On Tuesday, fans of Mad Season -- the all-star collaboration that included late Alice in Chains frontman Layne Staley and Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready -- got their hands on a deluxe edition of the band’s only studio album, Above . The collection includes three previously unreleased tracks from the band's unfinished second album, with new lyrics and vocals by former Screaming Trees singer Mark Lanegan .
Drummer Barrett Martin says that Lanegan was the obvious choice to create the new tracks for the deluxe edition because of his history of writing and recording with the band. “We had recorded about 20 instrumental tracks for Layne and Mark to write lyrics to, but they just never did it,” he tells ABC News Radio. “And then [bassist John ] Baker [ Saunders ] passed away and then Layne passed away. So when we were revisiting those unfinished tracks, it just seemed natural to give them to Mark.”
Martin adds that one of the new tracks, “Black Book of Fear,” features contributions from a very special guest. “Even though that second album never got completed, there was still a lot of magic in the music,” he explains. “ Peter Buck , the guitar player from R.E.M. , he loved the band too and so when we went in to do that second record, he asked if he could play some guitar with us and so he actually co-wrote the song ‘Black Book of Fear,’ which Mark Lanegan also sang on.”
In addition to the new songs, the package includes a copy of the band’s only live DVD, Live at the Moore , and a video of the band's performance from New Years Eve 1995 at the now-defunct Seattle club, RKCNDY.
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