Morphine (band)

From Academic Kids

Morphine was a three-piece rock band formed in 1990 by Mark Sandman in Boston, MA. Sandman was something of a veteran of the Boston underground scene and was active in many bands, including Treat Her Right, the Hypnosonics, and the Pale Brothers. He also collaborated with The Presidents of the United States of America frontman Chris Ballew in a duo they called Supergroup, where they developed the odd string instruments that would become the staple of The Presidents' sound.

Morphine's sound and instrumentation could be considered unusual in modern popular music: saxophone (played by Dana Colley), percussion (played by Billy Conway and/or Jerome Deupree) and Sandman's own two-string slide bass, and the smooth vocals and sometimes beat-influenced lyrics gave the band a distinctive sound that Sandman dubbed "Low Rock." There were significant jazz and blues elements as well. One critical appraisal suggests that "Morphine immediately established a minimalist, low-end sound that could have easily become a gimmick: a "power trio" not built around the sound of an electric guitar. Instead, with sly intelligence, Morphine expanded its offbeat vocabulary on each album."[1] (

Morphine recorded their debut album, Good, for the Rykodisc label in 1991. The album received positive reviews and established a small but devoted audience. Their second album, Cure for Pain, was released in 1993. It further grew the band's cult status and singles like "Thursday" and "Buena" picked up some college and commercial radio play. "In Spite of Me" was featured over the end credits of Spanking the Monkey.

The band toured widely in support of the album, in the United States, visiting Europe, Japan and Australasia.

In 1996 Morphine signed to Dreamworks Records and released their major label debut, Like Swimming. The album was a critical success but did not break the band into the mainstream as had been hoped.

On July 3, 1999, Sandman collapsed on stage at the Giardini del Principe in Palestrina (near Rome). He was soon pronounced dead of a heart attack. He was 46.

The album the band had completed recording before Sandman's death, The Night, was released in 2000. Since then, an Official Bootleg and a Best Of collection have also been released.

In the year following the death of Sandman, Dana Colley and Billy Conway put together "Orchestra Morphine", touring to celebrate the music of the band and to raise funds for the Mark Sandman Music Education Fund. In the process they met singer and guitarist Laurie Sargent, who would later join them in their first post Morphine musical endeavour, Twinemen.

There is an intersection named after Mark Sandman in Central Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts.



External Links

it:Morphine pl:Morphine pt:Morphine


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