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Mother Love Bone

Mother Love Bone

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Album Review

It wasn't death but life that brought Mother Love Bone to the attention of the world in the end. Andrew Wood's premature passing was a personal tragedy to all who knew him and to the band's hometown fanbase, but the group had barely made a mark beyond the Shine EP, and Apple was less a debut album than a memorial. But when Seattle's music took over the commercial stratosphere, with Gossard and Ament steering Pearl Jam to undreamed-of heights, it was inevitable that a re-release would occur — something further confirmed when "Crown of Thorns" became one of the many radio hits from the soundtrack to Singles. For all the after-the-fact money-making thanks to Polygram, about the only thing that makes it a rip-off to the earlier fans is the inclusion of one unreleased track — "Lady Godiva Blues," which sounds more than a little like one of the Cult's neo-boogie efforts circa Electric. Wood certainly has Ian Astbury's gift of gab and vocal projection, though it's likely Rick Rubin would have recorded the guitars a lot more forcefully; either way, it's not essential for those who have everything else already. For newcomers, though, this collection is all that is needed, compiling as it does the full contents of both Shine and Apple into one package. The second disc only contains the Shine take of "Capricorn Sister" and "Lady Godiva Blues" itself; given the presence of numerous demos on bootlegs, including a version of Argent's "Hold Your Head Up," it seems a lot more could have been added. It's a fairly minor quibble, though, given all the fine music, whether it's the stomp of "Holy Roller" and "Half Ass Monkey Boy" or the fragile beauty of "Stargazer" and "Crown of Thorns." Ament's amusing but heartfelt liner notes, complete lyrics, and a slew of pictures of Mother Love Bone memorabilia help round out the release.

Biography

Formed: 1988

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Before Pearl Jam, there was Mother Love Bone. Future Pearl Jam members Stone Gossard (guitar) and Jeff Ament (bass) were founders of this Seattle-based glam/punk outfit, which was fronted by flamboyant singer Andrew Wood. But despite countless accolades from the press and their...
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Mother Love Bone, Mother Love Bone
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