Dirt is the second studio album by Alice in Chains. The album was released on September 29, 1992 through Columbia Records. Dirt was produced by the band and Dave Jerden. Debuting at number six on the Billboard 200, the album received favorable critical reviews and has been certified 4× platinum by the RIAA.
Many of the lyrics contained within the album deal with depression and drug abuse. Five singles were released from the album, "Would?", "Them Bones", "Rooster", "Angry Chair", and "Down in a Hole".
Themes on the album consisted of feelings of depression, anti-social behaviour, drug use, war, death, entrapment, deep relationships and various other heavy topics. Cantrell had stated that this album was the band's best work and most intense work, and that they all intentionally for years wanted to make a "brutal" record. Six songs on the album were about heroin, including "Sickman", "Junkhead", "Dirt", "God Smack", "Hate to Feel" and "Angry Chair".Upon its release in September 1992, Dirt peaked at number 6 on the Billboard's Top 200 album chart. Dirt was released the same day as Stone Temple Pilots' debut album Core, another successful grunge album. The album granted Alice in Chains international recognition.
In the light of this new release, "Man in the Box" was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of Best Hard Rock Performance.
Steve Huey of Allmusic said "Dirt is Alice in Chains' major artistic statement and the closest they ever came to recording a flat-out masterpiece. It's a primal, sickening howl from the depths of Layne Staley's heroin addiction, and one of the most harrowing concept albums ever recorded. Not every song on Dirt is explicitly about heroin, but Jerry Cantrell's solo-written contributions (nearly half the album) effectively maintain the thematic coherence -- nearly every song is imbued with the morbidity, self-disgust, and/or resignation of a self-aware yet powerless addict."
This writer believes Dirt is, in fact, a masterpiece...