I have been an Alice In Chains fan since I bought Facelift back in 1991. This boxed set is absolutely the best compilation of material ever put out by a band. Alice In Chains in my opinion is the best rock band ever! With previously unreleased demos and other tracks this is a must for any Alice fan. Thanks guys for allowing us all to share in your music. I hope that there will be more to come…
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
Don’t get me wrong, this is 5-star material. But when you plunk down your hard-earned dollars on a box set, there had better be close to 100% of the band’s material on it. I’ve listed the songs _not_ in the set at the bottom of my post. I really miss not having “Real Thing,” “Sunshine,” and the demo of “We Die Young.” The good news is that there is some great stuff you can’t get on the regular discs, including demos, B-sides, remixes and a few live tracks. I can’t believe how great as a whole all of that is! The fourth disc is a CD-ROM, which I feel was a waste of space. It includes a few full-length videos, video clips, and a boring Myst-like game. I would’ve rather had this 4th disc used to complete the set, or as others suggested, used for other stuff available only on imports/singles. Missing stuff from Facelift: Sunshine Put You Down I Know Somethin’ Real Thing AIC: Brush Away Sludge Factory Shame In You So Close Nothin’ Song Unplugged: (10 songs missing) Best of the Box: We Die Young Rooster (live)
In short, Music Bank is the perfect collection of songs to display the talents of the most versatile band in modern rock. The four-CD set chronicles the best of AIC from the garage to MTV Unplugged, starting with some unreleased demos that would later lead to a record contract with Columbia Records. The demos are a bit lacking in recording quality, but the energy is still there. All the favorites are there too, like “Would?,” “I Stay Away,” “What the Hell Have I?,” and two different versions of “Rooster.” There are also new mixes and demos of previously released songs, like “Junkhead” and “Again,” both of which add a new, pleasant flavor to those old favorites. The only brand-new track, “Died,” is a heavy, riff-driven song that proves that Alice In Chains can still rock with the best of them. This boxed set is a must-buy for any Alice In Chains fanatic.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Alice in Chains and most of their songs, but this box set is a bit expensive for who it’s aimed for.
Now, some of the reviews here are by stupid people who think this was supposed to have all the original albums included in the box set, hence, it has “missing” songs. But this isn’t an all-in-one album box set. This is actually a glorified “Best of Alice in Chains” box set that includes previously unreleased material.
What bothers me is that the diehard fan already has the vast majority of the songs. I’ll admit their albums have some filler songs, especially Facelift, but they’re all worth buying. If you need a chronological list: Facelift, Sap, Dirt, Jar of Flies, self-titled (Tripod) and Unplugged.
From around 50 tracks, only 16 of them were new to me, including the two “remixes” of their songs from the Last Action Hero soundtrack (I like the original A Litter Bitter better). I haven’t heard the Best of the Box CD, but it doesn’t have a live version of Rooster on it, but a cool demo of it. The fourth disc, a CD-ROM, has an interactive program on it that was released with some versions of Jar of Flies as well as a bizarre adventure game set to AiC music that’s interesting at best, but I’ve only played it once or twice when I first bought the set.
Get Born Again
I Can’t Have You Blues (demo)
Whatcha Gonna Do (demo)
Social Parasite (demo)
Queen of the Rodeo (live)
Bleed The Freak (demo)
Killing Yourself (demo)
Sea of Sorrow (demo)
Fear The Voices
Lying Season (demo)
What The Hell Have I (remix)
A Little Bitter (remix)
Of the new material, I like Get Born Again and several of the demos the best. I could’ve lived without ever hearing half of these. The best (new) thing about the box set is the 3/8″ thick booklet by singer/guitarist/songwriter Jerry Cantrell with some history of the band and commentary on most of the songs in the set.
Ultimately, I just let this set sit on a shelf without ever opening it again after the first few listens and preferred the original albums over it. A few years later, I’ve only recently opened it up again to put the songs exclusive to it on my iPod.
This boxed set is amazing, first off 3 discs featuring the best of all 5 of Alice In Chains Albums (disc1 Facelift and Sap disc2 Dirt, Jar of Flies disc3 Alice In Chains), along with lots of unreleased demos before anyone heard of Alice (demos sound like Guns N’ Roses). There are even three acoustic versions of songs (disc3 MTV Unplugged). These CDs are packed with 80 minutes of music each, so its well worth the price, all the hits like Would, Got Me Wrong and dozens more. Also the jams like Toad, and Bleed the Freak are in the set. Next if the fourth disc, a CD-ROM for your MAC or PC, includes full screen videos of Born Again, I Stay Away, Love Hate Love, Man In The Box, No Excuses, and 3 more. Also on the disc are five video interviews, and countless radio interviews answering questions of callers like why they are called Alice In Chains. Finally on the disc is an interactive game to save the Goat Doll. Its stupidly fun, and you navigate with your mouse through the game. Finally there is a very thick book that comes in the bank and goes through the band’s history in photos and brief statements. …