BLACK GIVES WAY TO BLUE

Jerry Cantrell

ALICE IN CHAINS                                                                   2009                                                                   Virgin Records

An album track from the album Black Gives Way to Blue. Time - 3:03. Released in U.S.A. September 29, 2009.

Recorded at Studio 606, Northridge, California; ?? Studio, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, October 23, 2008ľApril 23, 2009. Produced by Nick Raskulinecz and Alice in Chains. Engineered by Paul Figueroa and Nick Raskulinecz.

A tribute song for Layne Staley, who was lead singer of Alice in Chains for their first three albums, until his end. He had struggled with drug addiction for years, ending with his death in his Seatle apartment in April 2002 of a heroin/cocaine mixture. It was written early for the album, but was the last recorded. Elton John was Staley's first concert that he attended and John's Greatest Hits was the first record owned by Cantrell. - Larry -

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Personnel

   Jerry Cantrell - lead vocals, guitars
   Elton John - piano, backing vocals
   Lisa Coleman - vibraphone

Jerry Cantrell

"Elton is a very important musical influence to all of us in varying degrees, and especially to me. My first album was Elton John Greatest Hits. And actually, we were reminded by Layne's stepfather that Elton was his first concert, so it was all really appropriate. So I wrote (Elton) an e-mail and explained what his music meant to us, and that this song was for Layne. We sent him a demo, and he said it was beautiful and he'd love to play on it. In the studio he was really relaxed and gracious, and he's got a great sense of humor. We were just trying to be cool: 'Oh, yeah, no big deal.' But we were excited. (drummer Sean Kinney) and I had to walk out a couple of times to smoke cigarettes, like, 'Holy shit, this is killer.' It's one of those highlights you can't expect in life, and you're lucky to get them once in a while. And that is one."

Elton John - Entertainment Weekly

"I was kind of surprised that Alice in Chains would ask me to do anything. I never thought I'd play on an Alice in Chains record. When I heard the song I really wanted to do it. I liked the fact that it was so beautiful and very simple. They had a great idea of what they wanted me to do on it and it turned out great."

Jerry Cantrell - 2016:Metal Hammer

"That song really set it in stone, because we had to properly address Layne's death and say goodbye to our friend. We had done it privately, but if we were going to do this, we had to do it publicly. It's a beautiful song and it's still really tough for me to listen to."

Jerry Cantrell - FMQB

"It's a really intense song and a really open-hearted song because of Layne and the experience that we all went through. It's (about) facing up to that stuff and all the good and all the bad and moving forward together. It speaks to (the fact that) things were pretty black for us. It's pretty literal, and things are starting to get a little lighter."

Jerry Cantrell - Inked Magazine

"Even cutting that song, you can hear it in my voice. You can't really hide that. I don't even know how I got through the recording of that, but I just kept f--king slugging away. It was producer Nick Raskulinecz, our drummer Sean (Kinney), and me in a room, and all of us are crying our f--king eyes out. Sean's having f--king anxiety attacks and I'm f--king just holding onto the mic stands, (trying to) get through the f--king thing. And it was very difficult, even on the writing of that song. There was a huge chunk of grief there I'd been holding on to for a long time - I think we all have. And by writing that song, I kind of puked it out. So that probably triggered a big part of the mourning process that probably didn't happen right at the time Layne passed away. And I think a big part of that, for me, was that I dropped a record right when he died and I had to go on the road, so I was probably carrying a s--tload of stuff around. And probably still will. Like I said, it's never gonna be right."

Jerry Cantrell - Guitar World

"I got deathly ill. I had these mystery migraines, intense physical pain, and I'd even gotten a spinal tap to test for certain things. They never could find anything wrong with me. I felt I was puking up all this undigested grief in losing Layne. ..... I sent it to Sean Kinney, and then immediately I started getting these fucking migraine headaches where I felt like my brain was like unseated in my skull. I went through this mystery illness for about three weeks immediately following that where I really thought I was gonna fucking die. I was in physical pain to the point of tears, and they couldn't find anything wrong with me. I think what it really came down to there was a huge chunk of grief there I'd been holding onto for a long time. I think we all have. ..... I'm really, really proud of that song. I'm proud of it for a lot of reasons. It's all about facing up, owning your shit, owning your good stuff and your bad stuff, and continuing to walk forward and live a life."

YOU TUBE STUDIO TRACK YOU TUBE LYRIC VIDEO YOU TUBE LIVE 2009 I don't want to feel no more It's easier to keep falling Imitations are pale Emptiness all tomorrows Haunted by your ghost Lay down, black gives way to blue Lay down, I'll remember you Fading out by design Consciously avoiding changes Curtain's drawn, now it's done Silencing all tomorrows Forcing a goodbye Lay down, black gives way to blue Lay down, I'll remember you