14 December 2005

Overlooked Albums from the 90's - #10

Cure for Pain by Morphine

I've gone back and forth about which Morphine album to pick here and actually whether or not Morphine's albums have really been overlooked. I mean, to me, they're one of the best bands of the 90's: they had amazing live shows, two classic albums, and a sound that was COMPLETELY their own. In a decade full of sound-a-likes that's not something you can say about a whole lotta bands. Well, after talking to some people whose musical opinion I value, and searching for ANYthing slightly Morphine related online with disappointing results, I've reasoned that the band is indeed under-rated and I've decided on Cure for Pain as the album to talk about here as being criminally overlooked.

In 1993 I used to hit up my local CD Superstore all the time. You could go there and have them open ANY disc in the store so you could sit down at one of their stations and listen to it, to see if you wanted it. What a concept! I used to just browse and pick random bands and check out their CDs, like 10 at a time sometimes. I found Stereolab this way in 1992 and, in 1993, I picked up Morphine's Cure for Pain because I thought their band name was 'cool'. As soon as I got to track two...as soon as the trademark slide bass came in on "Buena", I was hooked. Didn't even listen to the rest of the album - just stopped it after track two and bought it, and never looked back. I saw the band live four times and was blown away each time, bought everything they put out, and was slightly devastated to hear of the tragic death of bassist/lead singer Mark Sandman in 1999. People know 'of' this band, and probably this album because of the aforementioned "Buena", but Morphine never got the very large fan base their PERFECT sound deserves.

I could just as easily have picked their third album here, the near perfect Yes, but upon listening to them both again last night I decided on the album that first made me love this band.

TrouserPress says:
"Cure for Pain refines the sound and Sandman's terse, hard-boiled lyricism: "Thursday" could have been taken straight out of a Jim Thompson novel, a tawdry met- her-at-the-poolhall scenario in which violence lurks in the not-too-distant future. "A Head With Wings" and "Buena" both rock more ferociously than anything on Good."

Read what AllMusic had to say about Cure for Pain.
Read what Rolling Stone had to say about Cure for Pain

Listen to my three favorite songs on this album (these will take a while to download):
"I'm Free Now"
"Thursday"
"Cure for Pain"


Previous Overlooked Albums from the 90's:
#1 - Saturnalia by The Wedding Present
#2 - The Inevitable by Squirrel Nut Zippers
#3 - This is Our Music by Galaxie 500
#4 - Dusk by The The
#5 - Fantasma by Cornelius
#6 - New Wave by The Auteurs
#7 - I, Jonathan by Jonathan Richman
#8 - Futureworld by Trans Am
#9 - Harmacy by Sebadoh

if you'd like...
Pitchfork's top albums of the 90's
1st version of their list

Also, it appears another blog is onto this "Overlooked of the 90's" idea:
Top 30 'Other' Albums of the '90s

5 comments:

crabby said...

A perfect 10 on this one.

I feel compelled to add that "Good" is definitely worth listening to, if not just adding to one's collection, what with the Jerome Dupree style of drumming being way more jazzy and low-key (when compared with the Billy Conway get--completely-schnookered-and-play school of percussion).

Rock.

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