27 December 2022

27 December 2022 - Alice In Chains - Would?

When everyone in the music business discovered Seattle and their "grunge" music scene, one of the first bands signed (after Soundgarden, who really opened that door) was Mother Love Bone.  Unfortunately, Mother Love Bone didn't get very far, as their lead vocalist, Andrew Wood, passed away in 1990 from a heroin overdose.  

The influence of Mother Love Bone was felt throughout the scene, even after Wood's death.  His friend, Jerry Cantrell, vocalist and guitarist for Alice in Chains, wrote "Would?" as a tribute to his friend.  Originally appearing on the soundtrack for the movie Singles (the band also appeared in the film), which also featured a Mother Love Bone song, it would go on to be one of AiC's best known songs

The unusual makeup of Alice in Chains allowed for some interesting harmonies.  Cantrell sings the verses on this song, and the late Layne Staley - lead vocalist - sings the chorus.  

As was commonplace in the 1990s, the band appeared on the TV show MTV Unplugged and did a version of the song that was.... well, Layne Staley gave this version a very different feel.

Staley himself passed away from a heroin and cocaine overdose in 2002, but the band eventually persevered, reforming a few years later.  In 2006, AiC got together to pay tribute to Staley and performed this song, with Phil Anselmo of Pantera (themselves also dealing with the tragic loss of Dimebag Darrell, to whom this performance is also tributed) taking his vocal role and Duff McKagan of Guns 'n' Roses joining in on guitar.  With the new tribute, this song becomes even more poignant.

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