Alice in Chains thought it would take a miracle to get Elton John to play on the band's tribute record to its late lead singer, Layne Staley. But it took only a listen to the song to get the rock legend on board.
John plays piano on "Black Gives Way to Blue," a short but poignant ode to Staley, who died of a drug overdose in 2002. The song is the title track for the band's upcoming CD, the grunge rockers' first studio album in 14 years.
"He really brought something that was really necessary and took the song to another level," said Alice in Chains co-founder Jerry Cantrell, who wrote the song.
The CD, set for release Sept. 29, is Alice in Chains' first with singer-guitarist William DuVall, who joined the band -- which also includes drummer Sean Kinney and bassist Mike Inez -- a few years ago.