Mother Love Bone – On Earth As It Is: The Complete Works


Almost 3 hours of music from a band once destined for stadia and stardom…

The CD/DVD and LP versions are available from 2 December 2016 with the digital formats available from 4 November 2016

Before Pearl Jam there was Mother Love Bone, a band that, had frontman Andrew Wood not fallen foul of drugs, would have been huge.  With bassist Jeff Ament, guitarists Stone Gossard and Bruce Fairweather, and drummer Greg Gilmore in the line-up, given what the members went on to achieve after Wood’s passing, Mother Love Bone could easily be described as a super group of sorts. But we need not concern ourselves with what happened after his passing because On Earth As It Is: The Complete Works, a near-three-hour-collection, is proof enough that this band was something special all of its own.

Coming together in 1987 and established in 1988 and quickly becoming one of Seattle’s standout bands, PolyGram subsidiary Polydor/Stardog would sign them that same year, releasing the band’s five-track EP Shine in March 1989 and their one and only full length album Apple released in July 1990, four months after Wood’s passing. With CD 1 bringing these together, what’s immediately apparent is how far this band came in such a short space of time. There’s not one moment where the band sounds like a recently-formed and still developing band, which, of course, they were.

Though the song writing on Shine is top notch throughout, it’s with Apple openers ‘This is Shangrila’ and ‘Stardog Champion’ where Mother Love Bone’s identity is firmly established – and perhaps the reason that UMC chose to put Apple before Shine on this release. Undeniable classics, if these were the only two tracks that the band had ever released, we’d still be talking about Mother Love Bone today. But fortunately for us, there are eleven more tracks on the album, each of them outstanding and all of them indicating that Mother Love Bone were headed for stadia and stardom.

CDs 2 and 3 are collections of B-sides, alternative versions and live tracks, and further demonstrate the remarkable individual and collective musicianship as well as the obvious song-writing skills of the band. Of particular interest is the performance of ‘Stardog Champion’ featuring Chris Cornell and Pearl Jam (Live from Alpine Valley in 2011). As a tribute to both their friend and to the band that paved the way for their successes, the performance is an emotional one and a fitting close to this fine collection. With Andrew Wood’s untimely passing, the music world lost not just a charismatic vocalist par excellence, but a great band too. With Hater’s debut (reviewed here) and Soundgarden’s BadMotorFinger also being re-released this year, On Earth As It Is is a more-than-worthy addition to the collection.



Apple / Shine CD:

  1. This Is Shangrila
  2. Stardog Champion
  3. Holy Roller
  4. Bone China
  5. Come Bite The Apple
  6. Stargazer
  7. Heartshine
  8. Captain Hi Top
  9. Man Of Golden Words
  10. Capricorn Sister
  11. Gentle Groove
  12. Danny Boy
  13. Crown Of Thorns
  14. Thru Fade Away
  15. Mindshaker Meltdown
  16. Half Ass Monkey Boy
  17. Chloe Dancer / Crown Of Thorns

B-sides / Alt Versions CD1:

  1. Holy Roller
  2. Bone China
  3. Hold Your Head Up
  4. Capricorn Sister
  5. Zanzibar
  6. Lady Godiva Blues
  7. Red Hot Shaft
  8. Seasons Changing (Live at the Plant)
  9. Stardog Champion (Live at the Plant)

B-sides / Alt Versions CD2:

  1. Lubricated Muscle Drive
  2. Savwhafair Slide
  3. Jumpin Jehova
  4. Showdown
  5. Bloodshot Ruby
  6. Elijah
  7. Chloe Dancer (Demo)
  8. Have You Ever Kissed A Lady
  9. Otherside
  10. These R No Blues
  11. Made Of Rainbows
  12. Bloody Shame
  13. One Time Fire
  14. Stardog Champion featuring Chris Cornell and Pearl Jam (Live from Alpine Valley)

Love Bone Earth Affair DVD:

  1. Love Bone Earth Affair
  2. Captain Hi Top Music Video
  3. Half Ass Monkey Boy (Live from the Oz)
  4. I’m In Love With My Car (Live from the Oz)