April 20, 2024

As a way to say goodbye to their lost friend and singer Layne Staley, Alice In Chains released a record entitled Black Gives Way To Blue.

AIC hadn't recorded a new record for fourteen years, so this was a big deal for the group and its fans. Jerry Cantrell knew it need one more ingredient so he took a shot and reached out to Elton John, who loved the title track and agreed to play piano on it.

Much in demand rock historian and reviewer Joe Daly wrote the definitive account on how this song and new project came about.

The Story Behind Alice In Chains' Black Gives Way To Blue

Songs of sadness and despair underpinned the band’s catalogue and yet Black Gives Way To Blue saw Cantrell and the band strike an even deeper level of intimacy and vulnerability. “I was speaking so honestly and from my heart and the band’s collective heart, saying goodbye to Layne. That’s what that song is and that’s why we called it that. When I wrote that song it was like an emotional hairball that I had to cough up – it was something I hadn’t talked about much in that much open pain and mourning and love for the guy and I put it all into that tune. ”

Please read the entire piece here.

(***As an aside, I know bassist Mike Inez and he is one funny motherf**er and a great musician.

He recently played throughout an incredible concert streaming on PBS that honored Elton John and Bernie Taupin with Library of Congress Gershwin Prize)

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