After years of bootleg recordings of their concerts flying around, Alice in Chains has released a compendium album of live recordings from 1990-96. Simply titled "Live," this CD represents the band's first live electric offering to their fans. The song selection is what you would expect from Chains, and they are good choices. The bad news is that many of the cuts sound like muddy soundboard tapes.
The Jerry Cantrell/Layne Staley vocal harmonies on "Rooster," "Angry Chair" and "Would?" demonstrate just how bad a band can sound outside the studio. There are some worthy nostalgia trips: "Bleed the Freak" and "Love, Hate, Love" -- both from "Facelift" -- are sure-footed and powerful, but ultimately "Live" leaves you with the feeling that the record was a contractual obligation. Fans should continue to opt for bootlegs until the group's label offers a decent live concert experience.