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Rock - Released April 28, 2000 | Ryko - Rhino

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
With their cult following growing, Morphine expanded their audience even further with their exceptional 1994 sophomore effort, Cure for Pain. Whereas their debut, Good, was intriguing yet not entirely consistent, Cure for Pain more than delivered. The songwriting was stronger and more succinct this time around, while new drummer Billy Conway made his recording debut with the trio (replacing Jerome Deupree). Like the debut, most of the material shifts between depressed and upbeat, with a few cacophonic rockers thrown in between. Such selections as "Buena," "I'm Free Now," "All Wrong," "Candy," "Thursday," "In Spite of Me" (one of the few tracks to contain six-string guitar), "Let's Take a Trip Together," "Sheila," and the title track are all certifiable Morphine classics. And again, Mark Sandman's two-string slide bass and Dana Colley's sax work help create impressive atmospherics throughout the album. Cure for Pain was unquestionably one of the best and most cutting-edge rock releases of the '90s. © Greg Prato /TiVo
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Rock - Released April 28, 2000 | Ryko - Rhino

While it may not be as stellar as their future releases would be, Morphine's debut album, 1992's Good, did a splendid job of introducing the Boston trio's highly original sound. While it was the alternative crowd who immediately latched onto Morphine, their music was geared more toward the jazz scene -- a wailing saxophone, lead bass (played with a slide), and lyrics influenced by '50s beat poetry were all-important ingredients. The opening title track remains one of the band's darkest, while other selections are a bit more upbeat -- "Have a Lucky Day" and the inappropriately titled "The Saddest Song"; all the while, the band excels at creating different moods with each successive track. Other highlights include the mid-paced "Claire" and "The Only One," the slight salsa feel of "You Speak My Language," the frantic "Test-Tube Baby/Shoot'm Down," and the more calm and sultry "You Look Like Rain." On their next release, Cure for Pain, Morphine would improve further on the strength of their songwriting and cutting-edge sound, but Good still contains more than a few standouts. © Greg Prato /TiVo
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Yes

Rock - Released April 28, 2000 | Ryko - Rhino

On their third release, 1995's Yes, Morphine shied away from the more accessible direction they laid down on 1994's superb Cure for Pain, going for a more challenging (but just as rewarding) direction. While the singles/videos "Honey White" and "Super Sex" did contain a pop edge (and were the album's best), other tracks, such as "The Jury" and "Sharks" pushed the envelope by containing lyrics that sound as if they're stream of consciousness. Like its predecessor, it's a highly consistent album -- even the lesser-known tracks are integral to the album's overall makeup. "Scratch," "All Your Way," "I Had My Chance," "Free Love," and "Gone for Good" all sound like the observations of a broken-down man, steeped in despair. But the mood lightens up on such selections as "Radar" and the title track, plus the aforementioned singles. With nearly all alt-rock bands sounding identical and bashing angrily away at their instruments in 1995, Morphine proved to be in a league all by themselves. Yes is perhaps just a shade less spectacular than Cure for Pain, but certainly not by much. © Greg Prato /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 1997 | DreamWorks

After three highly acclaimed releases on Rykodisc, 1997's Like Swimming was Morphine's first recording for Dreamworks, which put the trio on the verge of a major commercial breakthrough (their last album, Yes, reached the middle of Billboard's Hot 100 album chart). And although the album contains its share of highlights, it turned out to not be as strong as its predecessors were and failed to break the band through to the big time. Some of the material doesn't sound fully developed, almost as if the Boston trio was rushed to complete the album. Still, the trio nails down the unmistakable Morphine sound on such great tracks as "Early to Bed," "Eleven O'Clock," "Swing It Low," and the title track. Other selections, such as "Potion," "I Know You, Pt. III," "Wishing Well," "French Fries w/ Pepper," and "Hanging on a Curtain," are all notable, but not as gripping or memorable as the material that made Cure for Pain and Yes such exceptional releases. Again, Like Swimming is not a total washout, but it is a disappointment when compared to the above-mentioned classic albums. © Greg Prato /TiVo
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Rock - Released February 1, 2000 | Geffen

