Chloe Dancer / Crown of Thorns ~ Mother Love Bone

motherloveboneMother Love Bone was an American rock band that formed in Seattle, Washington in 1988. The band was active from 1988 to 1990. Frontman Andrew Wood’s personality and compositions helped to catapult the group to the top of the burgeoning late 1980s/early 1990s Seattle music scene. Tragically, Wood died only days before the release of the band’s debut album, Apple, thus ending the group’s hopes of success. Although Mother Love Bone is to this day remembered by many as a very talented band in its own right, its legacy, for some, is overshadowed by Wood’s death and the bands that its former members would later form.

Mother Love Bone was established in 1988 by ex-Green River members Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament and Bruce Fairweather, ex-Malfunkshun frontman Andrew Wood and ex-Ten Minute Warning and Skin Yard drummer Greg Gilmore. Initially the group was formed in 1987 out of covers outfit Lords of the Wasteland which featured Wood, Gossard, Ament and Malfunkshun drummer Regan Hagar. By early 1988 the band had added Fairweather, replaced Hagar with drummer Greg Gilmore and changed its name to Mother Love Bone. This new lineup quickly set about recording and playing area shows and by late 1988 had become one of Seattle’s more promising bands.

In early 1989 the band signed to PolyGram subsidiary Mercury Records. As part of its contract PolyGram also created the Stardog Records imprint exclusively for the band. In March of that year the group issued its debut EP, Shine, becoming the first of the new crop of Seattle bands to have a release on a major label. The record sold well and rapidly increased the hype surrounding the band.

In late 1989 the group returned to the studio (this time in Apple. Despite some initial difficulties, the record was on-time for its projected March 1990 release. By this point interest in the band had hit a fever pitch and it seemed destined that the band were going to make it big. Only days before the release of Apple, however, frontman Andrew Wood, who had a long history with drug problems, overdosed on heroin. After spending a few days in the hospital in a coma, Wood died, effectively bringing the group to an end. The album would see release later that year in July.

In the months following Wood’s death, Gossard and Ament would be approached by Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell (who was Andrew Wood’s roommate), and asked if they would be interested in recording a single containing two songs he had written in tribute to Andrew Wood. The project turned into an entire album and the group took the name Temple of the Dog, a reference to a line in the lyrics of a song penned by Wood. After Temple of the Dog, Gossard and Ament founded Pearl Jam along with Mike McCready of Shadow, Eddie Vedder of Bad Radio, and Dave Krusen. Pearl Jam rocketed to fame with its debut album Ten and is still active today. Pearl Jam has released eight albums in total and continues to tour.

Fairweather initially remained inactive but later surfaced in the Seattle based psychedelic rock band Love Battery, replacing Tommy Simpson on bass in 1992. He played on two of the band’s albums and many of its tours before leaving that band as well and dropping off the radar. In 2006, he resurfaced in The Press Corps, with Garret Shavlik (The Fluid) and Dan Peters (Mudhoney).

Gilmore’s profile also dropped significantly following Mother Love Bone’s demise although he did participate in the reunion of his former band Ten Minute Warning in 1998, and was credited with providing ‘inspiration’ for the song “Never the Machine Forever” (credited as being written by Kim Thayil) on Soundgarden’s final studio album, 1996’s Down on the Upside. The song initially came out of a jamming session Thayil had with Gilmore.

The Alice in Chains song Would? was written about Andrew Wood.

Chloe Dancer / Crown of Thorns

Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns” is a song by the Seattle, Washington-based rock band Mother Love Bone. The song is the fourth track on the band’s debut EP, Shine (1989). “Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns” is actually two songs sequenced together. “Crown of Thorns” is found by itself on the band’s sole studio album, Apple (1990). “Chloe Dancer” is not available as a stand alone track.

“Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns” is critically acclaimed, and considered one of Mother Love Bone’s best songs. Jason Josephes of Pitchfork Media described it as “one astoundingly great song.” Steven Rosen of The Denver Post referred to the song as “trancelike epic.” Spencer Patterson of the Las Vegas Sun comments that the song is “fantastically melancholy.” Essi Berelian of the Rough Music Guide writes that it is “beautifully swirling.” The Salt Lake Tribune found the song “eerie” and praised Mother Love Bone vocalist Andrew Wood’s “powerful and emotive voice.” The song was included by Rolling Stone in their list of “The Fifty Best Songs Over Seven Minutes Long”.

