April 24, 2024

New Fury Media

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This Day In Music History: January 25th, 1994 – Alice In Chains go acoustic (again) on chart-topping ‘Jar Of Flies’ EP

Released just a couple months before the death of Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, Alice In Chains’ second acoustic EP Jar Of Flies was a watershed moment in both grunge and in the industry as a whole. While the novelty of a hard rock and heavy metal band going acoustic wasn’t really anything new, for Alice In Chains, the acoustic setting provided a way for continued introspection – and was also a harbinger of things to come on their MTV Unplugged performance. The stuff of legends.

Jar Of Flies, notably, was the first EP in music history to debut at #1 on the Billboard 200. Certainly an impressive feat for any band, but in an era that also had hip-hop, pop, and many other genres to contend with on the charts, it’s even more resonant.

Released at the arguably commercial peak of grunge, the album was both as bleak and somewhat more optimistic in tone than the band’s previous work, especially when you consider that 1992’s Dirt was one of the darkest albums ever recorded. Led by the huge single “No Excuses”, the despondent “Nutshell”, and buoyed by five more tracks that would become iconic Alice In Chains songs, the EP went on to inspire bands like Cane Hill (on their Kill The Sun EP), and proved to be among the band’s most beloved records.

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