Morphine's fourth studio release, 1997's Like Swimming, was a bit of a disappointment when compared to such stellar earlier releases as Cure for Pain and Yes. After singer/two-string bassist Mark Sandman died of a heart attack on-stage in 1999, many Morphine fans assumed that Like Swimming would be the band's swansong -- thankfully, it wasn't. The Boston trio completed their fifth album just prior to Sandman's untimely passing, entitled The Night, and it's definitely an improvement over its predecessor. Whereas many of the songs on their previous album sounded unfinished and rushed, The Night sounds like a fully realized work. In fact, the band took time to focus on expanding their minimalist sound to include other instruments (cello, violin, upright bass, oud, organ) and new approaches (female backup singers, string arrangements), while Sandman produced the album himself. Highlights include the ghostly "Souvenir," the Middle Eastern sounds of "Rope on Fire," the sultry album-opening title track, and the up-tempo (by Morphine standards, anyway) "Top Floor, Bottom Buzzer." The Night shows that Morphine was just entering a new phase of their career, and it's a shame that Mark Sandman is no longer with us to follow through on this promising new direction. © Greg Prato /TiVo
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Rock - Released October 5, 2009 | Ryko - Rhino

Morphine's discography was cut tragically short, but with Rykodisc holding the keys to the vaults, and with a heck of a lot of unissued material (at least 60 tracks), the label released a second compilation of Morphine B-sides to mark the ten-year anniversary of the unexpected death of singer/slide bassist Mark Sandman. Like 1997's B-Sides & Otherwise, At Your Service is more abstract and challenging than the other studio releases available. Many of the songs here take a more free-form approach, potentially because they were never completely finished. Even so, the songs sound great, and with 35 previously unreleased songs, there's a lot to sort through and a lot to like. Morphine were a unique force as a live trio, and the second disc showcases the group's on-stage chemistry, with nine songs taken from performances at MIT radio station WMBR during 1992 and 1993. As expected, these are solid takes, with Sandman, Colley, and Deupree taking staples from Good, Cure for Pain, and Yes in exciting new directions (including a relentless, double-time version of "Super Sex"). Similarly, alternate versions of fan favorites "Buena," "All Wrong," and later works "The Night" and "Take Me with You" should be of interest. The guitar-oriented reworking of "Patience" (not the Guns N' Roses song) is phenomenal as well, but the most exciting moments come in the 15 unreleased tracks. It's a double-disc comp to complete the true fan's collection. Disc one (subtitled Shadows) ends on "Shadow (I Know You Part V)" and disc two (Shade) closes with "Shade (I Know You Part IV)" -- leaving listeners with two of the most soothing Morphine tracks ever recorded. © Jason Lymangrover /TiVo
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Rock - Released April 28, 2000 | Ryko - Rhino

Perhaps as a contractual obligation, only a few months after Like Swimming appeared in record stores, a collection of B-sides and soundtrack-only material titled B-Sides and Otherwise was issued by Morphine's original label, Rykodisc. While the trio always used unconventionality to their advantage, their acute pop sensibilities appealed to a wider audience; however, the material here is more challenging and abstract than your average Morphine release. Some songs, such as the eight-minute soundscape "Down Love's Tributaries," test the listener's patience, while others, such as live radio broadcasts of two tracks ("Have a Lucky Day" and "All Wrong"), are thoroughly enjoyable. Other highlights include a beautiful acoustic guitar instrumental from the movie Get Shorty entitled "Bo's Veranda," plus "Shame," "Kerouac," "Pulled Over the Car," "Mail," the charged-up "Mile High," and the humorous "My Brain." An interesting collection of oddities that will appeal to the dedicated fan, B-Sides and Otherwise captures the band at their most experimental. © Greg Prato /TiVo
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Rock - Released July 14, 2017 | Ryko - Rhino

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Pop - Released September 26, 2000 | Ryko - Rhino

The odd title of this final sanctioned release by Morphine before Mark Sandman's untimely death comes from its origin -- a tape made by an audience member at a Detroit show during Morphine's Cure for Pain tour. While the tapes were mastered by Sandman shortly before his demise, the original quality of the recording cannot be overcome. Still, this is a good document of Morphine's excellent live show and displays the energy and passion that they played with during the tour that supported their breakthrough album. Some short tracks featuring banter probably could have been sacrificed in favor of more songs, but on the whole the album stands as a loving tribute to an innovative band. © Stacia Proefrock /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released November 30, 2020 | RNR Music Production

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Dance - Released November 1, 2018 | Baby's Back

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Rock - Released June 19, 2020 | Martin Records

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Dance - Released August 15, 2019 | Baby's Back

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Rock - Released September 14, 2020 | Morphine

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 6, 2013 | Morphine