‘Dirt’-y to the ‘Core’: Landmark Alice in Chains & Stone Temple Pilots albums turn 30

Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings

September 29, 1992, was a veritable grunge-a-palooza.

Thirty years ago today, both Alice in ChainsDirt and Stone Temple PilotsCore were released.

Dirt followed Alice’s 1990 debut Facelift, which put the band, and the signature harmonized vocals of Layne Staley and Jerry Cantrell on the map with the single “Man in the Box.” As AiC prepped their sophomore follow-up, the grunge scene had begun to take off, and the budding genre eventually became a household term as Nirvana‘s Nevermind hit #1 on the Billboard 200 in January 1992.

A few weeks before Dirt dropped, the new Cameron Crowe movie Singles premiered in theaters, which featured Alice in Chains performing the album’s lead single, “Would?” When Dirt did arrive, it debuted at #6 on the Billboard 200, which was then a career-high for AiC.

Dirt also featured the singles “Rooster,” “Them Bones,” “Down in a Hole” and “Angry Chair.” The album would go on to earn a Grammy nomination and is today certified five-times Platinum by the RIAA.

As the grunge explosion continued, the “Seattle sound” of Nirvana, Alice, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden was no longer constricted to just the Pacific Northwest. Down the coast, Stone Temple Pilots were building a following in Southern California, leading to the release of their debut album, Core.

In addition to being geographical outsiders, Scott Weiland and company weren’t exactly critical darlings and were often dismissed as Pearl Jam imitators. Nevertheless, STP connected with listeners, who eventually propelled Core to #3 on the Billboard 200.

Singles including “Plush” and “Creep” are now considered ’90s classics, while Core has been certified eight-times Platinum.

Both AiC and STP have released deluxe reissues of Dirt and Core in honor of their respective albums’ milestone anniversaries.

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