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Morphine is a rarity -- bluesy, bare-bones rock & roll without any guitars. Instead of guitar riffs, the trio relies on sliding two-string basslines, raucous saxophones, and wry, ironically detached vocals. During the mid-'90s, Morphine gained a sizable cult following in America, primarily due to good word of mouth, heavy college airplay, and positive reviews. Morphine was formed in 1990 by bassist/vocalist Mark Sandman, who had previously played with the bluesy alternative rock band Treat Her Right, and Dana Colley (tenor and baritone saxophone), a former member of the local Boston group Three Colors. Sandman and Colley added drummer Jerome Dupree to complete the lineup. The group released its debut album, Good, on the independent Accurate/Distortion label in 1991; it was reissued on Rykodisc Records in 1992. Good received substantial airplay on American college radio stations, as well as favorable reviews in alternative publications across the country. After the release of Good, Dupree left the band and was replaced by Billy Conway, who had previously played with Sandman in Treat Her Right. The positive reception to Good set the stage for 1993's Cure for Pain, which received good reviews from a variety of music and mainstream publications upon its spring release. Morphine supported Cure for Pain with an extensive American and European tour that lasted throughout 1994, which helped the album sell over 300,000 copies -- an impressive feat for an independent release. In 1995, Morphine released their third album, Yes, which also received favorable reviews and helped the band sustain its large cult following. The success of Cure for Pain and Yes also attracted the attention of major record labels, and in late 1996, Dreamworks bought out the majority share of Morphine's contract from Rykodisc. Like Swimming, the group's debut for Dreamworks, was released in the spring of 1997 to generally favorable reviews, yet it failed to break Morphine out of cult status. On July 3, 1999, Sandman collapsed on-stage during a performance in Rome, dying of a heart attack at the age of 46. The Night was posthumously issued early the following year and the live disc Bootleg Detroit appeared in fall 2000. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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    '90s Indie

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Albums by

Top Songs by

  1.   Song
  2.   Cure for Pain
  3.   Honey White
  4.   Buena
  5.   All Wrong
  6.   Hanging on a Curtain
  7.   Let's Take a Trip Together
  8.   Early to Bed
  9.   You Look Like Rain
  10.   A Head With Wings
  11.   Lilah II
  12.   The Jury
  13.   Whisper
  14.   Claire
  15.   Potion
  16.   I Had My Chance
  17.   5:09
  18.   Shame
  19.   Put It Down (Wo-Oh)
  20.   Moons of Jupiter
  21.   Imaginary Song
  22.   Call Back
  23.   At Your Service
  24.   Sharks
  25.   I Had a Chance
  26.   All Your Way
  27.   Lisa
  28.   Do Not Go Quietly Unto Your Grave
  29.   The Saddest Song
  30.   Sharks Patrol These Waters
  31.   Swing It Low
  32.   Empty Box
  33.   Mary Won't You Call My Name?
  34.   In Spite of Me
  35.   Candy
  36.   I'm Free Now
  37.   Bo's Veranda
  38.   Super Sex
  39.   You're an Artist
  40.   It's Not Like That Anymore
  41.   Come Over
  42.   Women R Dogs
  43.   Have a Lucky Day
  44.   Shade
  45.   Patience
  46.   Lunch in Hell
  47.   Hello Baby
  48.   Bye Bye Johnny
  49.   Sexy Christmas Baby Mine
  50.   Free Love
  51.   Yes
  52.   Scratch
  53.   Banter#3
  54.   Banter#1
  55.   Mary
  56.   Dana Intro
  57.   Come Along
  58.   Intro
  59.   Take Me with You
  60.   Slow Numbers
  61.   The Way We Met
  62.   I'm Yours, You're Mine
  63.   Rope on Fire
  64.   A Good Woman Is Hard to Find
  65.   Like a Mirror
  66.   Top Floor, Bottom Buzzer
  67.   Souvenir
  68.   So Many Ways
  69.   The Night
  70.   The Other Side
  71.   Test-Tube Baby/Shoot'm Down
  72.   The Only One
  73.   You Speak My Language
  74.   Good
  75.   My Brain
  76.   Pulled Over the Car
  77.   Down Love's Tributaries
  78.   Mail
  79.   Radar
  80.   Kerouac
  81.   French Fries With Pepper
  82.   Murder for the Money
  83.   Like Swimming
  84.   I Know You, Pt. 3
  85.   Lilah
  86.   Sheila
  87.   Thursday
  88.   Gone for Good
  89.   I Know You, Pt. 2
  90.   Sunday Afternoon Weightlessness
  91.   I Know You (Pt. 1)
  92.   Wishing Well
  93.   Mile High
  94.   Miles Davis' Funeral
  95.   Billy Intro
  96.   I'd Catch You
  97.   Dawna
  98.   Banter#2
  99.   Shoot 'Em Down
  100.   Introductions/Potion
  101.   Mona's Sister
  102.   Shadow