Alice in Chains – Dirt: #582 of best 1,000 albums ever!

Alice in Chains - Dirt

So why is Alice in Chain’s Dirt on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?

While Facelift (1990) is a very strong album (#830 of best 1,000 albums worthy, in fact) Dirt (1992) represents a major leap forward for Alice in Chains. It’s at turns dark and melodic, exciting and driving. The lyrics can be bleak, but the vocals are exceptionally delivered with some of the best harmonies ever put down on a “grunge” or metal album.

And I’ll go further and say that you normally wouldn’t associate the word “sophisticated” with grunge, but that’s absolutely what Alice in Chains delivers here.

“Rooster” and “Would?” are arguably the best-known songs on the album, but they just happen to not be my favorites. Of the two, I like “Would?” quite a bit more – I think I just tend to not gravitate to slower, grinding, metal-y ballads. The anguished cries and chugging riff that kicks off “Them Bones” gets my attention far more quickly. And then its melodic chorus kicks in and it all works exceptionally well.

“Dam That River” manages to be both mosh-worthy, and gloriously so, while compelling you to pay close attention to the expertly executed musical dynamics throughout.

“Junkhead” is a beautiful and dark sounding song that veers into frankly disturbing lyrical territory with regard to heroin addiction. Sadly, of course, lead singer and guitarist Layne Staley would succumb to his addictions in 2002. Bassist Mike Starr also died of a drug overdose in 2011.  

Some stats & info about Alice in Chain – Dirt

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, Grunge, Hard Rock, Alternative Rock, Alternative Metal
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating4.5 out of 5 stars
  • When was Dirt released? 1992
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #582 out of 1,000

Alice in Chain’s Dirt on Spotify

A lyrical snippet from Alice in Chain’s Dirt that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe

I feel so alone – gonna end up a big ol’ pile of them bones.

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.