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Alice in Chains is one of the most iconic bands in rock history and I personally think listening to them on vinyl is by far the best way to experience the band. However, considering costs and availability not everyone can afford their entire discography. So if you’re in the market for a new Alice in Chains vinyl, and don’t know where to start from, consider getting the best ones first.
The best Alice In Chains vinyls are Jar of Flies, Dirt, Facelift, Sap, and a recording of one of their live performances. These are also huge sellers because of their cover art, the popular songs on each vinyl, and many collectible editions.
As always, consider your vinyl collection’s purpose before deciding which vinyls to add, and always keep your eyes out for quality second-hand versions. Below, I’ll tell you what you need to know about each album so you can decide which ones to go looking for!
1. Jar of Flies
Jar of Flies is one of the most popular vinyls you can find from Alice In Chains. In terms of popularity it’s by far one of the most popular EPs ever released. Although EPs like the Jay-z- Linkin Park collision course have repeated the feat, Jar of Flies was the first EP to ever debut at the top of the billboard.
Even now years later it’s an accomplishment that is hard to duplicate.
The album opens up with “Rotten Apple” and flows into “Nutshell,” which really sets the tone for what’s to come: slow but powerful guitar riffs driven by Jerry Cantrell’s deep voice and some catchy drum beats by Sean Kinney bring together some pretty heavy moments throughout this song (and others).
There are also moments where everything slows down into calmer territory; these usually come after intense verses or choruses full of shouting lyrics about death or addiction—which makes sense given the context behind them being written during Layne Staley’s struggle with drug addiction.
For people who collect vinyl based on the cover art that you’re going to display, the Jar of Flies album definitely is right up your alley. The album cover depicts an adolescent boy staring into a revolting jar of flies.
The iconic rock-and-roll shot was taken in the photographer’s dining room after the band decided what it should be named.
You can find this album here on Amazon or look for it in your local record store or thrift. This is a rare find on Vinyl, so if you find it, hold on to it! As you can see, the Amazon version is pretty expensive because it’s a special find.
Dirt is one of the most well-known Alice In Chains albums, and with good reason. This record was an important part of their career, as it’s the first release featuring guitarist and vocalist Jerry Cantrell full-time.
On top of its iconic sound, Dirt has also gone quintuple platinum since its release in 1992—a testament to its staying power over time, both commercially and critically.
With tracks like “Angry Chair” and “Would?” it doesn’t get much better than Dirt. The 30th-anniversary edition comes in gold, and the cover art on both the regular and anniversary releases will catch the attention of any vinyl enthusiast. You can find this album here on Amazon.
Facelift is another iconic album from Alice in Chains that you should consider purchasing or hunting for on vinyl. Facelift was the album that introduced Alice In Chains to the world and contains their first hit single, “Man in the Box.”
“Man in the Box” is still the number one most listened song for Alice In Chains today with their Spotify numbers alone coming in at nearly 300,000,000 streams.
This record features songs that show each member’s individual talent, including Layne Staley’s vocal range, which made him one of the most iconic singers of all time.
While its original release was on August 21st, 1990, via Columbia Records/Sony Music Entertainment Inc., the vinyl reissue was released on May 26th, 2018. The vinyl itself is gorgeous–it comes as a translucent red vinyl housed in a gatefold sleeve with printed inner sleeves featuring lyrics and credits.
The album is also available as a limited edition box set that includes a cassette version of the album and an exclusive 7″ disc containing two unreleased tracks from the recording sessions for Facelift titled “Junkhead” and “Swing On This.”
The cover is attractive, if not a little gory. It’s colorful and a little jarring but iconic in its own right. It also includes gems like “Love, Hate, Love” and “We Die Young.”.
You can find this album here on Amazon.
4. Live In Oakland
As good as listening to any band can sound on vinyl, live performances are special. While studio recordings give you the clearest form of any song, a live performance allows you to feel it, putting you in the pit as you listen to the music and energy from the stage.
Live in Oakland is undoubtedly essential for any Alice in Chains fan. The recording was taken from their shows in Oakland and features eleven tracks from their discography.
If this one isn’t for you, they have quite a few other live performances in vinyl to pick from. As long as you’re a fan, you’ll definitely find something you like.
Alice in Chains’ third album, Sap, is a must-have on vinyl.
The album was released in 1992—a time when grunge was still going strong but had already started to shift from its early days of pure aggression towards something more melodic and less abrasive.
