9. Alice In Chains
Alice In Chains are considered by many rock fans to be amongst the greatest bands of all time, and it’s easy to understand why. Initially formed by Jerry Cantrell and Sean Kinney in 1987, the Seattle-based band started to earn a reputation almost immediately once Mike Starr and Layne Staley entered the fray.
Staley started his musical career as a drummer, but his potential as a vocalist was quickly realised in early projects and he flourished in the vocal environment of Alice In Chains. In 1990, AIC released their legendary debut album, ‘Facelift’, to a surprisingly muted reception at first. The sales barely moved the needle and radio coverage was scarce, until MTV caught wind of the lead single ‘Man in the Box’ around six months after the album came out. The rest is history.
Alice In Chains followed up ‘Facelift’ with what is thought by many to be the best grunge album ever made, ‘Dirt’, in 1992 and continued to release one sensational record after another until 1996. Alice In Chains released their iconic ‘MTV Unplugged’ album in April 1996, and on 3rd July 1996, Layne Staley made his last live appearance with the band.
Even though the band never officially broke up, Staley disappeared from public life once his ex-fiancée Demri Parrott died of an overdose. Staley barely left his house from 1998 up until his death in 2002, due to rapidly deteriorating physical and mental health. The band formally broke up following Staley’s death, but reunited in 2005 and still tour to this day with new vocalist, William DuVall.