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Mark Lanegan’s estate announces ‘Bubblegum’ 20th anniversary box set, including unreleased songs

Mark Lanegan’s estate has announced a ‘Bubblegum’ box set to celebrate the album’s 20th anniversary – and it’ll include 12 previously unreleased songs.

The release, ‘Bubblegum XX’, is set to arrive on August 23 through Beggars Arkive, the catalogue and archive department of Beggars Group. There’s a remastered double LP edition of the album, as well as a 4XLP/3XCD/Digital release with 40 mastered tracks.

Not only that, but the 4XLP box also contains a 64-page hardcover book with essays by Lanegan’s former collaborators and Queens of the Stone Age bandmates Josh Homme and Troy Van Leeuwen, as well as the likes of Duff McKagan and Greg Dulli. It also contains studio notes and previously unseen photos by Steve Gullick.

It comes after a post was shared on Lanegan’s social media accounts on Sunday (June 7). It featured photos of London’s Abbey Road Studios, as well as dials and a screen on a mixing board and what looked like someone responding to emails on a computer.

‘Bubblegum’ was cut as a double LP and remastered by Geoff Pesche at Abbey Road. Beggars Arkive said: “Mark had been demoing songs for a new album, and he was booked to record at Abbey Road. It was a long-time dream of his to record in the legendary London studio, but since he never had the chance to do that, it’s fortuitous that the remastering for this release took place there, handled by Geoff Pesche. Mark had never been satisfied with the original cut of ‘Bubblegum’, so we are honoured to help make his dream come true posthumously.”

One of the records is a remastered edition of ‘Here Comes That Weird Chill (Methamphetamine Blues, Extras & Oddities)’, the EP he released months before ‘Bubblegum’, and it features three bonus tracks.

Another record contains demos and unreleased tracks, both from the ‘Bubblegum’ sessions and from sessions between Lanegan and Van Leeuwen. Lanegan’s former manager Brian Klein, who worked with him during the Bubblegum era, produced the set.

As Homme says in his essay, about his late collaborator’s demos and unreleased tracks, “Mark’s early solo works are undeniably powerful. They’re sombre, fragile, breath-taking, beautiful and they’re more real than everyone else’s.”

Lanegan wanted Beck to contribute to one of the songs, ‘Union Tombstone’. At the time, Beck was working on his own album, so he set it aside. However, he added vocals and harmonica to the track this year.

Van Leeuwen said about the demos he produced with Lanegan: “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.

“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 honoured to share his gift with you.”

In 2022, Lanegan died at his home in Ireland on February 22 at the age of 57. He rose to fame as the lead singer of grunge band Screaming Trees, and later joined Queens of the Stone Age and The Gutter Twins, while he released a series of solo albums too.

You can find out more information about ‘Bubblegum XX’ and pre-order it here.

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