It was also a time when Alice in Chains was at the height of their powers: they’d been together for almost a decade and had just released their masterpiece Dirt (which would go on to become one of the best-selling albums of all time), with Sap following closely behind it.
That said, Sap is not as well-known as Dirt or even some of their other albums—but it’s still one of the most unique records they ever made.
Many people think they can’t stand grunge music because they don’t like bands like Nirvana or Pearl Jam; well, this isn’t that grunge music! It’s a little mellow than most grunge bands would ever get, but it’s got all the same raw emotion and power that keeps you coming back for more every time you listen to it.
When the band released Sap in 1993, they were already considered one of the most influential grunge bands. They had established themselves as the kings of the Seattle sound with their previous two albums, Facelift and Dirt. But when it came time to make Sap, they wanted to do something different—and they succeeded in making an album that was unlike anything else at the time.
How To Find Vinyl Records
Finding a vinyl isn’t as simple as picking out the one you like and grabbing it at the nearest store. In fact, most audiophiles have to develop their own shopping techniques to ensure they’re not blowing the bank on vinyl yet also getting quality vinyl that plays well on their set-ups.
First things first: if you want new vinyl, your best bet will probably be Amazon Prime or another online retailer offering free shipping. If you’re looking for used records, there are a few places where you can go in person to find them: garage sales, flea markets, thrift stores (especially ones that specialize in music), and record shops.
If you’re looking for new records but don’t have access to Amazon Prime (or if you live near a record store), try going into the store and asking if they have any copies of whatever you’re searching for in stock. You might even ask them if they know of any other places around town that might have what you need!
If all else fails—and you can’t find what you need—consider using eBay as an option. This can be risky because there’s no guarantee that the seller will give you what they promise; however, if they do, it could be the best purchase you’ve made!
Inspect your Vinyl Before Purchase
The first and most important thing to do with vinyls is to test them. This is doubly true for used vinyls. While most new vinyls will come sealed, used vinyls are almost always opened. The exception to this would be if they’ve been resealed by the seller or were never opened.
Regardless, most vinyl stores will have a record player you can use to test vinyls before or after purchase. This can be a great way to check the quality of the sound you’re getting.
If the store doesn’t have a record player, ensure you inspect the vinyl thoroughly. First, check the record for scratches and deformation.
While it’s a less common problem, you should always ensure that your case and vinyl match. Some sellers (especially online) might stick a less expensive vinyl in the case for a more expensive one.
Sometimes it’s not even the store’s fault. People might try to pull one over on a store by sticking a different vinyl in a less expensive cover and taking their profit, so it’s always a good idea to take a look at the vinyl rather than just the case.
If all else fails and you decide to go ahead with the purchase of a used record, make sure that your purchase comes with some kind of warranty on its functionality so that if anything goes wrong with it after purchase, they’ll be able to fix it or replace it for free!
Why Are Alice in Chains Vinyl So Expensive?
Alice in Chains vinyls are so expensive because most of them haven’t been mass-produced. Though the albums were popular back in the day, more music was coming out on CD and cassette, so a vinyl record of albums like Jar of Flies and Sap is rare.
If you can find a used version of the most expensive albums–like Jar of Flies–grab it while you can. A new copy of their rare albums will set you back what could be a month’s rent in some cities!
Is Alice in Chains Dirt On Vinyl?
Dirt by Alice in Chains is on vinyl, and it’s mass-produced. You can find a Dirt vinyl in most stores that sell records brand new, or even online, without breaking the bank.
This album isn’t a rarity on Vinyl — not to say you shouldn’t grab a used one if you find it! However, the album is pretty affordable online, so it’s relatively easy to find it. You can find this album here on Amazon.
How Many Albums Did Alice in Chains Produce?
Alice in Chains produced six studio albums and has three live recording albums. Beyond this, many of their albums have rare anniversary additions. You can find most of the Alice in Chains records on vinyl.
Though most of the albums can be found on vinyl, be aware that some of them are pretty pricey!
Why Did Alice In Chains Break Up?
The band Alice in Chains broke up temporarily after the untimely death of their lead singer, Layne Staley from a drug overdose. They took a bit of time off and then reconnected with a new front runner to produce some more music and tour.
Thankfully the band is still relatively active, making appearances and touring.
Featured image: Alice in Chains, Columbia Records, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
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