When it comes to music, Alice in Chains have always been the complete package -- incredible harmonies, dark and meaningful lyrics, the ability to cut on a dime between aggressive-in-your-face rock and the most melodic of moments and musicianship that has put them amongst the most respected acts going. But it doesn't stop there as the group has always taken an active interest in their visual presentation as well.
As Jerry Cantrell stated in an interview with Loudwire earlier this year, "We’re involved in every aspect of our business from every t-shirt to album cover to video … everything. We endlessly vote and talk and pick on s--- until we get the best stuff that everyone agrees on." With that in mind, Alice in Chains have worked with some of the top video directors in the business over the years and as such have been responsible for some of the most creative and visually eye-catching clips in rock. Noisecreep is taking the time to acknowledge their work with the 10 Greatest Alice in Chains videos.
'Get Born Again'Directed by: Paul Fedor
'Get Born Again' would be the last video from the band to feature the late Layne Staley, though technically he did not take part in the shoot. Fedor centered the plot around a mad scientists attempting to create his own version of Alice in Chains, using images from past videos to do so. In a case of life imitating art, Fedor did something similar utilizing footage from the 'Sea of Sorrow' and 'What the Hell Have I' videos to complete his vision.
'Man in the Box'Directed by: Paul Rachman
No 10 Greatest Alice in Chains Videos list would be complete without 'Man in the Box,' the clip that secured their place on the then-thriving MTV. Paul Rachman directed this disturbing promo, which featured a lethargic Staley amongst the creatures penned up in a barn. Yet that's not the creepiest thing in this clip, as a cloaked figure discovers the singer and when his identity is exposed, we see a man with his eyes sewn shut. Now there's an image that will stick with you for sure.
'No Excuses'Directed by: Matt Mahurin
'No Excuses' is one of the more visually striking clips Alice in Chains have issued. The video focuses on a man in a suit happening upon what first appears to be an abandoned theater until the inhabitants make themselves known. First the man in entertained then consumed by the production, eventually opting to remain with the theater. But the real star of this clip is the lighting, with Mahurin's use of shadows really helping to set the tone.
'Would?'Directed by: Cameron Crowe and John Taft
Directors Cameron Crowe on John Taft collaborated on the video for 'Would?,' which also featured on the 'Singles' soundtrack. There were a few hints of cross-promotion for the film, but essentially this clip is a showcase for the four piece as they perform flawlessly against a backdrop of striking photography.
'Hollow'Directed by: Roboshobo
Director Roboshobo takes some of themes of isolation from Alice in Chains' 'Hollow' and uses them for this astronaut tale. All seems innocent enough early as our hero goes about his daily tasks and speaks via video with his wife, but as the days pass, reality begins to deteriorate. The director succeeds in providing a visually stunning yet not exactly literal retelling of the song's lyrics.
'A Looking in View'Directed by: Stephen Schuster
Alice in Chains take the viewer on one head-trip of a ride with the Stephen Schuster-directed 'A Looking in View.' The video centers on three characters -- a young man consumed by time, a young woman drowning in her own perception and an older man wrought with sin. As we get "a looking in view" at the frailties of each and how major they are to each individual, the pull away finale gives you more of a big picture view.
'Them Bones'Directed by: Rocky Schneck
Alice in Chains get a little shock value out of their 'Them Bones' clip. The video finds the band performing in a cavern with a milky puddle in front of them that reflects giant insects, scorpions, snakes and even an attacking shark that are sure to give viewers a jolt. Simply put, it's hard to take your eyes off this clip and that's the sign of a great video.
'Your Decision'Directed by: Stephen Schuster
Stephen Schuster, who also directed 'A Looking in View,' returned for the 'Your Decision' video and offered a "not what it seems" take on an upscale dinner party. Is what is going on behind closed doors carnal or carnivorous? That's your decision to interpret as the viewer.
'Rooster'Directed by: Mark Pellington
There may be no more moving of a clip in our 10 Greatest Alice in Chains Videos list than 'Rooster.' Shot by Mark Pellington using real Vietnam War footage and graphically re-enacted combat scenes, this clip struck a chord with viewers. In addition, it features Jerry Cantrell's father, whom the song was written about. Cantrell Sr. is seen hunting on the family farm while having flashbacks about the war. The video is still a favorite of AIC fans as well as military personnel to this day.
'I Stay Away'Directed by: Nick Donkin
'I Stay Away' earns its spot on top of the 10 Greatest Alice in Chains Videos list due to the amazing artwork and craftsmanship that went into this clip. Shot using claymation characters and stop-motion animation, Donkin created a scenario where the band travel to a circus and unwittingly unleash chaos by letting loose a jar of flies. The video became such a classic that the puppets from the clip are now housed in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.