I sure do love Morphine (the band, not the drug…well, I did have kidney stones once and was hospitalized and put on a morphine drip overnight, but that is a story for another time!)! Morphine was a truly unique trio…Mark Sandman sang lead vocals and played a bass guitar with only 2 strings (and played it with a slide), also contributing guitar and organ on a few songs, Dana Colley played baritone and tenor sax and backing vocals, and Jerome Deupree and Billy Conway both played drums and percussion. The band labeled their sound “low rock”, a hybrid of rock, jazz, and blues with hip, beatnik inspired lyrics delivered in a cool croon by Sandman. The album Cure For Pain was released in the middle of the grunge revolution in 1993, and although Morphine never gained mainstream success, they were critically acclaimed and achieved a loyal cult following. Among my favorites from this chilled-out classic are In Spite Of Me, Mary Won’t You Call My Name?, Miles Davis’ Funeral, Candy, Buena, Sheila, and the absolute perfection of Cure For Pain, my personal all-time favorite song of Morphine’s. Mark Sandman collapsed on stage in Italy in 1999 and was pronounced dead of a heart attack at the hospital. He died doing what he loved, and he left behind some wonderful music.
Written By Braddon S. Williams