Alice in Chains secured widespread popularity as part of the famed Seattle grunge scene of the early nineties. Unlike many Seattle groups of the time, their music incorporated elements of both heavy metal and acoustic rock. Compared with the electric guitar heavy, punk-influenced bands of the time, Alice in Chains pulled in influences from bombastic arena rock to mellower styles of music. Part of the compendium of Seattle groups which rode on Nirvana's coattails into massive public attention--each seeming to catch fire simultaneously---Alice in Chains still hold the record for the largest selling EP of all time,1993's Dirt, on which this song is located.
"Rooster" is dedicated to guitarist Jerry Cantrell's father, who served in Vietnam. A powerful anti-war track, revealing the horror and fear of combat, the song reached number seven in the mainstream rock tracks. "Rooster" was a fan favorite and made its way into frequent MTV rotation.