Andrew Wood Biography


Following the demise of bruising rockers Green River, Stone Gossard (guitar), Bruce Fairweather (guitar) and Jeff Ament (bass) set about the task of creating a new outfit.

>Along the way they recruited the unfortunately named Greg Gilmour (drums). But their final addition, Andy Wood (vocals), was their ace and joker rolled into one. While Green River had been spewing out their furious fragmented sounds, much attention had been paid to

another local group, Malfunkshun, which was fronted by Wood. Their sound can best be described as an explosion of punk and over-the-top 1970s glam-rock: Wood could often be seen wearing outrageous silver suits and platform-soled motorcycle boots. The man considered himself to be a total rock star, even if no one else did. The blend of extreme influences and Wood's rock-star persona twisted Mother Love Bone into something totally unique.

Wood was far from being a perfect singer, but his presence on record cannot be underestimated. His lyrics were bizarre and overblown, displaying a unique vision that shaped the band's sound. The first studio outing issued on Mercury, the Shine EP (1989), had Wood's personality firmly stamped on it. These six outstanding cuts excited a huge amount of interest, and were quickly followed by their first full-length album, Apple (1990). With titles like "Stardog Champion" and "Holy Roller", Wood conjured up a mythical image for the whole band, while the rest of the group, not to be outdone, matched the lyrical hyperbole with a hard rock sound that wouldn't have been out of place in the 1970s. Having consulted the rock bible on the subjects of light and shade, they could rock out with full guitar histrionics on tracks like "Come Bite the Apple" or lay down a gentler groove on "Man of Golden Words".

Following a promotional tour, the future looked extremely promising. However, their ascent was cut short by Wood's death from a heroin overdose just as Apple was due for release in March 1990. After such a crippling blow, the remainder of the group elected to disband; they had, in any case, been dropped by their record company. As an acknowledgement to the group's importance, the beautifully swirling "Chloe Dancer"/"Crown of Thorns" found its way on to the soundtrack of Seattle-set romantic comedy, Singles.

The saga did not end here, though. Following Wood's untimely death, his friend Chris Cornell, of SOUNDGARDEN, began work on the Temple of the Dog tribute project using various members of Mother Love Bone and Soundgarden, and the then-unheard-of Eddie Vedder. This was the beginning of Pearl Jam

Mother Love Bone (1992; Mercury). A posthumous release following the huge success of Pearl Jam, this is a double-CD compilation of the band's previously released material along with the unsanctioned inclusion of the unreleased "Lady Godiva Blues". Hard to beat.

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