Friday, June 16, 2006

FDF Volume 1 Issue 16:-Mother Love Bone - Apple

Album - Apple
Artist - Mother Love Bone
Key Players - Andrew Wood (piano+ vocals), Jeff Ament (Bass), Greg Gilmore(drums), Stone Gossard(guitar), Bruce Fairweather(guitar)
Produced by - Terry Date and Mother Love Bone.
Released - 1990

Overview - Mother Love Bone was here and gone in a blink of an eye. A combination of the Seattle bands Green River and Malfunction, they possessed all the upside in the world and were the band that was supposed to lead the Seattle invasion of the early 1990s. So, what happened? Well, honestly, heroin happened! Lead singer and chief lyricist, Andrew Wood, fell victim to his own personal demons right after the release of this album. Their first and last full-length LP. They had also released an EP by the name of "Shine" a year earlier.

FDF Comments (aks the Songs) - The album explodes into your speakers with the opening track "This is Shangrila." A song full of bittersweet lyrics like "I don't believe in smack, so don't you die on me..." The next two songs keep the record moving right along until track four, "Bone China" slows things down a bit. No less intense but slower, the middle of the album is a little bit of a downshift. It ends with the gorgeous "Man of Golden Words" in which the name of the tribute band "Temple of the Dog" took their name. (Wood was roommates with Soundgarden's Chris Cornell and the two bands formed the tribute band to honor Andy. "Say Hello to Heaven" and "Reach Down" were the two tracks from that album most directly related to Wood) The album rounds out with four more great tunes including personal favorites, "Gentle Grove" and "Crown of Thorns." The later can be found on the end of the "Singles" soundtrack and the original, complete version can be found on the "Shine" EP.

Where are they now? - Jeff and Stone went on to found a band named "Mookie Blaylock." Their search for a new lead singer led them to California where they found a guy by the name of Eddie Vedder. They renamed the band Pearl Jam and the rest is, literally, rock history!

FDF Personal Comments -Andrew Wood was the bastard son of Freddie Mercury and Bob Dylan. A brilliant lyricist with tremendous stage presence. I often think what would have been if he was still with us and how big Mother Love Bone's role would have been in the music landscape of the 1990s. I never saw them live as Andy was long gone by the time I found this album. It still remains as one of my all-time favorites and has stood the test of time well. I would say Andy summed it up best when he wrote and sang the following...
"You ever heard the story,
of Mister Faded Glory?
Say he who rides the pony must someday fall,
I been talking to my altar
It says life is what you make it,
And if you make it death well rest your soul.
Away, away, away"

FDF Overall Take - An essential record for anyone who fancies themselves a fan of the Seattle sound. It has just recently been re-mastered and re-released by Lemon Records. It is also available under the name "Mother Love Bone" which combines both "Apple" and "Shine" into one two disc set. A worthwhile investment for sure. Enjoy!



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