Thursday, February 24, 2022

Mark Lanegan

Mark William Lanegan (born November 25, 1964) died yesterday, he was an American singer-songwriter, author, and musician. First becoming prominent as the lead singer for early grunge band Screaming Trees, he was also known as a member of Queens of the Stone Age and The Gutter Twins. He released twelve solo studio albums, as well as three collaboration albums with Isobel Campbell and two with Duke Garwood. Lanegan was known for his baritone voice, which was described as being "as scratchy as a three-day beard yet as supple and pliable as moccasin leather."

Lanegan began his musical career in 1984 as the frontman of the psychedelic grunge band Screaming Trees, with whom he released seven studio albums and five EPs before their disbandment in 2000. During his time in the band, he also started a solo career and released his first solo studio album, The Winding Sheet, in 1990. He subsequently released a further ten solo albums, which received critical recognition but only moderate commercial success. Following the end of Screaming Trees, he became a frequent collaborator of Queens of the Stone Age and featured on their albums Rated R, Songs for the Deaf, Lullabies to Paralyze, Era Vulgaris, and ...Like Clockwork.

Lanegan also collaborated with various artists throughout his career. In the 1990s, he recorded an unreleased album of Lead Belly covers with Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, and joined Layne Staley of Alice in Chains and Mike McCready of Pearl Jam in the band Mad Season. He formed the alternative rock group The Gutter Twins with Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs in 2003. Between 2004 and 2011, he released three critically acclaimed albums of duets with Scottish singer Isobel Campbell of Belle and Sebastian. He also contributed to releases by Moby, Bomb the Bass, Soulsavers, Tinariwen, The Twilight Singers, Manic Street Preachers, and Unkle, among others.

Lanegan struggled with drug addiction and alcoholism throughout his life, but sustained sobriety for over a decade up until his death. Encouraged by his friend Anthony Bourdain, Lanegan released his first of two memoirs Sing Backwards and Weep in 2020, followed by Devil in a Coma, about his near-death experience with COVID-19, the following year.

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