than they ever were as an active band. It’s hard to say what factors place a band in either category, but most of the times, it’s something that the band members themselves cannot rule over. The only thing they actually can do is to make an effort not to qualify in either one of the categories. And with “Black Gives Way To Blue”, Alice In Chains decided to do just that. This was their first album in fourteen years, and the first one after the death of iconic lead singer Layne Staley. I remember when the album was about to come out. The months leading up to the release. Reading the articles in magazines such as Classic Rock and Metal Hammer, where the journalists all agreed that this was indeed a worthy comeback album. But the doubt still lingered in my mind. Could it really be? Did they know what they were talking about? More importantly, would it matter to me? After all, what attracted me to the classic Alice In Chains albums “Facelift” and “Dirt” was Layne Staley. His shattered voice, the primal self-loathing that he channeled in his vocal delivery and the almost-too-honest lyrics about being a drug addict who wanted to quit using, but couldn’t muster the strength to do it. To me, Alice In Chains was about true darkness, rooted in the personal experiences of Layne Staley. How were they ever going to replace that?

Written by @sebzw from Eskapisten

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Album Info

"Black Gives Way To Blue"

Released

  • Sep 29, 2009

Genres

  • Alternative/Indie Rock
  • Hard Rock
  • Heavy Metal

Label

  • Virgin/EMI

Producer

  • Nick Raskulinecz, Alice in Chains

Studio

  • Studio 606 in Northridge, California

About

Black Gives Way to Blue is the fourth studio album by the American rock band Alice in Chains, released on September 29, 2009. It is their first record without singer Layne Staley, who died in 2002. It instead features new vocalist and rhythm guitarist William DuVall sharing vocal duties with lead guitarist/vocalist Jerry Cantrell, who sings lead vocals in most of the songs. It is the first Alice in Chains album released on Virgin Records and their first venture away from Columbia, who handled all of their previous releases. The album debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200, and was certified gold by the RIAA on May 26, 2010, with shipments exceeding 500,000 copies and has sold 1 million copies worldwide. The singles "Check My Brain" and "Your Decision" reached No. 1 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks, while "Lesson Learned" reached No. 4 and "A Looking in View" peaked at No. 12. "Check My Brain" was also the band's first #1 song on the Alternative Songs chart, and on the Hot Rock Songs chart, and it also reached No. 92 on Billboard's Hot 100, becoming the band's first single to appear on the chart. "Check My Brain" and "A Looking in View" were both nominated for the Grammy Award for "Best Hard Rock Performance".
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