Artist Details

Mark Lanegan

Mark Lanegan's solo albums are sufficiently dissimilar in tone from those of his regular group, Screaming Trees, to make listeners wonder where his true interests lie. His records often employ a much more acoustic tone, and address much more serious, personal concerns. Despite ample critical acclaim, Lanegan always kept the Screaming Trees his primary concern (that is, until their breakup). The original plan for Lanegan's first solo recording was to do an EP of blues songs with Nirvana's Kurt Cobain and Chris Novoselic, as well as Screaming Trees drummer Mark Pickerel. That didn't work out, and The Winding Sheet ended up being recorded with Pickerel, guitarist Mike Johnson (later bassist in Dinosaur Jr.), and noted producer Jack Endino on bass. Released in 1990, the album included a cover of the Leadbelly folk number "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?" from the aborted sessions with Cobain and Novoselic; it became the basis for Nirvana's version on MTV Unplugged. Despite a good reception from the underground, it took until 1994 for Lanegan's brilliantly assured follow-up, Whiskey for the Holy Ghost, to surface, which again featured Johnson in a prominent role. Afterwards, Lanegan once again returned to Screaming Trees for what proved to be the band's final album, 1996's Dust. With the Trees on hiatus, Lanegan resumed his solo career with 1998's Scraps at Midnight, which followed in the vein of its predecessors. The follow-up appeared much more quickly this time; 1999's I'll Take Care of You was a quietly stunning covers album drawing on Lanegan's interest in roots music. Two years later, Field Songs arrived.