Mark Lanegan, one of today’s greatest, most distinctive and enigmatic, archetypal rock ‘n’ roll singers, the lead vocal and co-founder of Screaming Trees and former member of Queens of the Stone Age, has died. He’s 57.
I was pretty lucky, had a chance to see his performance at Pohoda Festival in Slovakia in 2017. On stage, he didn’t say much. Just a small introduction in the beginning and then pretty much silence—or mumbled a bit—between songs. Well, I guess being tranquil is part of his persona, it exudes effortless charm. To hell with Kanye West and his foul mouth, you just stay cool and sing, Mark. Let people be stoked with your gritty as dirt, corrosive as alcohol, mountainous and gravelly voice.
The video here via jeffscott/YouTube, Mark Lanegan on Ireland’s RTE Other Voices TV program performing “Wedding Dress” from his 2004’s Bubblegum. You hear his baritone? The man’s a singing prodigy. Coldly beautiful voice.
Released on the Beggars Banquet label under the name “Mark Lanegan Band”, Bubblegum remains his most commercially successful release to date, reaching #39 on Billboard’s Independent Albums chart. It features a prominent cast of guest musicians, including PJ Harvey, Josh Homme, Greg Dulli (The Afghan Whigs), Duff McKagan, Izzy Stradlin, and also Lanegan’s ex-wife, Wendy Rae Fowler.
The Guardian awarded the album 4/5 stars: “At its bleakest and least tuneful, Bubblegum is powerful enough to take your breath away. In every sense, Bubblegum is a staggering record.”
While Playlouder said: “At times Bubblegum is terrifying, exhilarating, intimate, sexy, weird, and downright wonderful. Bubblegum is the sound of being loaded. Bubblegum is highly addictive, so be careful.”
Rest in power, dear Emperor.
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Featured image: Le Canal Auditif.
Text: Wikipedia, The Guardian, Pitchfork.