Would? the final track from Alice in Chains sophomore album Dirt, is one of my favorite songs, simple as that.

Well, it’s not that simple.

I find so much to like about this song and Alice in Chains as a band. The vocal harmonies of Layne Staley and Jerry Cantrell (and Cantrell’s harmony with William DuVall) are some of the best in rock music.

Furthermore, the drumming of Sean Kinney and the bass playing of Mike Starr and Mike Inez cannot go unstated, especially when it comes to this song. Starr’s bass playing kicks of the song, creating a certain mood. Combined with Kinney’s rolling drum beats, Cantrell’s guitar and the vocals, a great song comes to life.

Before I go further, I should talk about some background. Would? was intended as a tribute to the singer of Mother Love Bone, Andrew Wood, who tragically died at 24.

This song was also recorded earlier than the rest of the album, being featured on the Cameron Crowe film Singles. In turn, Cameron Crowe would be one of the co-directors of the the music video.

The lyrics, dark and question, worry about the future. The lyrics can be seen as facing the problems with drug addiction and try to toe the line. I can relate to the song in some ways, not due to addiction issues, but with mental health.

In particular:

Am I wrong?
Have I run too far to get home?
Have I gone?
And left you here alone?

I feel this sometimes, feeling like I may end up accidently abandoning friends fighting my own mental health and working like hell to keep those friendships. My point is, many people can find different meanings from a song.

Also, this song just sounds really good. It’s really catchy in spite of it’s darker lyrics.

(For your viewing pleasure, I have included both the original video and the unplugged version.)

And if you like my writing feel free to donate at my ko-fi at https://ko-fi.com/r_writes.

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