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Feature Friday: Mother Love Bone
Another week, another feature band! This time we delve into the world of Mother Love Bone, a classic band with a brilliant story…
Most Seattle rock bands of the late 80’s (Soundsgarden/Nirvana/Mudhoney) were considered a reaction against the prevailing glam metal scene that was at its peak and that MTV eating out of the palm of its hand. But there was at least one band from Seattle who could fit into the mainstream, combining elements of both the grunge and the glam with anthemic choruses, that was Mother Love Bone. Their lead singer and focal point was the flamboyant and incredibly charismatic Andrew Wood.
Born in Columbus in 1966, Wood discovered rock music via the theatrical rockers of the 70s, such as KISS, Aerosmith and Queen. Woods first serious band, Malfunkshun, which he joined at 14, and would perform dolled up in make up and outrageous clothes under the persona Landrew the Love Child. The group lasted for much of the 80s and built up quite a following but never released an album. By 1988, Wood left Malfunkshun and began jamming with Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard, formally of Green River, the new outfit would eventually be named Mother Love Bone.
Like Malfunkshun, Mother Love Bone included elements of glam rock, but also the more stripped down sound of Gossard and Ament’s former band. The fanbase of the band grew and grew and they were signed by Polydor in 1989, releasing their first EP Shine later that year.
By September 1989, the group were hard at work recording their debut album (to be titled Apple), but Wood’s developing drug issues saw him enter rehab for the later part of the year. Expectations were running very high for the album release, but on March 16 1990 Andrew Wood was found in a comatose state in his apartment having taken a lethal overdose of heroin. Wood was placed on life support but sadly passed away three days later.
Mother Love Bone broke up shortly after Wood’s death and the Seattle scene was left shaken by his passing. Apple was finally issued later in the year to glowing reviews and still today is considered to be one of the stand out albums of the era. Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament went on to form Pearl Jam with Mike McCready, Eddie Vedder and a revolving number of drummers, finding breakthrough success in 1992 and are still together and touring now.
Mother Love Bone will be our featured artist all week, so keep checking back for a look back at the legacy of the band, playlists and all you need to know about the founders of ‘loverock’.