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on 24 June 2017
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Intended as a bunch of b-sides (as Lanegan records covers for b-sides most of the time), this developed into a full-length LP as 1990's The Winding Sheet developed from a proposed blues-ep. At just over 33 minutes it's not that long (e.p. Here Comes the Weird Chill is about the same length), but all 11 covers are perfect- Lanegan tackling songs by The Leaving Trains (Creeping Coastline of Lights), Fred Neil (Badi-Da), Otis Redding (Consider Me), Tim Hardin (Shiloh Town), O.V. Wright (On Jesus Program), Brook Benton (the title track), Tim Rose (Boogie Boogie), Buck Owens (Together Again) & traditional song Shanty Man's Life with the same gutso that he recorded Leadbelly's Where Did You Sleep Last Night?/In the Pines in 1989.
Prior LP Scraps at Midnight had been a bit all over the place- Care of You put Lanegan back on track for his final LP with Mike Johnson, 2001's Field Songs. This is compulsory listening for those who like the stripped-minimal alt-country/folk thing: Laura Veirs, Nina Nastasia, Hope Sandoval, the girl who was in The Be Good Tanyas, Gillian Welch etc. Failing that, it's as great as any of those Rubin-produced albums of covers released by Johnny Cash...
A random cast of musicians play alongside Lanegan and regular collaborator Mike Johnson (ex-Dinosaur Jr): Van Conner (Screaming Trees), Mark Pickeral (Ex-Screaming Trees, The Winding Sheet), Steve Berlin (All Shook Down by The Replacements), Barret Martin (Skinyard, Screaming Trees, QOTSA), Ben Shepherd (ex-Soundgarden), Martin Feveryear, Mark Boquist, David Krueger, Mark Hoyt etc. The sound shifts between just Lanegan and Johnson acoustic to a laidback band- the only song even close to Lanegan's prior rock is the take of Rose's Boogie Boogie (though that remains minimal and sounds like it was taken from a longer studio jam).
So many classics here- Badi-Da, Creeping Coastline of Lights, Shiloh Town, Together Again...but the one for me is opener Carry Home. This is a cover of The Gun Club song from 1983's Miami (sadly deleted at present)- GC-mainman Jeffrey Lee Pierce having collaborated with Lanegan shortly before his untimely death in 1996 (Pierce's death is as significant as Cobain's when thinking of Screaming Trees'Dust, or the bleak Scraps at Midnight). Kimiko's House, a song co-written by Lanegan and Pierce made it to Field Songs; here Lanegan offers up a great tribute to a brilliant songwriter & musician: just his aching vocal and Johnson's acoustic guitar. It's enchanting stuff and a track I can play over and over; the lyrics in Lanegan's potent voice (backed by Johnson's acoustics that remind me of Pink Moon)have never sounded more timeless and poetic:, "Come down to the willow garden with me/come go with me...Although I've howled across fields and my eyes turned grey- are yours still the same?...Carry home/I have returned- through so many highways and so many tears...Your letter never survived the heat of my hand- my burning hand, my sweating hand...Your love never survived the heat of my heart- my violent heart in the dark..." It's significant Lanegan dispenses with the cruel darkness about flies and dust, chooising to cut to the gorgeous closing lines, "Come down to the willow garden with me/Come go with me- Come go and see" and with nothing left to sing Johnson finally offers a heartbreaking acoustic-line concluding one of the all time great cover versions...
I'll Take Care of You is one of the great covers records alongside Intoxicated Man (Mick Harvey), The Covers Record (Cat Power), Low Symphony (Glass), Sings Jacques Brel (Scott Walker), Music for Parties (Silicon Teens), Counterfeit (Martin L. Gore), Famous Blue Raincoat (Jennifer Warnes) etc. It's the sound of Lanegan moving on to new peaks, both solo and with Queens of the Stone Age et al.
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on 4 July 2004
Ill Take Care, Lanegans 4th studio album, is a collection of cover tracks ranging from 50s/60s Southern soul classics-Ill Take Care of You (Brook Benton), Consider Me (Eddie Floyd/ Booker T. Jones), & the lesser known On Jesus' Programme by O. V. Wright, through to 60s/ 70s folk country tracks Shiloh town (Tim Hardin), Creeping Coastline Of Lights (James Arthur Moreland/ Manfred Hofer), Badi Da (Fred Neil) who incidently penned the classic 'Everybodys Talkin' for Nilsson, made famous in classic 60s film Midnight Cowboy, Together Again (Buck Owens) 50s American white country singer, Shanty Mans Life (Stephen Harrison Paulus), Boogie Boogie (Tim Rose) & a more obscure traditional American folk song Little Sadie, for which the official credit is simply 'Traditional'.
