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Mark Lanegan

Singing with a deep, nicotine-ravaged growl that's rich, strong, and sensuously forbidding, Mark Lanegan first rose to fame when his band the Screaming Trees won a taste of mainstream recognition in the '90s. But like other noted artists, Lanegan has carved out a strong identity of his own as a vocalist and songwriter informed by the blues but willing to take his darkly poetic sensibility wherever his muse was pointing him, from hard rock to electronica.

Born in Ellensburg, Washington on November 25, 1964, Lanegan, by his own word, he grew up in a dysfunctional household and developed a powerful appetite for liquor and drugs in his teens that led to scrapes with the law. When he was 18, he struck up a friendship with Van Connor, who shared Lanegan's interest in music. Lanegan originally agreed to play drums in a band with Van and his brother, Gary Lee Connor, but when it was decided Lanegan was a better singer than a percussionist, Mark Pickerel came on board to play drums with the band that became known as the Screaming Trees. The Screaming Trees released their first album, Clairvoyance, in 1986, but it wasn't until 1992 that the band scored a commercial breakthrough when their song "Nearly Lost You" -- which appeared on the soundtrack to the movie Singles as well as their album Sweet Oblivion -- became a surprise hit thanks to extensive MTV play.

By the time "Nearly Lost You" hit the charts, Lanegan had already launched a solo career. He and Kurt Cobain shared a passion for the blues, particularly the music of Lead Belly, and the two formed a side group with Krist Novoselic and Mark Pickerel known as the Jury, with a plan to record an EP of Lead Belly tunes. While the Jury project soon fell apart, Lanegan used a recording of Lead Belly's "Where Did You Sleep Last Night" with Cobain and Novoselic as the launching pad for his darkly atmospheric solo debut, 1990's The Winding Sheet. The album earned enthusiastic reviews, but after the success of "Nearly Lost You," Lanegan and the Trees hit the road for a long tour; by most accounts, the group had a strained relationship in the best of circumstances, and as weeks turned into months on the road, the hard-drinking band clashed frequently. After the Sweet Oblivion tour ran its course, the group took a break and Lanegan cut another solo album, 1994's Whiskey for the Holy Ghost, a more dynamic set that once again impressed critics with Lanegan's powerful vocals and deep lyrical visions. In 1996, the Screaming Trees finally released their follow-up to Sweet Oblivion, but Dust failed to live up to the commercial success of their breakthrough album, despite the modest success of "All I Know" as a single and the band joining the bill for the 1996 Lollapalooza tour.

In 1998, Lanegan released his third solo album, Scraps at Midnight, followed by I'll Take Care of You, a collection of covers, in 1999, and in 2000, after playing a show to celebrate the opening of the Experience Music Project in Seattle, the Screaming Trees announced they were breaking up. With his main band out of the picture, Lanegan began to dive deep into collaborations with other acts; he'd already contributed to tribute albums honoring Willie Nelson and Skip Spence and appeared on Mike Watt's solo debut, Ball-Hog or Tugboat?, and in 2000, he performed guest vocals on the breakout album from Queens of the Stone Age, Rated R. While Lanegan was never an official member of QOTSA, he became a valuable ally to leader Josh Homme, contributing vocals and collaborating on songs for 2002's Songs for the Deaf, 2005's Lullabies to Paralyze, and 2013's Like Clockwork. In 2003, Lanegan worked with former Afghan Whigs frontman Greg Dulli on the sophomore album from Dulli's project the Twilight Singers, Blackberry Belle, and he would also appear with Dulli on two subsequent Twilight Singers albums, 2004's She Loves You and 2011's Dynamite Steps. Dulli and Lanegan would also record a collaborative album under the name the Gutter Twins, 2008's Saturnalia. In 2005, Lanegan recorded an EP of duets with Isobel Campbell, formerly of Belle & Sebastian, entitled Ramblin' Man; the pair would go on to record three full albums together, 2006's Ballad of the Broken Seas, 2008's Sunday at Devil Dirt, and 2010's Hawk. The U.K. electronic group Soulsavers brought Lanegan in to sing on their albums It's Not How Hard You Fall, It's the Way You Land (2007), Broken (2009), and The Light the Dead See (2012). And Lanegan became a regular contributor to the Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project, an ad hoc ensemble that interpreted songs by the late Gun Club frontman; Lanegan appeared on the albums We Are Only Riders (2009), The Journey Is Long (2012), and Axels & Sockets (2014).

