Music Bank

Music Bank

5.0 4
by Alice in Chains
     
 
Tried and true Alice in Chains fans are hoping that this triple-CD set, MUSIC BANK, is a biography of a band-in-progress, rather than an epitaph. Still, with only two new songs in this collection of career-spanning rockers, the latter may be true. Think of it as the final word on the grunge band that made classic metal cool for the alt-rock '90s. The set begins with

Overview

Tried and true Alice in Chains fans are hoping that this triple-CD set, MUSIC BANK, is a biography of a band-in-progress, rather than an epitaph. Still, with only two new songs in this collection of career-spanning rockers, the latter may be true. Think of it as the final word on the grunge band that made classic metal cool for the alt-rock '90s. The set begins with the recent, dream-like "Get Born Again" and finishes with the other fresh cut, "Died," which blends crunchy, minor-key metal guitars with the band's inimitable vocal harmonies. Between the bookends, the box delves into five demos and a live version of the country song "Queen of the Rodeo," all recorded before the band's 1990 debut, FACELIFT. This early material is flashier and less murky than grunge-era Alice, sounding more like a cross between Guns N' Roses and early Van Halen. But from there on in, the gritty, ominous Alice sound -- a glorious sludge that did for heavy metal what Nirvana did for punk -- starts to gel. "We Die Young" and the hit single "Man in the Box" demonstrate the band's ability to blend bleak, distorted rhythms with memorable melodies, soaring harmonies, and poignant, often pained, sentiments. ("Sickman," "God Smack" and "Dirt" grippingly document vocalist Layne Staley's struggle with heroin addiction.) Before the portentous "Died," the set draws to a close with cuts from the band's last, and most musically accomplished, studio album, ALICE IN CHAINS, and a trio of tunes from an MTV Unplugged appearance that proves they can be tender and mysterious as well as bad-ass and scabrous. At present, Alice in Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell is working on his second solo album with AIC drummer Sean Kinney, but, sadly, Staley is still MIA, which doesn't bode too well for group's future. But if, as Jim Morrison once said, "This is the end, your only friend the end," it's sure been an exciting ride.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Three studio albums, two EPs, one live album, and a few European B-sides seemingly is a scant body of work to provide the basis for a box set, but that proves not to be the case with Music Bank, a three-disc retrospective of Alice in Chains' decade-long career. In many ways, the very release of Music Bank and its single-disc distillation, Nothing Safe, is a roundabout admission that AIC is no longer an active proposition for any of its members. But even if the group makes a comeback sometime in the next century, the two compilations are good snapshots of an era when Alice in Chains was one of the best bands in metal. By its very nature, Music Bank is for the hardcore fan, since it spans three discs, but this is one box that gets it right. It does feature all the hits, but they're surrounded by so many rarities -- including an abundance of demos, 12 previously unreleased cuts, live tracks, and alternate mixes and takes -- that it never seems like a hits compilation. More impressively, Music Bank has a real narrative drive; it's easy to hear the band evolve, even if the set begins with the newly recorded "Get Born Again." True, the box set really isn't for casual fans -- they should stick with Nothing Safe or the band's masterpiece, Dirt -- but the dedicated will not be disappointed with this fine set, since it does deliver more rarities than expected.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/26/1999
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0074646958025
catalogNumber:
69580

Related Subjects

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. Get Born Again
  2. I Can't Have You Blues
  3. Whatcha Gonna Do
  4. Social Parasite
  5. Queen of the Rodeo
  6. Bleed the Freak
  7. Killing Yourself
  8. We Die Young
  9. Man in the Box
  10. Sea of Sorrow
  11. I Can't Remember
  12. Love, Hate, Love
  13. It Ain't Like That
  14. Confusion
  15. Rooster
  16. Right Turn
  17. Got Me Wrong

Disc 2

  1. Rain When I Die
  2. Fear the Voices
  3. Them Bones
  4. Dam That River
  5. Sickman
  6. Rooster
  7. Junkhead
  8. Dirt
  9. God Smack
  10. Iron Gland
  11. Angry Chair
  12. Lying Season
  13. Would?
  14. Brother
  15. Am I Inside
  16. I Stay Away
  17. No Excuses

Disc 3

  1. Down in a Hole
  2. Hate to Feel
  3. What the Hell Have I
  4. A Little Bitter
  5. Grind
  6. Again
  7. Head Creeps
  8. God Am
  9. Frogs
  10. Heaven Beside You
  11. Nutshell
  12. The Killer Is Me
  13. Over Now
  14. Died

Disc 4

  1. Get Born Again
  2. Jar of Flies
  3. The Journey

Album Credits

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Music Bank 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
MUSIC BANK, a four disc overview of the career of one of the most incredible bands ever, signifies the end of an amazing band. Or does it? Usualy, ''best-of'' collections are for bands which have come to naught, or have had a long and fruitfull career. But Alice in chains isn't officialy broken up (or together). With this in mind, MUSIC BANK is almost a complete overview of the band's short career. The band's heavy song content and brutaly truthful lyrics read like poetry for the lost soul or dissefected youth. The music is at times loud, harsh, gutteral, honest heavy metal. Sounding less like Nirvana or Pearl Jam, and more like the lovechild of Black Sabbath and 80's glam (minus the spiked bracelets and big hair). At others the band shows they don't need loud guitars to display emotion, letting the beauty and essence of the songs shine through. In bolth instances, the intricate, beautiful guitar work of Jerry Cantrell and the snarling, painfull vocals of Layne Staley stay consistently above par. While the Rock solid bass of bolth Mike Starr and Mike Inez help bolster the guitar work and lock in with the prodigeous drum work of Sean Kinney. MUSIC BANK includes all the ''hits'', and is a good investment for people who want to get an introduction to the band. The early demos and rarities make it a must-have for long time AIC fans. MUSIC BANK'S 4th CD has an interactive game, videos, sound clips, and band info. As a bonus, if you get Nothing Safe: The Best of the Box by AIC you get a hidden bonus live video.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm happy to say that this is the most awesomest cd collection ever made.Alice In Chains are a supurb band with supurb lyrics, in my mind the best rock band ever.This collection of cds includes 3 music cds,a cd rom , and a booklet that tells about alice in chains and their adventure through the big life.It also includes such songs as Man in the Box , Them bones , Would? , Angry Chair , Down in a Hole , Grind , Again , I Stay Away , and many more of your favorites hits.If you are new to the Alice in Chains world then this would be a great set to get .Although it has been tragic for Alice in Chains , they lost their frontman , Layne Staley.R.I.P. But this is a must get and a must have.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
You will go to Paradise and the music of Alice In Chains will be playing. I can't wait!