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Buena – Morphine

Editor’s note: Morphine is not a one-hit wonder. They never charted. But they should have.

Few bands create music that is distinctive and instantly recognizable. Early U2 has that sound. Early R.E.M. also fits the bill. And yes, you probably won’t mistake a Sex Pistols song for Duran Duran or Journey.

Morphine was another of those bands that sounds like no other. And today, “Buena” from their second record titled Cure for Painicon is churning through my head.

Quick quiz: Name a rock band whose instrumentation consists of drums, two-string slide bass guitar and a baritone sax?

Nothing? Keep thinking.

Still nothing? You’re excused because outside of Morphine, I don’t think any other band has given such a strange instrumental lineup a shot (for good reason).

Morphine was a bright light among critics and hipsters in the early 90s and released five records in 10 years. Led by bass player and singer, Mark Sandman, their best record is arguably Cure for Painicon and three of my favorite songs from the record are “Buena,” “Thursday” and “All Wrong.”

Listen to “Thursday” by Morphine

Morphine bass player dies on stage

You read it right: Mark Sandman, bass player for Morphine died onstage during a gig in 1999. Many rock stars “hope they die before they get old.” Sandman did it. Onstage. While playing. In Italy.

Even Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Kurt Kobain and Janis Joplin put together can’t top that for sheer rock and roll credibility. Plus, he looks a lot like a strange love child of comedian John Stewart and musician Lyle Lovett, which somehow makes him even more cool.

Purchase Cure for Painicon from iTunes

Enjoy the sounds of Morphine

Watch a live performance of “Buena”

Watch the “All Wrong” video

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I'm an obsessive music collector, cataloger, commenter and trivia nut. Sometimes I'm even a listener. One-hit wonders have always been a guilty pleasure.

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