While some of Lanegan's collaborations got more press than his own work during this period, he hardly had his solo career on the back burner. 2001's Field Songs offered the sort of dark, roots-oriented songs that were his trademark, and 2004's more rock-oriented Bubblegum was the first album credited to the Mark Lanegan Band, though instead of a set band, the tracks featured a rotating variety of accompanists including Josh Homme and Polly Jane Harvey. A second Mark Lanegan Band set, Blues Funeral, appeared in 2012, while Lanegan dropped two albums in 2013, a collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Duke Garwood titled Black Pudding, and a second album devoted to covers, Imitations. 2014 brought a third full-length from the Mark Lanegan Band, Phantom Radio, and in 2015, Lanegan partnered with a handful of producers and remix artists (including Moby, UNKLE, Soulsavers, and Mark Stewart) to create A Thousand Miles of Midnight: Phantom Radio Remixes. By this time, Lanegan's solo career had generated enough music to merit two different retrospective releases; in 2014, Light in the Attic issued the career-spanning compilation Has God Seen My Shadow? An Anthology 1989-2011, while in 2015 Sub Pop released One Way Street, a vinyl-only collection that featured new LP pressings of Lanegan's first five solo albums. ~ Mark Deming
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Imitations

1. Flatlands

2. She's Gone

3. Deepest Shade

4. You Only Live Twice

5. Pretty Colors

6. Brompton Oratory

7. Solitaire

8. Mack The Knife

9. I'm Not The Loving Kind

10. Lonely Street

11. Elegie Funebre

12. Autumn Leaves

x

Track List: Blues Funeral

1. The Gravedigger's Song

2. Bleeding Muddy Water

3. Grey Goes Black

4. St Louis Elegy

5. Riot In My House

6. Ode To Sad Disco

7. Phantasmagoria Blues

8. Quiver Syndrome

9. Harborview Hospital

10. Leviathan

11. Deep Black Vanishing Train

12. Tiny Grain Of Truth

x

Track List: Bubblegum

1. When Your Number Isn't Up

2. Hit The City

3. Wedding Dress

4. Methamphetamine Blues

5. One Hundred Days

6. Bombed

7. Strange Religion

8. Sideways In Reverse

9. Come To Me

10. Like Little Willie John

11. Can't Come Down

12. Morning Glory Wine

13. Head

14. Driving Death Valley Blues

15. Out Of Nowhere

x

Track List: Here Comes That Weird Chill

1. Methamphetamine Blues

2. On The Steps Of The Cathedral

3. Clear Spot

4. Message To Mine

5. Lexington Slow Down

6. Skeletal History

7. Wish You Well

8. Sleep With Me

x

Track List: Field Songs

1. One Way Street

2. No Easy Action

3. Miracle

4. Pill Hill Serenade

5. Don't Forget Me

6. Kimiko's Dream House

7. Resurrection Song

8. Field Song

9. Low

10. Blues For D

11. She Done Too Much

12. Fix

x

Track List: I'll Take Care Of You

1. Carry Home

2. I'll Take Care Of You

3. Shiloh Town

4. Creeping Coastline Of Lights

5. Badi-Da

6. Consider Me

7. On Jesus' Program

8. Little Sadie

9. Together Again

10. Shanty Man's Life

11. Boogie Boogie

x

Track List: Scraps At Midnight

1. Hospital Roll Call

2. Hotel

3. Stay

4. Bell Black Ocean

5. Last One In The World

6. Wheels

7. Waiting On A Train

8. Day & Night

9. Praying Ground

10. Because Of This

x

Track List: Whiskey For The Holy Ghost

1. The River Rise

2. Borracho

3. House A Home

4. Kingdoms Of Rain

5. Carnival

6. Riding The Nightingale

7. El Sol

8. Dead On You

9. Shooting Gallery

10. Sunrise

11. Pendulum

12. Judas Touch

13. Beggar's Blues

x

Track List: The Winding Sheet

1. Mockingbirds

2. Museum

3. Undertow

4. Ugly Sunday

5. Down In The Dark

6. Wild Flowers

7. Eyes Of A Child

8. The Winding Sheet

9. Woe

10. Ten Feet Tall

11. Where Did You Sleep Last Night

12. Juarez

13. I Love You Little Girl

x

Track List: The Gravedigger's Song (Single)