The song was featured in director Cameron Crowe’s 1989 film, Say Anything…, but it was not included on the film’s soundtrack. The song is featured on the soundtrack for Crowe’s 1992 film, Singles. It was also featured in the One Tree Hill episode “Pictures of You” in 2007 and can be found on The Road Mix: Music from the Television Series One Tree Hill, Volume 3.

Pearl Jam, which includes former Mother Love Bone members Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard, has performed the song “Crown of Thorns” in concert many times, starting with the 10/22/00 show in Las Vegas, which was the tenth anniversary of Pearl Jam’s first show. Video of this performance appears on the Pearl Jam documentary Pearl Jam Twenty and this version of the song appears on its soundtrack. The song is also included on the 2003 concert DVD Live at the Garden, in which Pearl Jam vocalist Eddie Vedder, in tribute to the late Wood, said, “I think Jeff and Stone will back me up on this, Andy would have loved it here.” Two performances of the song by Pearl Jam from 2005 and 2006 were issued on the Live at the Gorge 05/06 box set. The two performances took place on September 1, 2005 and July 23, 2006.

In April 2011, Kevin Wood (Andrew Wood’s brother) teamed up with hard rock band Lace Weeper to record Mother Love Bone’s Crown Of Thorns as a tribute to Andy’s 21 years passing.

Ooo, yeah, yeah, yeah…
Chloe don’t know better
Chloe’s just like me, only beautiful
A couple of years difference (Her trouble lovin’ is different?)
But those lasses never learn and you know
Chloe danced the tables in the French Quarter
She’s always been given so I can’t always make her laugh
But I’m proud to say and I won’t forget
The time spent laying by her side, oh yeah, yeah
The time spent laying by her side, oh yeah, yeah
Dreams like this must die
And a dream like this must die
Dream like this must…

You ever heard the story of Mr. Faded Glory?
Say he who rides a pony must someday fall
Talkin’ to my alter, life is what you make it
And if you make it death well rest your soul away
Away, away, yeah child

It’s a broken kind of feeling shed have to tie me to the ceiling
A bad moon’s a comin’ better say your prayers, child
I wanna tell you that I love you but does it really matter?
I just can’t stand to see you dragging down, again
Again, my friend again, oh yeah

So I’m singing
And this is my kinda love
It’s the kind that moves on
It’s the kind that leaves me alone, yes it does
And this is my kinda love
It’s the kind that moves on
It’s the kind that leaves me alone

I used to treat you like a lady now you’re a substitute teacher
This bottle’s not a pretty, not a pretty sight, yeah
I owe the man some money so I’m turnin over honey
See Mr. Faded Glory is once again doin’ time, oh yeah

And this is my kinda love
It’s the kind that moves on
It’s the kind that leaves me alone, yes it does
And this is my kinda love
It’s the kind that moves on
It’s unkind and it’s unkind and
It’ll leave me alone, yeah

Like a crown of thorns
It’s all who you know, yeah
So don’t burn your bridges woman
Cause someday, yeah

Kick it!
And this is my kinda love
It’s the kind that moves on
It’s the kind that leaves me alone, yeah
And this is my kinda love
It’s the kind that moves on
It’s unkind and it’s the kind that
Baby i said com’ on, com’ on, com’ on,
com’ on yeah I said baby don’t burn your
bridges woman

  • Audio from the 1989 EP album, Shine:

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About DJ Allyn

DJ Allyn is a burned out radio guy who went on to become a burned out sound engineer for a few Seattle area grunge bands in the 1980s and 1990s. Left the madness of worldwide tours with bands, cleaned up my act and went into the relative sanity of sound engineering for television series. Currently working as the Director of Sound for a television series being filmed in North Vancouver, British Columbia. I am always on the lookout for interesting videos, old music, and fun.

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