In terms of 1990s supergroups, Mad Season was easily one of the best. Comprised of Alice in Chains frontman Layne Staley, Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready, Screaming Trees’ drummer Barrett Martin and Walkabouts’ bassist John Baker Saunders – all Seattle residents riding high on the success of grunge at the time – the side project ran from 1994 until Saunders death in 1999. Though they only put out one record, 1995’s Above, which went on to sell more than half a million albums in the U.S. alone, bootlegs have been traded for years by fans desperate for new music from the group.
The band put out a VHS of their hometown show, Live at The Moore, the same year Above was released and Columbia eventually released the show on DVD and CD, but Legacy – to honor the show’s 20th anniversary, has finally put the set out on vinyl for the first time. Spread over two LPs, the remastered set features live versions of 10 songs from their record as well as a powerful cover of John Lennon’s “I Don’t Want to Be a Soldier.” Screaming Trees singer Mark Lanegan also adds in some commanding vocals on “Long Gone Day.”
With both Saunders and Staley both gone, there is no chance for a proper Mad Season reunion, but this live set should serves as a some comfort for fans of the group.
Mad Season – Live at the Moore/2 LPs/11 tracks/ Columbia & Sony Legacy/2015