2. Burning Jacob's Ladder

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Saw him with Queens Of The Stone Age in an unplugged environment at Newbury Comics in Cambridge MA once. Much to my chagrin as soon as the set was over he took off presumably to the bus which I found to be quite lame in the face of where Screaming Trees came from. Then a casual listener next to me expressed comic disbelief that he took off because the only reason he got into Queens was because of Mark. That made me lose even more respect for him.
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His sound is wonderful
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We need Phantom Radio ASAP!
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steve.olson3 7
One more week and he'll be playing the Neptune in Seattle, woooo!
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Very cool
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hewdu19882
Fantastic music, And I'm not quite sure why trigun fans are a fan of Lanegan, but it seems to be the case. The beast in me, is a great song to compare to the challenges that Vash must face. Dark, and vibrant, this music really speaks to me.
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More depressing drivel.
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Anything he does is awesome. He could sing twinkle twinkle little star and it would be cool
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No mention of his collaboratio n with Soulsavers here
Report as inappropriate
Just saw him in concert last night in San Francisco... . AMAZING!!! he threw in a an old Scream Trees song in the middle.
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bhagan9
The BUBBLEGUM album was one of the coolest releases I've heard EVER!
Report as inappropriate
I was @ 432 am. Listening, and, and was just wondering what kind of motor vehicle mark has parked outside. ( 78 eldorado ? 76 corvair ? ) a man that can more than likely cab it everywhere, now that i think ? one cant drive when one has pen to paper as much as he has to. but you Shay, could just assk Mom. mr. Shay, one day i am comin thru that rite-aid Drive thru. i will call from my 78 nissan pick-up, 3 colors and all.
Report as inappropriate
Love his music. I live in Ellensburg now and go to the University and work at the local Rite Aid. His mother comes in all the time to talk to me. He'll be playing at the Gorge soon, I can't wait to see him!
Report as inappropriate
Read that the Trees last (dust) was scrapped many times before final production, after Sweet Oblivion i can understand why, few bands can claim even one masterpiece. (Beatles, The Who, Zepplin,) no b-sides. I need a smoke, out.
Report as inappropriate
Met him when I was 10 years old at his cousins house,mocked his then garage sounding trees tape he played us,several years later he's now my favorite singer,wheth e r with the trees,Q.O.T. S . A , g u t t e r twins,isobel campbell,or solo.who knew? ha ha
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The more i listen to him, the better it gets- all of it, Screaming Trees through the most recent Isobel Campbell disc- love it all
Report as inappropriate
@ triqun666: Under-apprec i a t e d ? No.
Report as inappropriate
Weird coincidence. . . . n e v e r knew that..oh well, good have a good mix of interests!!A l t h o u g h Vash and Lanegan have nothing in common..
Report as inappropriate
Interesting to note how many "Trigun" fans like his music...coun t another for me then.
Report as inappropriate
mark lanegan is under-apprec i a t e d . . s u c h a great voice..every song sounds dark and foreboding.. . . .
the gutter twins are worth checking out!
Report as inappropriate
"The greatest singer/songw r i t e r to exist."

hahahaha

...sure
Report as inappropriate
The greatest singer/songw r i t e r to exist.
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I can't believe they haven't added Bubblegum to the discography. One of his best albums yet and now 5 years old...
Report as inappropriate
krisabelle33
He is the most under appreciated artist of our time. Everything he does is amazing. I have seen him with QOTSA and as the Gutter Twins. I hold my breath every time in hopes it never ends.
Report as inappropriate
Listen to The Winding Sheet angel of anarchy. It is a beautiful album... His other solo work isn't for everybody, but Winding Sheet is timeless...
Report as inappropriate
Lanegan is music. Listening to him makes one appreciate the artist in a very honest and real way. His music encompasses all emmotion in a simplistical l y complex, original manner. His solo work, the Gutter Twins and anything he does with QOTSA is created in a such a way that true musicians should aspire to attain the inherent qualities that make his music great.
Report as inappropriate
Marks newest project, The Gutter Twins, in which he teams with Afghan Whigs frontman Greg Dulli, is amazing. Mark and Greg worked together on several Twilight Singers projects as well. If you like Mark or anything else he has done, you HAVE to check out The Gutter Twins and Twilight Singers
Report as inappropriate
Amazing. I have seen him live 3 times, going again in about a month to see the Gutter Twins. The most twisted, bourbon wracked voice of distress that has ever recorded a song. Live is a spiritual experience.
Report as inappropriate
wtrimmer
Back when Screaming Trees were making music, the only thing that stuck out in my mind was the voice. I have since discovered other things by Mark Lanegan and find his voice to be the most haunting and painful beautiful thing out there.

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