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At Your Service

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Album Review

Morphine's discography was cut tragically short, but with Rykodisc holding the keys to the vaults, and with a heck of a lot of unissued material (at least 60 tracks), the label released a second compilation of Morphine B-sides to mark the ten-year anniversary of the unexpected death of singer/slide bassist Mark Sandman. Like 1997's B-Sides & Otherwise, At Your Service is more abstract and challenging than the other studio releases available. Many of the songs here take a more free-form approach, potentially because they were never completely finished. Even so, the songs sound great, and with 35 previously unreleased songs, there's a lot to sort through and a lot to like. Morphine were a unique force as a live trio, and the second disc showcases the group's on-stage chemistry, with nine songs taken from performances at MIT radio station WMBR during 1992 and 1993. As expected, these are solid takes, with Sandman, Colley, and Deupree taking staples from Good, Cure for Pain, and Yes in exciting new directions (including a relentless, double-time version of "Super Sex"). Similarly, alternate versions of fan favorites "Buena," "All Wrong," and later works "The Night" and "Take Me with You" should be of interest. The guitar-oriented reworking of "Patience" (not the Guns N' Roses song) is phenomenal as well, but the most exciting moments come in the 15 unreleased tracks. It's a double-disc comp to complete the true fan's collection. Disc one (subtitled Shadows) ends on "Shadow (I Know You Part V)" and disc two (Shade) closes with "Shade (I Know You Part IV)" — leaving listeners with two of the most soothing Morphine tracks ever recorded.


Formed: 1990 in Cambridge, MA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s

Morphine is a rarity -- bluesy, bare-bones rock & roll without any guitars. Instead of guitar riffs, the trio relies on sliding two-string basslines, raucous saxophones, and wry, ironically detached vocals. During the mid-'90s, Morphine gained a sizable cult following in America, primarily due to good word of mouth, heavy college airplay, and positive reviews. Morphine was formed in 1990 by bassist/vocalist Mark Sandman, who had previously played with the bluesy alternative rock band Treat Her...
Full bio
At Your Service, Morphine
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  • £13.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Alternative, Indie Rock, Adult Alternative
  • Released: 05 October 2009

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