On Earth As It Is: The Complete Works

Mother Love Bone

Republic/UMe, 2016


REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


Here it is at long last: every flippin’ thing recorded by the legendary Mother Love Bone in their brief lifespan. Preceding Pearl Jam, the band was on to something incredible when their music was snuffed out by the heroin overdose of frontman Andrew Wood in March 1990. Celebrating the band’s music, this four disc box comprises the band’s lone EP and full-length recordings, one disc of B-sides and outtakes, one disc of heretofore never released tracks, not to mention a DVD of the band’s posthumously released 1992 VHS tape and a few audio extras to compile a complete picture of everything Mother Love Bone was able to achieve in their short time together.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The remastered sound really does wonders for these songs, in particular the opening trio of “This Shangrila,” “Stardog Champion,” and “Holy Roller,” which have always been my favorites. These are songs I’ve listened to for as long as I can remember. I was always a big fan of Mother Love Bone, particularly Andrew Wood’s vocals and lyrics. Hell, I even used a line from “Man Of Golden Words” as my senior quote back in high school.

It’s hard to top a song as powerful and amazing as “Chloe Dancer/Crown Of Thorns,” which most people might remember from the Singles movie soundtrack. The song is one of the top 10 defining grunge songs, an absolute masterpiece that deserves repeated listens time and time again.

The album’s shortened second disc contains B-sides and a few rarities, including their excellent cover of Argent’s ‘70s classic rock jam “Hold Your Head Up,” long a favorite of the band’s set list. “Zanzibar,” on the other hand, is one of the band’s jokiest songs, one that never garners the same acclaim as their other material.

The third disc has some interesting rarities and demos, such as “Lubricated Muscle Drive,” a rocker if there ever was one, and the rather interesting jam “Jumpin’ Jehova,” which shows how far out there the band could get when the time was right. One of the best standouts is the piano-driven ballad “Elijah,” which is a great song and contains one of Wood’s best performances.

This is definitely one of the better boxes of the 21st century and a great way to showcase everything that was Andrew Wood, an artist who truly was taken from us way too early. Anyone who really loves ‘90s alternative rock, especially from the Pacific Northwest, will truly love this box.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


© 2016 Pete Crigler and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Republic/UMe, and is used for informational purposes only.