Mark Lanegan Bubblegum Reissue Has Previously Unreleased Music With Beck And Troy Van Leeuwen

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Monday a teaser for some posthumous Mark Lanegan music appeared on the late musician’s social accounts. Today we learn what that release entails. Bubblegum XX, a 20th anniversary edition of Lanegan’s 2004 album Bubblegum, will be released as a 2xLP vinyl reissue of the original album and a 4xLP/3xCD/digital release containing 40 remastered tracks. A dozen of those are previously unreleased, including “Union Tombstone” with Beck and six tracks recorded in various hotel rooms with Lanegan’s Queens Of The Stone Age bandmate Troy Van Leeuwen.

Van Leeuwen shared this statement:

So these hotel demo sessions were basically forgotten…When I heard the news of Mark’s passing, these memories started rushing back to me. I searched through my archive of drives and somehow magically was able to open up these sessions. I thought to myself, “That NEVER happens.” These ideas couldn’t be more fresh out of the tap. The original rough mixes are a real time capsule that stands up to the 20 years that have passed. It’s a true gift from Mark to those of us who love him and his unvarnished expression of beauty. With every listen, I am humbled and honored to share his gift with you.”

The larger Bubblegum XX box contains a 64-page hardcover book with essays by Van Leeuwen, Josh Homme, Chris Goss, Alain Johannes, David Catching, Greg Dulli, Duff McKagan, and Brett Netson along with studio notes and previously unseen photographs by Steve Gullick. It also has expanded edition of Lanegan’s 2003 EP Here Comes That Weird Chill, billed as Here Comes That Weird Chill (Methamphetamine Blues, Extras & Oddities). In his 2017 memoir I Am The Wolf, Lanegan wrote the following about Bubblegum and Here Comes That Weird Chill:

“Man, this is becoming like a scene out of A Beautiful Mind . . . and not in a good way,” said mix producer Rick Will, and I knew what he meant. I had been awake for days and nights, crazed from no sleep and illegal stimulants, and was sitting cross-legged on the studio floor with sheets of paper covered in handwritten lyrics, notes, and ideas strewn out around me in a ten-foot circle. While I had been out of my mind making records in the past, this was a new peak . . . or low, depending on one’s perspective. For months I had been using the off-time from my gig as an auxiliary singer with Queens of the Stone Age to try and complete a record, but as usual, my own insanity would not allow it. When it was all said and done, I recorded enough for two records, with the title of the first coming from something Greg Dulli said while shuddering involuntarily in the suddenly cold wind walking to my car after a Twilight Singers recording session, and the title for Bubblegum coming from a lyric in the song “Bombed.” Song favorites include “Skeletal History,” where I tried to channel the free-form vocalisms of SST band Saccharine Trust to chart the skewed evolution of my own damaged species, “When Your Number Isn’t Up,” and “Strange Religion,” a love song I wrote in a Tokyo hotel room. While many of the songs came from a place of dejection and ennui at the end of a tempestuous relationship, “Bombed” in particular came about when, after I had written and recorded it in just a few minutes, I put a microphone in front of Wendy Rae Fowler, my soon-to-be-ex-wife, and had her sing along while simultaneously hearing it for the first time. I loved the result as it reminded me of Royal Trux, a band I liked. When I insisted on using the first and only take of the song, it made her slightly unhappy, but to be fair, that was just one of many things I did that had that effect.

Bubblegum XX is out 8/23 via Beggars Banquet. Pre-order it here.