Last night I watched Kevin Smith’s latest movie Yoga Hosers and it was bad.
Really, really bad.
Now you can argue with me why it was so bad, and you’d probably be right, but one of the underreported aspects of its badness was the music. The Clerks Soundtrack was one of the Top 5 Soundtracks of all time. When you listen to the Yoga Hosers Soundtrack, the I’m the Man cover was cute and Wishing Well by Terence Trent D’Arby was a good song, but it was out of place in the mix of the movie. By the time the Colleens covered Babe by Styx, I wanted to finish watching the movie with the volume off.
So that was Friday night. I woke up today and the website Stereogum listed the Best 10 Alice in Chains songs and Got Me Wrong wasn’t on the list. As a matter of fact, they basically butchered the whole list. Part of what made Clerks so great was because the marriage of song and movie was so strong, it defined 1994. I don’t think I can help Kevin Smith (my movie wasn’t any better), but I can help Stereogum. Here’s what they meant to write…
10. Get Born Again
As the public yearned for anything from Alice in Chains, behind the scenes the band was plagued with turmoil and dependency issues. When I heard Get Born Again, it reminded me of their greatness and hoped they would figure it out. One of 2 songs recorded in 1999 for the Best of the Box Greatest Hits Compilation, I was wrong as it would be the last 2 songs recorded by Layne Staley for Alice in Chains before his death in 2002.
Bleak despair. Perfect music to kill yourself to. (Note: Please don't kill yourself.) From 1994's masterpiece Jar of Flies.
8. Dam That River
The whole first half of Dirt, songs 1-5, were all classics. Them Bones didn’t stand the test of time like some of the others, but the power of Dam That River holds up today.
7. No Excuses (Unplugged)
When Alice in Chains released their Unplugged Album, it was No Excuses that seemed like it got its biggest upgrade by being slowed down and played acoustically.
6. I Stay Away
Unlike other Alice in Chains releases, its the amazing musical arrangements that stick in your head over the lyrics. First released on 1994's EP Jar of Flies, then re-released four, yes four, more times on Alice in Chains compilations.
Grind might not be their best song, but it was their best video. There was something disturbing and forboding about the whole exercise. The lead single on 1995's self-titled album.
Unlike the Clerks example, Would? was the lead single on the Singles Soundtrack. Singles the movie was horrible, but the soundtrack was amazing.
3. Man in the Box
In retrospect, a lot of Alice in Chains’ discography seemed like a cry for help, but no song more than Man in the Box.
Not the unplugged version, the Dirt version. One of the greatest rock songs of the 90’s. It’s not Alice in Chains fault that it’s vastly overplayed.
1. Got Me Wrong (1994)
Alice in Chains created magic when they lended their music to the Clerks Soundtrack and Clerks made the song a classic.
Alice in Chains was one of the few bands in the 90's whose biggest hits were some of their best songs.