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Vinyl + Audio CD | 180 gram, Import
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2009 remastered reissue import 180-gram vinyl LP. This is the only remastered import of Alice in Chains' best-loved album "Dirt" pressed on to 180-gram audiophile vinyl. Hard-hitting and dark, this alt. Metal classic from 1992 focuses heavily on vocalist/guitarist Layne Stanley's heroin addiction. Few artistic endeavors have as completely explored an addict's perspective with such clarity and emotion. Bandmate vocalist/guitarist Jerry Cantrell contributes heavily, not only with thematically tight songs, but as a force pushing through Stanley's addiction, keeping the songs and album on pace. Hits from "Dirt" include "Rooster," "Would?," "Angry Chair," "Down in a Hole" and "Them Bones." The album peaked at #6 on the Billboard 200 chart.
Top customer reviews
180-gram vinyl edition purchased in March 2016 plays flawlessly. (I have yet to purchase a "Music On Vinyl" pressing that hasn't sounded SUPERB!)
The album, when enjoyed now, really strikes me more deeply as a "classic" than in the years immediately following its release. This is a GREAT record. Enjoy!
I've now listened to this LP twice with my (pretty decent) system set up at the normal level I use for vinyl, and it really has me scratching my head. On one hand the pressing is of good quality...the vinyl is heavy and flat and the instruments sound good. On the other hand, the vocals sound dull and somewhat lifeless on many (most?) of the tracks. I can't seem to figure out why...is it the pressing itself, or the remastering of the album, or was the original mastering like this? Out of frustration I cranked up the amp past my normal level and the vocals did improve, but it seems a ham-fisted way of "forcing" an album to sound better.
I don't regret buying the vinyl version, but now I wonder how the CD version compares.
So what about the songs?
I feel like most people who listen to this album only like certain tracks and don't understand the rest. They only want the catchiest or most aggressive; this makes me sad, as this album has a ridiculous number of really GREAT songs.
I won't review every song, there are 13 of them, but I'll talk about some of my favorites.
Them Bones-a great opener, gets things moving and doesn't waste time. The opening ascending riff is killer, the vocal melodies are great, the lyrics bleak. It ends exactly when it needs to, clocking in at only two and a half minutes.
Dam That River-This is almost as good as the previous, great riff, love the angry lyrics. but the SOLO. and the vocal melodies. are just great.
Rain When I Die-This might be my favorite track on an album of favorite tracks. The opening vocals are killer (and are reapeated again at the end). This song is twice as long as the previous track, yet it never feels too long. With great verses, chorus, solo, this is just a perfect track.
Rooster--Another great track; accessible but still dark, with a glimmer of hope in the chorus
Dirt-People don't seem to 'get' this track, but I wish more people liked it. The chorus is very catchy and very heartfelt--"One who doesn't care, is one who shouldn't be". I didn't like it at first, but after multiple listens it really grew on me.
Hate to Feel-Another contender for favorite song-the chorus is phenomenal, I love the rhythm and spacing of it, with great lyrics, great solo, etc
Angry Chair-I love, among other things, the moodiness of the verses on this track, and the way the guitar matches the vocals on the 'Hey' of the chorus. Another great song.
Would?-this is another popular track, and for good reason. The verses are great, very melodic, and the chorus and lyrics very passionate. I really really appreciate this song coming at the end; it makes me really FEEL it, y'know? I've felt all the pain Layne has been through from listening to the album, and now he just lets it all out. "Have I run too far to get home?"
Pros-all the stuff I've been mentioning; a huge number of great songs, with great guitar riffs, great song structuring, great lyrics...excellent sense of melody, dynamics, etc
Cons-the drumming is a bit weak; it's neither as powerful as Grohl's or as complex as Matt Cameron's. However, it gets the job done, and I like it a good bit on tracks like Angry Chair and Would? It just doesn't have a huge presence, like the bass.
Facts-at first I kind of didn't like the vocals, but they grew on me, like the album itself, and now I like Layne's voice a lot. Jerry does a good job on backup too
I've listened to this album at least 100 times. Every listen is great, and I can't recommend this album highly enough. A fantastic album of the 90s and essential listening for any proclaimed hard rock fan.