Would? by Alice in Chains is not the song that inspired me to play the bass guitar. It’s not even the song that made me fall in love with the four-stringed Weapon of Groove.
What Would? did however, was help me to actually get good at playing my weapon of choice.
Like many of my favourite bands today, I was late to the Alice in Chains party, only discovering the band’s Dirt album at least a decade -if not more- after it was released.
Once I had discovered it, however, I quickly made up for lost time.
Into The Flood Again…
Much like Pearl Jam (who you can guarantee will be showing up on this 52 Songs That Changed My Life list sooner or later), Alice in Chains was introduced to me by a couple of friends who went to college with my now ex-girlfriend.
One of them tragically took his own life about a year after I met him, and I must admit that I still think of him often when I hear this band.
I also think of times spent watching the two of them rehearse a grunge-heavy set list for their band-in-progress, and being riveted by this raw, gritty, and passionate sound.
I would go home, find as much Alice in Chains as I could, and listen repeatedly.
…Same Old Trip It Was Back Then
As I said at the start of this blog, I had already fallen deeply in love with the bass guitar.
So you can imagine why I found it easy to like Alice in Chains. Mikes Starr and Inez played a pivotal role in the band’s sound, their sorrowful bass really shaping the mood of their songs.
Nowhere is that more evident than with Would? Where it ups the pace yet retains the certain sense of darkness that was one of AIC’s hallmarks.
Without the bass, this song just would not be what it is.
Nor would it be the kind of thing that, when I first heard it, I felt compelled to listen to -and play- over and over.
So I Made a Big Mistake, Try to See it Once My Way
Much like Zombie by The Cranberries, this was a song I could play repeatedly on the bass guitar and never get bored of.
So I did.
There was a brief-but-memorable period of my life when the only thing that mattered to was nailing the bass to Would? by Alice in Chains.
Eventually, I got there, and still love playing this song to this date.
Today, I don’t believe I’m the greatest bass player in the world. It’s something I do for fun rather than because I have any kind of serious musical ambition.
Still, I know I’d be far worse at using my weapon of choice if I hadn’t spent so many hours learning my instrument just be able to nail this absolute masterpiece of a song.
Would? by Alice in Chains is the 29th song on my list of 52 songs that changed my life. Other entries in this list are below:
- Michael Jackson – Bad
- Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
- Queen – The Hitman
- R.E.M – Drive
- Pink Floyd – The Wall
- The Eagles – Take it Easy
- Beautiful South – Old Red Eyes is Back
- Coal Chamber – Loco
- Type O Negative – Everything Dies
- Monster Magnet – Space Lord
- Live – The Dolphin’s Cry
- Metallica – The Memory Remains
- The Prodigy – Poison
- Nirvana – Territorial Pissings
- Iron Maiden – The Angel & The Gambler
- Metallica – Creeping Death
- Pantera – Cowboys From Hell
- System of a Down – Sugar
- Guns ‘n’ Roses – Garden of Eden
- Guns ‘n’ Roses – Mr. Brownstone
- Metallica – King Nothing
- The Cranberries – Zombie
- The Offspring – The Meaning of Life
- Muse – New Born
- Biohazard – Resist
- Rage Against The Machine – Testify
- Soil – Halo
- Slayer – Seasons in the Abyss