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PRIMARY WAVE MUSIC ACQUIRES MUSIC RIGHTS FROM THE ESTATES OF LAYNE STALEY AND MIKE STARR FROM THE ICONIC ROCK BAND ALICE IN CHAINS

February 7th, 2022

THE DEAL WILL SEE THE INDEPENDENT POWERHOUSE 

ACQUIRE A STAKE IN STALEY AND STARR’S MUSIC PUBLISHING AND MASTER ROYALTIES

 

THE DEAL ENCOMPASSES SOME OF THEIR MOST LEGENDARY HITS INCLUDING

“MAN IN THE BOX,” “ROOSTER,” AND “WOULD”

 

“Alice In Chains had one of the greatest impacts across one of the shortest

timeframes in the history of rock.”  – Kerrang

The independent publishing powerhouse, Primary Wave Music has announced today their acquisition of music rights from the estates of Layne Staley and Mike Starr of the legendary grunge group and Grammy-nominated band Alice In Chains. The deal will see the publisher acquire a stake in the Layne Staley’s and Mike Starr’s music publishing catalog, as well as master royalty income stream. Many of Alice In Chains’ biggest and most memorable hits are included, songs that defined an era. Just some of the royalties acquired include “Man In the Box,” “Rooster,” and “No Excuses,” as well as their hit recording “Would?” which was released in 1992 and not only appeared in the film “Singles” but was also included on the critically acclaimed soundtrack. Rolling Stone called the song “timeless” saying it’s “the work of a band which understands that life gets way out of hand but that first-rate rock recordings can’t.” A number of additional songs in the catalog include several Grammy nominated singles, number one hits, and many platinum and multi-platinum tracks.

Additional deal terms will now see members of both estates gain access to Primary Wave’s entire marketing team, digital team, branding team and publishing infrastructure which includes licensing and synch opportunities.

 

Of the deal, Primary Wave Music’s David Weitzman said “Primary Wave is pleased to partner with the estates of Layne Staley and Mike Starr to honor their musical legacies as part of the classic era lineup of Alice In Chains, who created the amazing songs and records that comprise the albums Dirt and Facelift, and the acoustic EPs, Jar of Flies and Sap. These projects represent the greatest works from one of the best artists of the iconic ’90’s Seattle based grunge era.”

Alice In Chains both epitomized the solemn, heavy Seattle sound of the 1990s and stood apart from the grunge hordes. What separated them from their alt-rock brethren was how their roots lay in heavy metal, not punk. Vocalist Layne Staley and Guitarist Jerry Cantrell both played in metal bands prior to the formation of Alice In Chains in 1987 and they released the band’s debut, Facelift, in 1990. Despite their connections to metal, Alice In Chains thrived in the glory days of grunge, and it wasn’t merely a question of timing, either. The band’s sensibility fit into the alternative rock zeitgeist of the early ’90s. Staley’s vocals were an ideal match for Cantrell’s gloomy, minor key riffs, creating a sound that felt as heavy as their Seattle cohorts but also was slightly slicker and ready for radio. It was versatile, too. After the group scored rock radio and MTV hits with “Man in the Box” and “Would?” in the early days of grunge, Alice In Chains became one of the first alt-rock bands of the ’90s to delve into acoustic-based music, scoring hits with the comparatively softer “No Excuses” and “I Stay Away.” In June 1992, Alice In Chains filmed a cameo in “Singles,” Cameron Crowe’s romantic comedy celebrating Seattle’s vibrant underground scene of the early ’90s. By the time the film’s soundtrack appeared, the Seattle scene had exploded nationally, and Alice In Chains were in the thick of it. “Would?,” a menacing grind that doubled as the first single from both the Singles soundtrack and Alice In Chains’ second album, Dirt, started its climb up Billboard’s mainstream rock chart in June 1992. By the point Dirt appeared in stores in September, Alice In Chains had firmly laid stakes in the grunge camp: “Them Bones,” the second single, became their first song to chart on Billboard’s alternative rock chart. Arriving at the peak of 1992’s grunge explosion, the dark and gloomy Dirt made Alice In Chains’ career. By December, the album earned a platinum certification and would go platinum once again in 1993 and 1995, with a fourth and final certification arriving in 2000 — and it stayed on the charts thanks to “Angry Chair” and the Top Ten mainstream rock hits “Rooster” and “Down in a Hole.” Jar of Flies found the band retreating to softer, moody music, and the shift paid off commercially with hits including “Nutshell”. The song, with lyrics written by Staley, is considered one of the band’s most well-known songs and has been placed on several top ten lists. Upon its January 1994 release, Jar of Flies became the first EP to debut at number one on the Billboard charts and, thanks in part to “No Excuses” — which went to number one on the mainstream rock chart and three on Billboard’s alternative chart, it was certified platinum by March; it would eventually earn two additional certifications. Alice In Chains reconvened to record their third and self-titled album with producer Toby Wright. Vocalist Layne Staley was writer or co-writer for eight of the twelve tracks on the critically acclaimed record and upon its November 1995 release, the eponymous record debuted at number one on Billboard. Lead singles “Grind” and “Heaven Beside You” reached the mainstream rock Top Ten; the latter peaked at six on the alternative rock chart. The band also recorded a concert — their first in nearly three years – for MTV Unplugged on April 10, 1996. Two years later, Alice In Chains completed two new songs, including the Top Ten mainstream rock hit “Get Born Again,” for the box set Music Bank. The box was the first of a series of archival releases in the next three years: Nothing Safe: The best of the Box showed up in 1999, followed by the concert compilation Live in 2000 and Greatest Hits in 2001.