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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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Albums by

Top Songs by

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