The press release doesn’t indicate whether John sang on “Black Gives Way to Blue,” but he definitely contributes piano to the song which, according to Alice co-frontman Jerry Cantrell, is “a real, raw openhearted song for Layne” – meaning Layne Staley, the band’s former singer who died of a drug overdose in 2002. Elton John has been a passionate advocate for artists you wouldn’t necessarily expect him to like – Eminem being an obvious example – and apparently he’s a fan of the group. “I’ve long been an admirer of Jerry Cantrell,” John says in the release, “and when he asked me to play on ‘Black Gives Way To Blue,’ I was very flattered and couldn’t resist.”
Alice in Chains have already released “A Looking in View” from Black Gives Way to Blue, and there’s no word if the title track will be made available before the album’s launch. What’s curious is that piano has never had much of a presence on an Alice in Chains album before – I have to admit that I’m very curious what this will sound like. You could say, then, that today’s announcement accomplished its task – it got me thinking about Alice in Chains and their new record.
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