Above [DVD]

Above [DVD]

by Mad SeasonMad Season

CD(Expanded / Bonus DVD)

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Think of the one-shot Seattle supergroup Mad Season as the grunge version of sober living. Guitarist Mike McCready, best known as the main six-string slinger in Pearl Jam, met bassist John Baker Saunders while in rehab, and the two paired with Screaming Trees drummer Barrett Martin and Alice in Chains' vocalist Layne Staley, partially in hopes of steering the singer onto the path of the straight and narrow. Ultimately, the plan didn't pan out but for a brief while, the quartet -- who adopted the name Mad Season -- did have their moment of clarity, captured on the 1995 album Above. There was a single issued to modern rock radio -- "River of Deceit" -- but this record downplayed easy hooks and melody in favor of churning introspection and slow vamps that occasionally flirt with blues (the never-ending 12-bar "Artificial Red," balanced by the distorto riffs of "I Don't Everything") but usually conjure nothing more than the dank sludge of Seattle. Mad Season isn't quite mired in the darkest areas of grunge -- they're clever enough to let a saxophonist lend color to "Long Gone Day" -- but the lack of melodicism is a bit of a drag over the long haul, turning Above into a bit of heavy mood music. In a sense, it's the id of Seattle run rampant: all the bands involved, outside of Saunders' Walkabouts and Martin's Trees (who were nevertheless considerably more popular than Saunders' group), enjoyed commercial success in 1995, so they could have gotten away with anything and, in a sense, they did, letting a major release this turgid bit of soul-baring heavy rock. McCready gets plenty of room for his elliptical guitar, the players have space to dig into their minor-key vamps, Staley essays his only set of completely original lyrics, but the whole thing feels kind of inert and indulgent, which may be appropriate for a band treating rock & roll as therapy. [The 2013 Deluxe Edition of Above is loaded with bonus material, beginning with four tracks from Mad Season's unfinished 1999 album, finally completed with the Screaming Trees' Mark Lanegan as lyricist and vocalist. Lanegan adds a gravity the otherwise tortured Staley lacked -- as dynamic a frontman as Layne was, Lanegan feels made of granite -- and consequently, these bonus tracks are little more compelling than the proper album. Elsewhere on the Deluxe Edition lie the entirety of the group's final gig, a performance at the Seattle venue the Moore from April of 1995, captured as both a CD (weighing in at 11 tracks) and a DVD (a seven-cut edit, followed by five bonus tracks). Elsewhere on the DVD are other live performances, including a full concert at RKCNDY and some highlights from Pearl Jam's Self Pollution Radio. These bonus cuts don't change the overall impression of the album but they do give hardcore fans plenty of rarities to savor.]

Product Details

Release Date: 04/02/2013
Label: Sony Legacy
UPC: 0887254733928
catalogNumber: 547339
Rank: 21495


Disc 1

  1. Wake Up
  2. X-Ray Mind
  3. River of Deceit
  4. I'm Above
  5. Artificial Red
  6. Lifeless Dead
  7. I Don't Know Anything
  8. Long Gone Day
  9. November Hotel
  10. All Alone
  11. Interlude
  12. Locomotive
  13. Black Book of Fear
  14. Slip Away
  15. I Don't Wanna Be a Soldier

Disc 2

  1. Wake Up
  2. Lifeless Dead
  3. Artificial Red
  4. River of Deceit
  5. I Don't Wanna Be a Soldier
  6. Long Gone Day
  7. I'm Above
  8. I Don't Know Anything
  9. X-Ray Mind
  10. All Alone
  11. November Hotel

Disc 3

  1. Lifeless Dead
  2. River of Deceit
  3. Long Gone Day
  4. I Don't Know Anything
  5. X-Ray Mind
  6. All Alone
  7. November Hotel
  8. Wake Up
  9. Artificial Red
  10. I Don't Wanna Be a Soldier
  11. I'm Above
  12. Wake Up
  13. Lifeless Dead
  14. River of Deceit
  15. I Don't Know Anything
  16. I'm Above
  17. Artificial Red
  18. I Don't Wanna Be a Soldier
  19. All Alone
  20. November Hotel
  21. Lifeless Dead
  22. I Don't Know Anything
  23. River of Deceit

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Mad Season   Primary Artist
Mark Lanegan   Vocals
Barrett Martin   Percussion,Cello,Drums,Marimbas,Vibes,Upright Bass,Group Member
Mike McCready   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Group Member
John Saunders   Electric Bass,Group Member
Layne Staley   Guitar,Vocals,Group Member
Nalgas Sin Carne   Percussion,Saxophone

Technical Credits

Mark Lanegan   Composer,Lyricist
John Lennon   Composer
Peter Buck   Composer
Brett Eliason   Producer,Engineer,Associate Remixing Engineer
Alain Johannes   Vocal Engineer
Barrett Martin   Composer,Liner Notes
Mike McCready   Composer
John Saunders   Composer
Layne Staley   Composer,Lyricist,Cover Art
Mad Season   Composer,Producer
Kevin Shuss   Filmmaker
Mandy Eidgah   Marketing
Jennifer Feinberg   Marketing
Duncan Sharp   Director

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