A GUEST POSTING by JONNY THE FRIENDLY LAWYER
The great singers from the Seattle grunge scene are cursed. Kurt Cobain, Layne Staley, and Chris Cornell all passed way before their time.
Now we have to add Mark Lanegan, who died on February 22 at the age of 57, to that sad list. And he was the best of them all. Cobain had the edge, Staley had the power, Cornell had the range. But Lanegan had all of that and more.
Most folks will recognize his powerful baritone on the song ‘Nearly Lost You’ by his first major band, Screaming Trees. It’s a great song, and probably the most successful one that Lanegan wrote and sang. But Lanegan could, and did, sing with anyone and everyone. There’s a hell of a lot to say about Lanegan and his many recordings, collaborations and writings. But you can just listen for yourself, and remember:
An album track from Sweet Oblivion, Screaming Trees’ 1992 breakthrough sixth album.
From Songs for the Deaf, the 2002 album by Queens of the Stone Age. Lanegan was at one time a full member of the band and wrote and recorded on three QOTSA albums.
From 2008’s Saturnalia, an album Lanegan recorded with Afghan Whigs’ Greg Dulli under the name The Gutter Twins.
All The Way Down.
Guest vocal on Soulsavers‘ 2009 LP Broken.
Guest vocal on Bomb The Bass‘s 2008 LP Future Chaos.
Sure Nuff ‘N Yes I Do.
Cover of the Beefheart classic recorded for Nick Cave‘s 2012 Film Lawless. The soundtrack band was called the Bootleggers and featured Cave and Warren Ellis.
Between 2006 and 2010 Lanegan released three albums with Isobel Campbell of Belle & Sebastian fame. ‘Revolver’ is from the first LP, Ballad of the Broken Seas.
Hit The City.
In addition to appearing on everyone else’s records, Lanegan hosted a number of luminaries on his own solo albums, of which there were twelve. His 2004 album Bubblegum features none other than TVV fave PJ Harvey on this track.
Mad Season was a grunge supergroup, including Layne Staley from Alice in Chains, Mike McCready from Pearl Jam and Barrett Martin of Screaming Trees. They only released one album, 1995’s Above, which featured Lanegan on five songs including Locomotive, whose lyrics Lanegan wrote.
Where Did You Sleep Last Night.
Everyone remembers Nirvana’s chilling live acoustic performance of this traditional American song. But that one was recorded a few years after Lanegan recorded this version for his 1990 debut solo album, The Winding Sheet. Cobain can be heard singing background vocals, with Krist Novoselic playing bass.
A huge thanks to Jonny for writing this very quickly during daytime in Los Angeles and getting it over to me during the night here in Glasgow so that it could be published on the blog today.