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Mad Season

Quite a few side projects containing members of renowned Seattle-based rock bands appeared through the '90s. Most failed to expand past a small cult following comprised mainly of fans of their main bands (Brad, the Rockfords, Three Fish, Tuatara, etc.), but there were a few exceptions to rule, especially Temple of the Dog and Mad Season. The latter outfit included members of Alice in Chains (vocalist Layne Staley), Pearl Jam (guitarist Mike McCready), and the Screaming Trees (drummer Barrett Martin), as well as the only non-Seattle based musician, bassist John Baker Saunders (who previously played with such blues artists as Hubert Sumlin and the Lamont Cranston Band, among others).

The band's roots go back to the summer of 1994, when McCready checked himself into a Minneapolis, MN, rehab center to battle a drinking/substance problem. It was there that McCready met local musician Saunders, and when he returned back to Seattle, called up Staley, who was also at the time attempting to battle problems with substances. With Martin rounding out the lineup, an undeniable chemistry between all four musicians was discovered at their very first jam session, resulting in bits of music that would eventually become fully realized songs ("Wake Up" and "River of Deceit"). Going by the name of the Gacy Bunch (which paid homage to both brutal serial killer John Wayne Gacy and the corny TV show The Brady Bunch), the quartet made its live debut on Sunday, October 16, 1994, at Seattle's Crocodile Cafe. Amazingly, the group had few songs written at the time of the show (Martin later admitted that the group really had "only jams and beginnings of songs" prepared at the time), but the performance convinced the participants that a subsequent studio recording would be in cards.

Changing their name to Mad Season (an English expression for the time of year when hallucinogenic "psilocybin" mushrooms are in full bloom), the quartet set up shop at Seattle's Bad Animals recording studio, co-producing the subsequent sessions themselves along with Pearl Jam's sound engineer, Brett Eliason. Mad Season gave fans a taste of their upcoming album by performing a pair of songs on Pearl Jam's Self-Pollution Radio program on January 8, 1995, before the resulting ten-track album, Above, was officially issued in March. A mix of melancholy ballads and hard rock, the album (which also featured a few vocal contributions from Screaming Trees singer Mark Lanegan) proved to be a gold-certified hit, just missing the U.S. Top 20 while its leadoff single, "River of Deceit," became a major rock radio hit.

Despite a smattering of supporting live dates and talk of further writing/recording, Mad Season would ultimately prove to be a one-off project. Later in 1995, a live home video of a Seattle performance Live at the Moore, was issued, as was a cover of John Lennon's "I Don't Wanna Be a Soldier" for the Working Class Hero: A Tribute to John Lennon album. Reportedly, songs were penned for another Mad Season album, which ultimately went unrecorded. Mad Season then supposedly thought about replacing Staley with Lanegan (and changing their name to Disinformation), but no songs were recorded -- resulting in the musicians going their separate ways for good. Sadly, this proved to be the final word on Mad Season as both Saunders and Staley would eventually die from drug overdoses. ~ Greg Prato
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Above

