Cameron Crowe’s 1992 grunge-themed romantic comedy, Singles, featured brief clips of Seattle favorites Alice in Chains and Soundgarden performing in their prime. Thanks to the Blu-Ray version, released earlier this year, fans of the film and both bands can watch the full performances, which the film showed only briefly.
Like the film itself, the concerts were recorded in local Seattle venues. The footage shows Alice in Chains performing “It Ain’t Like That,” off 1990’s Facelift, while Soundgarden tackles “Birth Ritual,” which was available exclusively on the film’s soundtrack.
The Singles soundtrack featured some of the biggest names of Seattle’s nascent grunge scene at the time. Pearl Jam, Mother Love Bone and Screaming Trees were just a few of the other quickly ascending acts to be featured alongside Soundgarden and Alice in Chains. Seattle musicians Jimi Hendrix and the Lovemongers (Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart’s side project), as well as Chicago’s Smashing Pumpkins also contributed to successful compilation.
Crowe — a former Rolling Stone writer who detailed his experience with the magazine in the film Almost Famous — tried to capture the burgeoning Seattle scene with Singles. Bridget Fonda, Kyra Sedgwick and Matt Dillon starred in the film, with the latter as a member of a fictional grunge band called Citizen Dick. It followed Crowe’s 1989 directorial debut, Say Anything….
Both bands have had high-profile reunions in the last decade, following hiatuses and tragedies. The members of Soundgarden disbanded in 1997 to pursue solo careers and other projects before reuniting in 2010. Alice in Chains began an unofficial hiatus in the late Nineties due to lead singer Layne Staley’s reclusiveness. Staley died of a drug overdose in 2002, and the band embarked on an official break until 2006 when new singer William DuVall joined them.