Heaven Beside You

Last updated on 9 December 2016

"Heaven Beside You" is a song by American grunge band Alice in Chains, from their third album Alice in Chains (1995). The song was included on the compilation albums Music Bank (1999), Greatest Hits (2001), and The Essential Alice in Chains (2006).

Alice in chains heaven beside you.png
Alice in chains heaven beside you.png

Composition

"Heaven Beside You" was written and sung by guitarist Jerry Cantrell with Layne Staley doing harmonies during the chorus. The song is a mid-tempo song that contrasts the general overall "heaviness" of Alice in Chains' eponymous album.

Lyrics

"Heaven Beside You" was written by Jerry Cantrell after the break-up with his girlfriend of seven years.[1] Cantrell was unable to remain faithful to the woman who he described as "the most beautiful girl I've ever seen in my life," and added, "I still love her, but I'm too much of a fucking wolf—kill, attack, move on...It's so tough when you're so used to being hard. You can't tell an oak tree to be a pine."[1] In the liner notes of 1999's Music Bank box set collection, Jerry Cantrell said of the song:

Another attempt to reconcile the fact that my life and paths are tearing me apart from the person I love. All the things I write about her are a way for me to maybe speak to her, express things I could never express.[2]

Release and reception

"Heaven Beside You" was released as a single in 1996. "Heaven Beside You" peaked at number 52 on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart, making it Alice in Chains' second-highest charting single after "No Excuses". "Heaven Beside You" peaked at number three on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and at number six on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. "Heaven Beside You" reached the top 40 in the UK.

Allmusic's Steve Huey regarded the song "among the band's best work."[3] Ned Raggett of Allmusic said that the song "continued in the vein of Jar of Flies with its lead acoustic riff and generally low-key presentation" and added that "Cantrell's electric work is some of his best, moving beyond the admittedly powerful blasts of feedback he was known for to find a new, textured approach that balanced volume with a richer, less oppressive feel."[4]

Music video

The music video for "Heaven Beside You" was released in 1996 and was directed by Frank W. Ockenfels III. The video is available on the home video release Music Bank: The Videos.

Live performances

Alice in Chains performed an acoustic version of "Heaven Beside You" for its appearance on MTV Unplugged in 1996 and the song was included on the Unplugged live album and home video release.

Appearances in other media

The song was released as downloadable content for the Rock Band video game series on January 12, 2010.

Track listing

Version one
No. Title Length
1. "Heaven Beside You" 5:27
2. "Would?" (live) 3:27
3. "Rooster" (live) 6:15
4. "Junkhead" (live) 5:09
Version two
No. Title Length
1. "Heaven Beside You" 5:27
2. "Angry Chair" (live) 4:24
3. "Man in the Box" (live) 5:46
4. "Love, Hate, Love" (live) 7:50

Personnel

Chart positions

Chart (1996) Peak
position
Canada Rock/Alternative (RPM)[5] 22
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[6] 35
US Radio Songs (Billboard)[7] 52
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)[8] 3
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[9] 6

References

  1. ^ a b Wiederhorn, Jon (February 8, 1996). "To Hell and Back". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2011-04-24.
  2. ^ Liner notes, Music Bank box set. 1999.
  3. ^ Huey, Steve. "Alice in Chains". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-05-29.
  4. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Heaven Beside You". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-02-27.
  5. ^ "Top RPM Rock/Alternative Tracks: Issue 2883." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  6. ^ "Alice in Chains: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  7. ^ "Alice in Chains – Chart history" Billboard Radio Songs for Alice in Chains. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  8. ^ "Alice in Chains – Chart history" Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs for Alice in Chains. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  9. ^ "Alice in Chains – Chart history" Billboard Alternative Songs for Alice in Chains. Retrieved November 6, 2016.

External links

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