On this day in music history: August 21, 1990 …

On this day in music history: August 21, 1990 – “Facelift”, the debut album by Alice In Chains is released. Produced by Dave Jerden, it is recorded at London Bridge Studio in Seatte, WA and Capitol Recording Studios in Hollywood, CA from December 1989 – April 1990. Having gone through number of different line ups and name changes prior to recording their first album, the Seattle, WA based grunge rock band attracts major label interest based on the strength of their demo tape “The Treehouse Tapes” which they have been selling at their live shows. Their managers send a copy to Sony A&R man Nick Terzo, who in turn plays it for his boss Don Ienner. Columbia Records quickly sign them and make them a top priority. Prior to the sessions, drummer Sean Kinney breaks his hand but record with the band in spite of the injury. It spins off four singles including “Man In The Box” (#18 Mainstream Rock), “Sea Of Sorrow” (#27 Mainstream Rock), and “We Die Young”. The album sells slowly at first, until the video for “Man” goes into heavy rotation on MTV, giving the band widespread exposure. This makes Alice In Chains the first of the Seattle grunge rock bands to breakthrough (ahead of contemporaries like Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Pearl Jam) on a commercial basis. “Facelift” peaks at number forty two on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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