What makes this offering such a stand out success is not only the unique & almost peculiar selection / genres pulled together, but the fact that each song is deliverd with the utmost sincerity, style, & above all authenticity, so much so that they seem to be custom made for the man himself. Lanegans 'vintage' throat carries with it the weight of experience that allows him to interpret the blues/ soul, on tracks whose original versions were executed by 'heavyweights' their respective genres. He not only manages to make them his own, but chooses songs that ooze a sense of mystery darkness & grace that define his musical core, such as the minimal Creeping Coastline with its dreamy lyrics " leaving Hollywood, sunset to the sea.. where the waves ride in on horses.. im lookin for her lights.. creeping coastline of lights.." underscored sparsely by an eerie xylaphone or glockenshpiel.
Ill Take Care Of You & Consider Me could so easily have sounded absurd in this age of soulless overproduced 'R&B' & 'predictable' rock, instead he takes a hoplessly sentimental romantic 50s crooner ballad of love hurt & loss, & makes it equally tender & stylish in a sort of masculine slightly gruff 'seen some hard times' kinda way, avoiding any steotype cliches. "I know you've been hurt by someone else.. I can tell by the way you carry yourself.. but if you let me heres what ill do.. ill take care of you.. Ive loved & lost same as you..." the accompanying flute & vibes lending an old school 60s soul atmosphere. All arrangements show complete respect to the originals, understanding the 'soul' of the songs, and allowing Marks vocals center stage. Minimal combinations of acoustic & elcectric guitar, flute, piano, upright bass, violin, virbaphone, percussion, organ etc, ensure an extremely classy production. The likes of Shiloh Town, Badi Da & in particular L Sadies 'gunslinger ballad', (one of my faves), suit Lanegan down to the ground, with its understated violin moments make you feel Lanegan should have been born in a different era! "..well I began to think what a deed I done.. grabbed my hat & I started to run..maybe ran just a little to slow.. & they over took me in Jehrico.. standin on the corner reading the bill upset the sherrif of Tomasville.. said young man is your name Lee Brown.. remember the night you brought Sadie down.. well yes I said my name's Lee Brown.. murderd little sadie in the first degree..first degree & a second degree.. got any papers read em'tew me.." Brilliant.
Marks acoustic cover of Jeffry Lee Pierces' (ex. blues/punk band The Gun Clubs front man) Carry Home, is as powerfull as it is bleak, brooding & moving. Jeffery LP as another reviewer mentions, a close friend of Lanegan whose collaborations, before his death, can also be heard on 2001s Fsongs.
Boogie Boogie is the most 'rocking' on here, though still hypnotic dark sleazy intoxicating blues rock, & is a sexy jam.
As another reviewer mentioned there is an all star cast of muscicians, Lanegans contemporaries/ friends & ex band members including his long time solo collaborator Mike Johnson (ex Dinasour Junior), who appeared on all solo projects up till 2001s Fsongs. If your musical leanings even remotely touch upon blues soul rock or country, I cannot recommend this enough! Worthy of a place next to any of Cashs' cover albums/ American Classics. However as an intro I would grab a copy of Fsongs- showcasing Marks own songwriting at its best, along with this & Whiskey FTHG, before the upcoming release Bubblegum out early August, which (if the HCTWChill ep is anything to go by) will hear Lanegan 'rocking out' a lot more, & continuing with his all star collaborators. All in all an excellent buy.. all this from the ex Screaming Trees frontman, part time QOTStoneAge vocalist/ songwriter, & all round one of the most unique & remarkable artists to emerge & evolve out of that whole 90s 'Seattle scene'. A truly mature & classy offering.
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on 21 November 2000
this is a fine collection of songs tailored to suite the moody voice of the screaming trees. the album is, on the whole a low key affair with the inclusion of acoustic guitars and haunting lyrics opitimised none more so with gloomy but beautifull tale of little sadie.the screaming trees own van conner plays bass on the album , but dont expect the screamimg trees , expect the gaunt gravelly voiced singer permorming cover versions in a style all of his own.shiloh town, carry home,little sadie and shanty mans boogie are primerally acoustic numbers with the remaining tracks on the album comprising both electric and acoustic guitars.if you a are curious to hear mark lanagen solo material or fancy somthining new but not sure what to take a chance on , take a chance on this one, it could be the best desicion you'll make all day.
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on 25 July 2009
I'm not going to compete with Melissa House's and Jason Parkes' eloquent reviews and am posting this really just to add another 5 star review.

I'm torn between wanting to accost passing strangers and tell them about the genius of Mark Lanegan and wanting to keep him within the relatively small (and discerning circle ?) who know about him.

Lanegan is often cited as being one of life's miserablists and whilst much of his solo work has a very dark edge to it I don't find it at all depressing.The world is a better place for it.
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on 12 January 2015
Bought as a present. Product in tact and fine as much as I'm aware.
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on 17 March 2014
Very humdrum and ordinary.He may be a great musician, he may love the music(as I do) but he really can't sing which is a bit of a handicap
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on 25 March 2015
Great Album
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