Imitations (album)

Imitations is the eighth studio album by the American alternative rock musician Mark Lanegan, released on September 17, 2013 on Vagrant Records and Heavenly Recordings. It is a collection of cover songs, consisting of songs from Lanegan's parents' music collection and contemporary musicians, including Chelsea Wolfe, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and The Twilight Singers.

A cream background with a black picture frame border. Black bold text inside reads "Mark Lanegan Imitations".
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 17, 2013 (2013-09-17)
LabelVagrant (US)
Heavenly Recordings (UK)
ProducerMartin Feveyear
Mark Lanegan chronology
Black Pudding
Phantom Radio
Singles from Imitations
  1. "I'm Not the Loving Kind"
    Released: June 26, 2013

Produced by Martin Feveyear, who had worked with Lanegan on his previous covers album, I'll Take Care of You (1999), the album was preceded by the single, "I'm Not the Loving Kind".


Commenting on the decision to record a covers album, Mark Lanegan said: "when I was a kid in the late sixties and early seventies, my parents and their friends would play the records of Andy Williams, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Perry Como, music with string arrangements and men singing songs that sounded sad whether they were or not. At home my folks were also listening to country music, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, George Jones and Vern Gosdin were some of our favorites. For a long time I've wanted to make a record that gave me the same feeling those old records did, using some of the same tunes I loved as a kid and some that I've loved as I have gotten older. This record is it."[1]


Imitations was announced for release on June 26, 2013 through a press release on Lanegan's official website.[1] It was subsequently released on September 17, 2013 on Vagrant Records, with whom he signed after the release of Blues Funeral (2012). The album's lead single, a cover of John Cale's "I'm Not the Loving Kind", was released on SoundCloud alongside the album's announcement.[2][3]

A nine-date tour of European festivals to support Imitations' release began on July 12, 2013 at BBK Live in Bilbao, Spain and concluded on July 21 at the Longitude Festival in Dublin, Ireland. Tour dates for the United States were later in 2013, according to Imitations' press release.[4]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Allmusic     [6]
The Guardian     [7]
Pitchfork Media(6.6/10)[9]

Writing for Allmusic, Thom Jurek gave the album a positive review, stating: "Imitations is a fine collection that reveals the depth of the songs through the openness and considerable skill of the singer."[6] In a mostly positive review, The Guardian's Michael Hann wrote: "Imitations works best when Lanegan, his voice as dark and smoky as one of those old-fashioned gentlemen's clubs, tackles something so unexpected it forces you to reappraise the song: "You Only Live Twice", in particular, is a triumph, the grandeur and drama of the Bond replaced by a delicate weariness."[7]

In a mixed review for the NME, Jeremy Allan, wrote: "Up there with Cash's American series this is not. But 48-year-old Lanegan is a classy bastard, so he just about gets away with it."[8]

Track listingEdit

1."Flatlands"Chelsea WolfeChelsea Wolfe3:58
2."She's Gone"Vern GosdinVern Gosdin2:09
3."Deepest Shade"Greg DulliThe Twilight Singers4:03
4."You Only Live Twice"Leslie Bricusse, John BarryNancy Sinatra3:06
5."Pretty Colors"Al Gorgoni, Chip TaylorFrank Sinatra2:43
6."Brompton Oratory"Nick CaveNick Cave and the Bad Seeds4:15
7."Solitaire"Neil Sedaka, Phil CodyAndy Williams4:55
8."Mack the Knife"Kurt Weill, Bertolt Brecht
(English lyric: Manheim-Willett)
Bobby Darin3:08
9."I'm Not the Loving Kind"John CaleJohn Cale3:08
10."Lonely Street"Carl Belew, Kenny Sowder, W. S. Stevenson Andy Williams2:50
11."Élégie Funèbre"Gérard MansetGérard Manset3:33
12."Autumn Leaves"Joseph Kosma, Jacques Prévert
(English lyric: Johnny Mercer)
Andy Williams3:32


  • Mark Lanegan - vocals
  • Mike Johnson - acoustic guitar (1, 4), electric guitar (2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12)
  • Alain Johannes - cigfiddle (11), mellotron (11), acoustic guitar (11), ebo guitar (11)
  • Barrett Martin - vibraphone (2, 3, 5, 6), tambourine (2), drums (3, 6, 12), percussion (3, 12)
  • Bill Rieflin - drums (1, 5, 9), percussion (1, 5, 7), pump organ (6), mellotron (9)
  • Duff McKagan - bass (3, 6, 12)
  • Mark Pickerel - drums (2, 10)
  • Jeff Fielder - acoustic guitar (1, 2, 4), electric guitar (3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12)
  • Drew Church - bass (1, 2, 5, 7, 9, 10)
  • Andrew Joslyn - violins (1, 3, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12) viola (1, 6)
  • Rebecca Filice - cello (1, 3, 7, 9, 12)
  • Mark Hoyt - backing vocals (2), acoustic guitar (8)
  • Billy Stover - piano (3, 6, 9, 12)
  • Jason Staczek - harpsichord (5)
  • Eric Padget - trumpet (6)
  • Tom Yoder - trombone (6)


  1. ^ a b "New Album Imitations Due Out September 17, "I'm Not the Loving Kind" Debuts Today". June 26, 2013. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  2. ^ Breihan, Tom (June 26, 2013). "Mark Lanegan – "I'm Not the Loving Kind" (John Cale Cover)". Stereogum. Spin Media. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  3. ^ "I'm Not the Loving Kind by MarkLanegan". SoundCloud. June 26, 2013. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  4. ^ "ML: Imitations press release – Mark Lanegan" (PDF). Vagrant Records. June 26, 2013. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
  5. ^ "Imitations Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  6. ^ a b Thom Jurek. "Imitations - Mark Lanegan - Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards - AllMusic". Allmusic. Retrieved September 5, 2013.
  7. ^ a b Michael Hann. "Mark Lanegan: Imitations". The Guardian. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  8. ^ a b Jeremy Allan. "Mark Lanegan 'Imitations'". NME. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  9. ^ Heller, Jason (19 September 2013). "Imitations Review". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 28 January 2016.

External linksEdit