Over the last few years I’ve had the very good fortune of becoming friends with Tim Beeman and Eugene Sims, first as a guest on The Less Desirables podcast and then through the development of the Beer Dads Podcast. A little while back we were talking about music, our shared love of hard rock in particular, and Eugene offered to come up with a list of 50 albums that we could all listen to and share our opinions about. We’re calling it the Eugeology: Eugene’s List of Hard Rock Albums and Possible Gems. Since both of them have more knowledge about this than I ever will, by at least a factor of 1,000, I feel very fortunate that they’ve allowed me to tag along for the ride.
Tim and Eugene both regularly review music, movies, TV shows and other forms of art on their respective blogs, so rather than try and write critiques as if I know what I’m doing I thought I’d take the only approach I really can: provide the unsophisticated opinions of a guy who always just listened to whatever was on the radio when he was growing up and whose vocabulary is limited to terms like, “Loved it”, “Really liked that guitar solo”, “That dude can really sing”, etc.
So without further ado here’s the first album Eugene served up: Mother Love Bone’s Apple.
First off I should say that before Eugene sent this I’d probably only heard a couple of tracks off of the album before, and I guarantee you I hadn’t heard any of them in at least 15 years. Thus this was a real treat for me because this is a helluva an album.
The band’s singer was a guy named Andrew Wood. Sadly, he died of a heroin overdose just before the album was released which is why anyone who’s not an aficionado (like yours truly) could be forgiven for not knowing about these guys. The album has 13 tracks, of which I’d guess the best known is Crown of Thorns– which makes sense to me because I think it’s the best track on the album. That’s not to say there aren’t other contenders though, because I think you could make an argument for Holy Roller and Star Gazer as well.
It truly is a tragedy that Wood passed away before he could enjoy what was surely going to be an extraordinary career. Some of his vocals reminded me of Axl Rose, others reminded me a bit of Chris Cornell. His voice was distinctive and I most enjoyed the tracks where he was able to show it off, including the three listed above.
The rest of the group were no slouches either, with two of them – Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament – going on to form Pearl Jam with Eddie Vedder and Mike McCready. If you’re a fan of the Seattle music scene, or really any of the early 90s rock scene, then you’ll love this album.
Honestly, it’s mind-blowing that I haven’t listened to this album until now, but I’m on my third pass through as I type this and it won’t be the last. I might be slow, but I work hard to catch up.
Can’t wait to see what Eugene serves up next.
Mother Love Bone-Apple Wikipedia page
Useless Things Need Love Too (Tim’s Blog)
Wheeler’s Dog (Eugene’s Blog)