Album Reviews Uncategorized

A Cure For Pain – Morphine

Morphine – A Cure For Pain

Mark Sandman – 2-string slide bass, vocals, organ, tritar (3-string slide guitar), guitar, piano

Dana Colley – baritone sax, tenor sax, double sax, triangle

Billy Conway – various percussion

Jerome Deupree – various percussion


Sandbox: The Mark Sandman box set (2004)

Why do I love Morphine? This band did something totally different during the Grunge era. The Huffington Post article I footnoted below wrote “ever listen to a song and think, wow totally 90’s?” Yeah…Morphine isn’t that band.

Morphine is everything but your average Grunge band. Lead singer Mark Sandman called his music Low-Rock. I love that. The sax is filthy. Mark Sandman had a great voice and was the driving force behind this whole project including lyrics. But when it came to their sound, it was the sax that really grabbed hold of you and didn’t let go.

Morphine vinyl is an absolute MUST HAVE for your collection. I enjoy their whole catalog although there isn’t much too it. “Bootleg Detroit” is arguably my favorite album (I posted it below). They were Jazz in a Grunge era. Critics were hard on Morphine for their uniqueness…but that’s what critics usually do. They dismiss what they do not understand. Dana Colley wrote:

“The two-string slide bass, baritone saxophone, drum thing, oh yeah. For some reason, people were almost wanting to see the end of that, in a way. Like, OK, they’re gonna shoot the bottom of the barrel with this concept – still thinking it’s conceptual. That’s funny, no one ever asked a rock quartet the same question, ‘Another album with guitar, bass, drums?’ To me, (Morphine) is like a combination lock. You’ve got three numbers to choose from. But let me see you open up a combination lock you don’t know the number for. Let me see how many times it will take you to do that.” [1]

They were forced to disband due to lead singer Mark Sandman having a massive heart attack on stage. He had no history of heart trouble. Ambulances rushed Sandman to the hospital where he was pronounced dead at age 46.

“My Brain” – Morphine

My whole brain was out of tune

Whole brain was out of tune

I don’t know how to tune a brain, do you?

Went into a brain shop

They said, they’ll have to rebuild the whole head

I said, “Well, do what you got to do”

When I got my brain back, didn’t work right

Didn’t have as many good ideas

Haven’t really had a good idea since I got it fixed

– Robert Moran Ω





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