Angry Chair (4:48)

Cover of Dirt

From Dirt and 44 other releases

“Angry Chair”, by grunge/metal band Alice in Chains, was the fourth single from their 1992 album Dirt. It is the twelfth or eleventh song on the album, depending on the edition. The song was one of the few written entirely by lead singer Layne Staley for the band.

An acoustic version of “Angry Chair” was later performed for the MTV show MTV Unplugged. (Though omitted from the aired performance, the song was included in the Unplugged CD and DVD release, and on the Greatest Hits disc and ‘Music Bank box set.

Jerry Cantrell on the song, from the liner notes of 1999’s Music Bank box set collection:

“Such a brilliant song. I’m very proud of Layne for writing it. When I’ve stepped up vocally in the past he’s been so supportive, and here was a fine example of him stepping up with the guitar and writing a masterpiece.”

“Angry Chair” was released as a single in 1992. “Angry Chair” peaked at number 34 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and at number 27 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. The UK single was released in May 1993. “Angry Chair” reached the top 40 in the UK and the top 30 in Ireland.

Ned Raggett of Allmusic said that “Layne Staley and Jerry Cantrell unsurprisingly are the ones who transform the song into something really spectacular” and added that the song features “entrancing verses, ominous, echo-swathed and charged with a looming destruction.

Although Dirt marked the introduction of Staley’s guitar playing contributions to the group, he rarely played in concert, focusing instead on his vocals and showmanship. This is one of the few songs he regularly played guitar on during live performances.


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