1. Wake Up

2. X-Ray Mind

3. River Of Deceit

4. I'm Above

5. Artificial Red

6. Lifeless Dead

7. I Don't Know Anything

8. Long Gone Day

9. November Hotel

10. All Alone

Comments

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❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤
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I was reading the comments about Layne and he died of a lethal dose of herion and cocaine. Who is the dumbass that thinks he died of herpes.lmfao Layne also suffered from depression which is no joke
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I'm just a flowing down this River of Deceit,cause my pain is self chosen.Layne never sounded better,gotta love the Man in the Box.
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Heavy riffs, amazing vocals, dynamic drums, thumping bass line! *LIFELESS DEAD(REPEAT) *
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deborah.furn i s h
We need another collaboratio n
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Best album I ever
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Love some Mad Season
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Says so much by saying so little.
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dianabehrend s
love hate drugs
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HALLELUJAH ! More powerful music 2 B healed by...been 2 long, since I got some of this
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I could either burn,,,, or cut off my pride and buy some time .....
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Mad Season, did such a powerful, piece of really special music
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That's the way I roll
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This is just plain awesome!
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River Of Deceit! Beautiful Song!! Why I Follow Mad Season!
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Mad Season!!!
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alfa1232
Andrew Wood was certainly of top caliber and before Staley.
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My pain is self chosen,,, at least I believe it to be,,,,,,
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robert.lessa r d
The day they announced that Layne Staley passed away, I went to see STP in concert. Kind of a strange coincidence considering the fate they both met.
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Amazing album. Time trials, sad days. Cherish.
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@FlyingHobo5 5 8 , you're a f**king idiot, the lead vocalist for this group was Layne Staley, original vocalist for Alice in Chains, him alone is more than enough talent. There hasn't been a rock vocalist to date that has came anywhere close to being as good as him.
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michelemk
I hate the genre "grunge" its so stupid. It could represent a time period. But to call a bunch of bands that have little to no similaroties cant be called grunge
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Haven't heard them yet. I'll give it a try though. As far as I know, It's a clash of a few grunge bands
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tamitweetybi r d
Love Mad Season!! This was a good group of people getting together for a jam session and turning it into a work of art. All great musicians, only sad thing is that this is it, no more jam sessions or new creations for us to treasure.
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tkflahive
I agree Hobo is an idiot.
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Your an idiot. This music is better than 90 percent of the music out now
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@bobonnit you obviously don't know good grunge
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I made it about 1 minute before it was obvious that this band bites and had to give them a thumbs down
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I've got all of Aic albums with Layne, then I heard RIVER OF DECEIT wow Bad a** Jam
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Wake up. Bad a** song. Deep words in this song !!
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This song made me miss Staley again. Such a soul touching voice.
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Why we have to live in so much hate every day? Oh, yeah....
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We float down the river of deciet...
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��
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One of the coooolest Ever!!!!!!!! ! ! " ! ! " " !
RIP Layne....
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RIP Layne. Never another, none better!!!! See you soon only the good die young
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The only direction we flow is Down...such heart n soul...
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Was able to get my hands on a copy of this album. Let's just say its a prized possession
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Layne was a singular and distinctive voice. Miss him.
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I agree with the LukeSkyDude. . the music is killer..
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In the early years, before Nirvana's hit, Smells Like Teen Spirit, I had the pleasure of seeing Alice in Chains at an old place in Salt Lake City, the Speedway Cafe, it was an old warehouse converted into a cool concert hall. It had a small place with tables and chairs where you could drink, with the bands performing in a separate, much larger area. The show included the band Extreme. The venue was so intimate with a few people partying with the band members of Alice in Chains whilst Extreme was
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Awesome album. Layne will always be missed.
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So sad but so true. RIP Layne.
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lunas22
Just saw the Mad Season reunion performance in Seattle a couple month's ago. Of course Layne wasn't there, but Chris Cornell filled in. Absolutely amazing! They played this song live and had a recording of Layne's original singing. No kidding, there was hardley a dry eye in the house (and that includes the artists performing that night).
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Boring, pretentious and not at all listenable. Thumbs down losers
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Anyone that has ever been in a program will understand this but drugs and alcohol are a symptom of the problem not the problem at hand it is your reaction to the actual problem how u deal with pain of course you medicate drugs alcohol sex gambling anything in excess ! Quick fix .
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It isn't the drugs that really take anyone. Wake up and open your eyes to the reality of this world. Stop denying the pain. Layne didn't. He was just in the minority in a world in which most people would rather buy into stigma and prejudice and abandon you than put forth the effort to help.
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rogerblocke
Mad Season and Temple of the Dog, two that almost weren't, but then turned out best..
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bigdomsd
I love this album! Long gone day is my all time favorite song
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deannamestra d a 7 0
Layne was a unique and amazing artist, I just don't understand why the media would give him such a hard time. I know Layne had a lot of personal issues but, I think the media added to that pain, and now we lost an amazing artist, now all we have is his music, rip Layne...
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