Top 10 Best Alice in Chains Songs of All Time – Ranked

In the 1990s, if you were a disgruntled teenager living in Seattle, (Or even if you weren’t), Alice in Chains was THE band to jam out to…along with Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden of course. From 1987 to 1995, the band ruled the world, with concerts, talk show appearances and everything else to be expected out of a popular rock band. After frontman Layne Staley’s death in 2002, the group eventually reformed in 2005, continuing to produce albums to this day.

With such a seasoned history, it’s no surprise that Alice in Chains has many hit songs, all of which are insanely catchy to listen to on loop. While their entire catalog could plausibly fit onto this list, I can only include 10. Without further ado, here are the top 10 best Alice in Chains songs of all time, ranked!

10. “Rooster” (Dirt)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6QgND6sXbc

While not quite the band’s signature song ala Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, “Rooster” can comfortably take the second place prize. Even if it’s ludicrously overplayed and the favorite of every casual listener ever, it’s nevertheless a harrowing, sobering reminder of the perils of warfare.


9. “We Die Young” (Facelift)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JA25BIxgtk

Facelift is to Alice and Chains what Bleach is to Nirvana. The first album, raw and unfiltered, before their respective successors (Dirt and Nevermind) cleaned up their images for the radio-friendly crowd. Although I personally like this side of the group, I have a preference for their slower, more melodic tracks (more on that later), so this song is eliminated young.


8. “Sludge Factory” (Alice in Chains)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7SZweWYy-4

The self-titled album is a strange blend of the group’s harder metal roots and their more introspective, acoustic roots and this tune is no exception. Containing many references to Staley’s deteriorating state, it’s a stark warning of the dangers of the music industry and its obsessive greed and avarice.


7. “Dam That River” (Dirt)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bs02sQxNnV0

The second track off of the group’s big break album, it’s hard not to give a damn anyway about this electrifying little ditty. The lyrics manage to be both humorous and yet chilling, a trademark specialty of the group.


6. “Heaven Beside You” (Alice in Chains)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEAylKJb-to

The most mainstream of the tunes on the self-titled album, this track is nevertheless a perfect choice for newer fans, with great vocal work by Jerry Cantrell.


5. “Rotten Apple” (Jar of Flies)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poo2xaEhrHE

It’s no secret (Okay, it totally is), that I’m a sucker for Alice in Chains’ acoustic work and this EP is no exception to that. Containing the group’s signature sludgy sound, combined with the slow, melodic guitar work, this piece is top-notch.


4. “Nutshell” (Jar of Flies) 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_ihXlWKC7g

Expect to see the acoustic tracks here quite a bit now. In a nutshell, this track is introspective, rhythmic and enchanting, with a sense of wistful regret.


3. “Rain When I Die” (Dirt)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qR0K0mmm6R4

Perhaps my favorite ‘hard’ track by the group, though it’s one of the milder ‘hard’ pieces. The song is asking for you to paint a mental image of a dreary wet day and that is all too easy.


2. “Got Me Wrong” (Sap)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRx7QdT8EZA

The group’s lesser-known acoustic EP, this title is perhaps a bit meta. After all, those who see Alice in Chains as a band of only mindless metal ditties clearly got them wrong here.


1. “Am I Inside” (Sap)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08iaCYLhZ-k

And the moment we’ve all been waiting for! “Am I Inside” is again a song detailing what the band truly represents and if this is what they are inside, it’s no mystery why I’m a fan.

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