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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.

Customer Reviews

Mother Love Bone Rocks

Good stuff! This album is a very interesting mishmash of early proto grunge (discerning ears can definitely hear Stone and Jeff's nascent grunge riffs and licks) but there's certainly more than a hint of late 80's, sort of cheese, to it. Think Guns N Roses meets Pearl Jam with a hint of Alice in and Chains and the slightest whiff Poison. This band wasn't ready for superstardom, but when they hit on all cylinders as with Chloe Dancers/Crown of Thorns. . . well let's just say that's when you really wonder about what could have been. . . At the very least this is a very interesting piece in the history of American rock. . .

MLB Did Not Start Grunge

Green River, Skin Yard, U-Men, etc started grunge. Mother Love Bone is still incredible, and this whole CD deserves your money and time. Also, remember that HEROIN KILLS. Not that us grungers need any reminders. If you like this album, I recommend the following: Dry As A Bone/Rehab Doll - Green River March to Fuzz - Mudhoney Facelife - Alice in Chains VS - Pearl Jam Live Alien Broadcast - Tad Second Coming - Second Coming Straight Freak Ticket - Love Battery (I have no clue what this album is called, but they only had one) - Cat Butt


Hit album... If you are into any kind of rock or blues, this is a nice mix. It dates before Pearl Jam when the music was real. It has a hint of 80's hair mixed with grungy blues. Great effects used on all instruments. This is a must have if you want to know how the West Coast influenced a major twist in the Rock Music world.


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 peers, the group's career was cut short before it could truly blossom due to tragedy. Both Gossard and Ament had previously been members of Seattle garage rockers Green River (a group that also included future Mudhoney members...
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