"Man in the Box" is a single by the heavy metal group Alice in Chains. It was released in 1991 and featured on their debut full-length album Facelift. In the liner notes of 1999's Music Bank box set collection, Jerry Cantrell said of the song, "That whole beat and grind of that is when we started to find ourselves; it helped Alice become what it was." The song makes use of a talk box to create the guitar effect and has Cantrell's famous guitar solo.
The song was #19 on VH1's 40 Greatest Metal Songs. It's solo was rated the 77th greatest guitar solo by Guitar World. It was #50 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 90's in 2006. It is widely considered to be one of the band's signature songs, even though it only peaked at #18 on the mainstream rock charts at the time of its release. The MTV music video for the track was directed by Paul Rachman who also directed the 2006 feature documentary American Hardcore.
"Man in the Box" has been featured in several movies, including The Perfect Storm. The song was also used in several versions of trailers for the 2004 movie Collateral (though it was not included on the movie's soundtrack), as professional wrestler Tommy Dreamer's theme song and in Jerry Bruckheimer's television series Cold Case. It has also been used for hockey games when a penalty is called on the away team, and the skater must go to the penalty box. Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine turned this song into a Lounge style on their 2005 album "Aperitif for Destruction".
In a recorded interview with Fuse TV, Layne Staley himself states that the lyrics are about censorship in the mass media, and "I was really stoned when I wrote it." The original Facelift track listing credited only Staley and Jerry Cantrell with writing the song. All post-Facelift compilations credited the entire band. It is unclear as to why the songwriter credits were corrected.
At Alice in Chains' last concert with Staley on July 3, 1996, they closed with "Man in the Box".
Detroit rap group House of Krazees sampled Man in the Box for a song on their debut album Home Sweet Home, called "Evil That Men Do."
The song is a playable track on Rock Band 2.
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