At the height of the ’90s “grunge” era, members of three of Seattle’s biggest bands got together for a side-project that has taken on legendary status. Mad Season featured Pearl Jam‘s guitarist Mike McCready, Alice In Chains‘ frontman Layne Staley and Screaming Trees drummer Barrett Martin (along with a lesser-known bass player named John Baker Saunders).  Their sole album, Above, featured a couple of classic songs, including “River Of Deceit,” “Wake Up” and “I Don’t Know Anything.” 

Now, surviving members McCready and Martin are putting out an expanded reissue. (Saunders died in 1999 and Staley in 2002.) The Above Deluxe Edition will be out on April 2, and will contain two CDs and one DVD. It will include the original album with unreleased songs from the band’s unfinished second album, with new lyrics and vocals from former Screaming Trees singer Mark Lanegan.  Lanegan contributed vocals to Above‘s “I’m Above” and “Long Gone Day.” 

Disc 1 includes the original album and the newly finished songs, as well as a remix of the group’s cover of “I Don’t Wanna Be A Soldier” from a 1995 John Lennon tribute album Working Class Hero.  Disc 2 includes Live At The Moore, a concert recording from April 29, 1995 (Lanegan joined them onstage at that performance as well). 

The DVD features the Live At The Moore performance, as well as a concert from New Year’s Eve 1995 from RKCNDY in Seattle, and performances from Pearl Jam’s “Self-Pollution Radio” specials. 

Barrett Martin currently plays in a band called Walking Papers (which also features former Guns N Roses member Duff McKagan), and McCready is, of course, still in Pearl Jam. 

— Brian Ives, 


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