Mother Love Bone Release “On Earth As It Is” (featuring Rare B-Sides)

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The formation of Mother Love Bone in Seattle, Washington 1988 provided a musical canvas for an extremely talented artist, vocalist Andrew Wood. A comet which quickly bolted across the sky, leaving a trail of stardust behind that still lingers in our musical galaxy long after the nucleus of that comet burned out.  Mr. Wood passed away from a heroin overdose in March of 1990, leaving only an EP, Shine, of his work behind. Mother Love Bone’s sole LP Apple was released roughly 3 months later leaving music fans pondering what might have been. While his creativity may no longer be active here on earth, Andrew Wood continues to inspire from heaven.   Pearl Jam (which employs of Mother Love Bone guitarist Stone Gossard and bass player Jeff Ament) and Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell (Wood’s onetime roommate) continue to keep his memory and contributions alive to this day. Los Angeles outfit Faster Pussycat wrote a song in remembrance of Andrew Wood on the album Whipped!! Candlebox also was inspired by Wood’s passing, penning one of their biggest hits, Far Behind, in his memory.

Photo by: James Bland

Mother Love Bone’s On Earth As It Is: The Complete Recordings, contains 3 CDs (also available as an LP set) and 1 DVD packaged in slipcase artwork replicating a legendary Mother Love Bone mural that graced the exterior wall of famed Seattle nightclub, The Vogue. The wall mural was re-painted by Jeff Ament on the side of West Seattle’s Easy Street Records in May of 2016.  Disc one contains the LP Apple and EP Shine.  Discs two and three contain live and alternate song versions, demos and other previously unreleased items.  The Lovebone Earth Affair DVD contains live video clips as well as a video for the song Captain Hi Top.

Disc one is straight forward with all of the Mother Love Bone talent on display.  Both Apple and Shine have been remastered for the first time by Ed Brooks.  If you are not familiar with their work, one may describe it as soulful, very groove oriented rock from a very talented, tight band. Imagine a vibe similar to early Jane’s Addiction, but a sound much their own.  As a front man, Wood could steal your attention if you knew he was coming from miles away.  Each song would take you on a journey that can be experienced simply by tuning in.  If you factor what was going on in the music scene when these songs were produced, they were certainly cut from a different cloth from the norm of the day.

For fans of Mother Love Bone, Discs two and three are the honey, the payoff if you will, of purchasing this set.  As a music fan, box sets can at times feel like a cash grab. Blah Blah Blah, all studio items “Remastered” with an alternate version or two in which you can hear a member talking just as a track begins or ends.  This reviewer does not get that feeling with these offerings.  This is much less a cash grab (nearly half the band is in Pearl Jam, who hardly need the cash) and more of a tribute to something, someone that organically occurred with impeccable results.  A cover of Argent’s 1972 hit Hold Your Head is included in this set.  Never one of my favorite songs, but damn does Mother Love Bone own it (so to speak), making it theirs.  Wood’s larger than life presence can be felt through the recording, along with the tight bass of Ament.  Live (In Studio) versions of Stardog Champion and Seasons Changing are a true pleasure to listen to listen to as they give a different perspective to how you may have viewed the band.  The entire band was quite talented, but Wood was certainly the show, as I believe is the intention of this collection.  The final track on disc three is a live track of Pearl Jam being joined on stage by Chris Cornell, years after Wood exiting this realm, to perform Stardog Champion.

Mother Love Bone was a band that was brought to a screeching halt before truly being permitted for takeoff. This anthology, brings forth all sorts of emotion when listening.  This reviewer was happy to hear the alt-versions, etc.,filling a void of wanting more from the band.  It also brings on a great deal of sadness, knowing that this is indeed the end, and there will be no more as it seems the last bottle has been emptied. For fans of the band, this set is a must have, as it is indeed the ultimate tribute to the extremely talented Andrew Wood, capping his far too short career.  For those who dislike Pearl Jam or have believed Mother Love Bone to be a “Grunge” band:  If you are a fan of Rock music, the kind that elicits emotion and movement from your inner soul, I challenge you to give them a listen.  I truly do not believe you will be disappointed.


Mother Love Bone: On Earth As It Is Track list:

Disc 1 – Apple / Shine
01. This Is Shangrila
02. Stardog Champion
03. Holy Roller
04. Bone China
05. Come Bite The Apple
06. Stargazer
07. Heartshine
08. Captain Hi Top
09. Man of Golden Words
10. Capricorn Sister
11. Gentle Groove
12. Mr. Danny Boy
13. Crown of Thorns
14. Thru Fade Away
15. Mindshaker Meltdown
16. Half Ass Monkey Boy
17. Chloe Dancer / Crown of Thorns

Disc 2 – B-sides / Alt Versions
01. Holy Roller
02. Bone China
03. Hold Your Head Up
04. Capricorn Sister
05. Zanzibar
06. Lady Godiva Blues
07. Red Hot Shaft
08. Seasons Changing (Live at the Plant)
09. Stardog Champion (Live at the Plant)

Disc 3 – B-sides / Alt Versions CD:
01. Lubricated Muscle Drive
02. Savwahfair Slide
03. Jumpin Jehova
04. Showdown
05. Bloodshot Ruby
06. Elijah
07. Chloe Dancer (Demo)
08. Have You Ever Kissed A Lady
09. Otherside
10. These R No Blues
11. Made Of Rainbows
12. Bloody Shame
13. One Time Fire
14. Stardog Champion featuring Chris Cornell and Pearl Jam (Live from Alpine Valley)

Disc 4 – Love Bone Earth Affair DVD:
01. Love Bone Earth Affair
02. Captain Hi Top Music Video
03. Half Ass Monkey Boy (Live from the Oz)
04. I’m In Love With My Car (Live from the Oz

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