100 Greatest Songs of the 90’s #71 Alice In Chains – Got Me Wrong

Released : 1992

One of grunge’s most defining qualities was how much it willingly took shelter in the quiet spaces. As a statement this might seem in blissful ignorance of the facts given the proclivity many of it’s artists had for power and distortion, but remembering that it’s greatest moment was Nirvana’s funereal Unplugged concert/seance held a few months before Kurt Cobain’s death, it’s an incontrovertibly true one.

Alice In Chains emerged from the same North-Western cultural desert but grew up just as subliminally on the tit of Neil Young, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Rush as much as Black Flag or Fugazi; in Layne Staley they recruited an equally iconic front man, one that along with founder member Jerry Cantrell wound up sharing vocal duties, a process which began on the Sap EP.

Got Me Wrong was one of the first songs released to feature this interplay and whilst Sap was released at their insistence with minimal promotion, AIC were – in another twist largely forgotten in grunge folklore – already a slow-burning commercial success following the release of Facelift in 1990. Cantrell’s lyrics dealt with people attempting to bend each other to their will, whilst the candle-friendly melodies traded off against a reassuringly muscular chorus. It’s subsequent inclusion on the soundtrack to Clerks has given what was intended to be a dirt road plenty of black top, but it’s simplicity means it’s still readily available for acoustic performances at weddings, Bar mitzvahs – and funerals.


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