Mother Love Bone - Apple
We are back again with another post on our featured band this week, Mother Love Bone. This time we take a look at their inspiring debut album, sadly their only album, Apple.
Mother Love Bone were among the forerunners of the grunge wave, but Apple is not a grunge album. It is a blend between 70s rock and hard rock, flavoured with Mother Love Bones own individual style in which they named ‘love rock’. It sits neatly inbetween the 80s hard rock phenomenon and the grunge movement, a transition record if you will.
The band had great success with their Shine EP, and Apple was a greatly anticipated debut. Just as it’s release was imminent, the tragic death of Andrew Wood caused the group to disband, but the album, released shortly after is still regarded as one of the pivotal albums of the era, and leaves its own legacy behind.
Apple has a great vintage sound to it, with Woods aura always the focal point. He was very much an upcoming star who could have been amongst the greatest. His light vocals were full of character and he spellbound the listener with his uplifting voice.
The guitar work of Stone Gossard and Bruce Fairweather is brilliant. As a duo they compliment each other perfectly, particularly on Stardog Champion, the way the song paces and the solo make it stand out, and the childrens choir that can be heard on back up only add to it. Capricorn Sister is another great track with a magic quality about it, as is Holy Roller, it has a groove and melody that shines and it’s preacher like break down gives it a difference.
What really shows on Apple is the amount of ‘ballads’ on there, a style which Wood shone at due to the passion in his performance. Perfect examples would be Man of Golden Words, Bone China or the beautiful Stargazer, which is full of perfect harmonies. All of which display Mother Love Bones ability to write capturing songs that truly engage the listener. The most captivating track for me personally is Crown of Thorns, a real masterpiece. The narrative nature, the gentle piano, Woods subtle vocals right through to the crescendo of guitars at the end, it is an anthem of sorts.
For a debut album, Apple is an amazing effort and still has a timeless quality to it. We will never know what the potential of Mother Love Bone could have been, but this is a real strong testimony to what the band were about and is a credit to the memory of Andrew Wood. The perfect way to remember.