Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My favorite albums: Alice In Chains:Live

........And then there was Alice. Alice In Chains, that is.

Today I'll be blogging about one of my favorite live albums ever, Alice In Chains: Live.
Nice cover huh?

Released in 2000, this album is a collection of popular Alice In Chains songs performed live in various venues and cities. 

Now usually for me, live albums are something of a mixed bag; you either like/love hearing the live versions of these songs, or you don't and would prefer to listen to the studio versions. I usually go for the latter, as in certain cases for me, the live version either doesn't sound as good, or I'm not in liking the improvisations made while said singer or group is singing the song. And hey, I know the singers sing these songs hundreds, probably thousands of times, and want to change things up so to keep from either hating or becoming bored with the song. I get it, and it's their prerogative to do that. I guess if I was them, I'd do it too.

But with that being said, I'm usually 9 times out of 10, in favor of the studio versions.

Thankfully that's not the case here. Not there's anything wrong with the regular studio versions of these songs, because there isn't and if you haven't, I implore you to listen to them. It's just that for a good number of these songs included on the album, I heard the live version first, and then the studio versions later. And trust me, comparing the two is like night and day.

Coming in at 14 tracks, this album kicks major, major ass, and showcases just how much of an awesome band Alice In Chains was, especially live. Now of course the band's still chugging along, and god bless them for doing that, because in this day and age of computer-simulated pop, returning boy bands, and the largely homogenized sounds of a lot of singers/bands, its nice to have a heavy, rocking sounding band like Alice still out there, showing the kids how it's done.

Sadly the band just doesn't sound the same without lead front-man Layne Staley, and for that the rock, and music world in general are missing out on a hell of a singer and performer. I still can't believe Layne died of a drug overdose just twp years after this live album came out:(

But back to the topic on hand......

Here's the track listing for the album:

1). Bleed The Freak
2). Queen of the Rodeo
3). Angry Chair
4). Man in the box
5). Love, Hate, Love
6). Rooster
7). Would?
8). Junkhead
9). Dirt
10). Them Bones
11). God Am
12). Again
13). A little bitter
14). Dam that river

What a set-list huh?

As I mentioned earlier, I heard a lot of  these songs for the very first time on this album. Songs like "Queen of the Rodeo", "Angry Chair", "Dam that river", and so on.

I think that's why when I heard the regular studio versions of these songs it just didn't sound as energetic and loud as what I was used to hearing them.  But hey, that doesn't mean they didn't still kick ass, because they do!

One of my favorite tracks, is "Queen of the Rodeo." I laughed my ass off the first I heard it, and here's the lyrics to prove why:

 "My daddy was a trucker
Left home when I was three
He fell for some dude in Dallas
Then it was mom and me

She always wanted a daughter
Well look at what she got
Hit me, beat me, a faggot I ain't
But a real man they say I'm not

I'm the queen, queen of the rodeo
Queen, queen of the rodeo

So cowboy, if you're lookin for lovin'
I ain't no queer, go fuck a steer
I think there might be one right over there...

I drink too much, I smoke too much
I'm a human waste
I buy a lot of cheap alcohol
But I'll tell ya honey, I really hate the taste

I dressed in drag, they call me a fag
But boy, I really don't care
Cause last night I met your mother, fucker
And I hope ya like to share, cause she did

I'm the queen, queen of the rodeo
Queen, queen of the rodeo
So cowboy, if you're lookin' to fight
I ain't no wimp, I scratch and bite
"And I'm gonna kick your ass too..."

Queen, queen of the rodeo


Queen, queen of the rodeo
Queen, queen of the rodeo"

Aww, what a nice song eh?
I love it, especially live.

"Angry Chair" is another song good live, especially here, where it leads directly to "Man in the box." And oh, how fucking kick-ass it sounds love as well! I'm talking about the thunderous licks by guitar- player extraordinaire Jerry Cantrell and the heavy, heavy fucking drums by drummer Sean Kinney.

Again, listening to the regular versions and live ones are like night and day, both equally good, but different.

"Love, hate, love" is another kick-ass tune. It's brutal in its lyrics and sound, but then who can't sympathize with the theme of love gone bad?

Here, take a listen:
Oh, that's some good stuff right there people!

"Rooster" is another classic. I heard before, and even watched the video for it, but to hear it live is pretty damn cool as well.

And there's more, like "Would?", "Them Bones", and "Again". 

But the last two I'll showcase, I really love listening to:
"God Am" and "Damn that river".

Here's why:
"God Am"

"Dam that river"

Gotta' love that clever word play huh?

So that's the review in a nutshell. I hope you enjoyed it, and more importantly learned something enough to become interested to watch or listen to these songs. You won't regret it I promise.

Now of course this isn't the only Live album released by Alice In Chains, nope, nope. In fact there's a wonderful MTV Unplugged album they did in '94, so check that one out. And there's others as well, but this one is the one I own, and has most of their hits from the beginning up to 2000.

I've played my copy so much, the disc is scratched up to hell and back, but hey, that's the just the price of listening to a favorite, am I right?

In case you didn't know, I'll be doing these classic album reviews all month long, and for the foreseeable future. I might post one or two, or have ever many I want.

Yes, I used to be known exclusively as that "Action figure skit guy", and now you can add that "Crazy classic rock-loving guy" on there as well:)

I love this music, and music in general, so to be able to put to actual use all this knowledge I've collected over the years is a true blessing for me. If I can't use it, it's just going to waste, you know?

But rest assured, tomorrow will feature a brand new action figure skit, and not just any skit, my stab of sorts,   in the arena of political satire. I think.

Have a good one people.........


Shlomo Ben Hungstien said...

The Man in the Box was one of the coolest videos ever. there's this guy at my worl that's almost a dead ringer for Layne Staley. by the way i got your comment on the Rom blog, Druuna . . oh yeah.

Dale Bagwell said...

You gotta' show me the pick then. And yes, Druuna. Who hasn't flogged the dolphin, choked the chicken, shook hands with the bishop, unpeeled the banana, strangled the monkey, or jerked off to pictures of her? I know I have, and I am not ashamed to admit it:)

Dan said...

Does the SPCA know about your cruelty to animals? Oh wait they're all metaphors? Whoops my bad :) Another great album, I'm really digging these posts!!

Something tells me a real curveball is coming down the musical bars though... Kenny Rogers? Dolly? Maybe the ultimate chickens of all Milli Vanilli? I mean come on, we're getting the best of your CD collection, Dr Fate asks, Who's the worst???

Dale Bagwell said...

@Dan, ha ha. No animals were harmed in the process of making me happy:)

No curve-ball here Dan-O. I'm only reviewing the best for the foreseeable future. But if you want to post reviews of your guilty pleasures @ the house, you're more than welcome. Far be it for me to deny my Australian brother from another mother an opportunity to embarrass himself:)

Seriously, as much as I appreciate and respect Kenny Rogers(Gambler anyone?) I'm only sticking to classic rock/alternative.

But thanks for asking, and tell Dr.Fate the universe can rest easy knowing I'll never ever review the likes of the dreaded Milli Vanilli. Justin Beiber, or Tiny Tim....ever.

But since you mentioned Dolly, I will admit to liking her version o Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven". I know, I know that sounds sacrilegious, but if you take a listen, it's really not that bad. God bless silicon!

Dan said...

Yeah Dolly is a pardon for most people. Being that positive has got to go down well in any circle. Look forward to seein' who's next!

"Get Snakey"

Hey whattaya' know, it's a brand new skit this week. Enjoy this fun little homage to one of the more recently popular "danc...