Mother Love Bone

With strutting glam attitude and heavy, sprawling rock riffs, Mother Love Bone were high energy pioneers of the Seattle sound in the late 1980s, but the premature death of frontman Andrew Wood meant that they split before contemporaries like Nirvana and Mudhoney really introduced the grunge scene to the world. Wood grew up listening to classic 1970s bands such as King Crimson, Queen and Kiss, and formed his first band Malfunkshun with his brother Kevin and started living out his rock and roll fantasies and developing a flamboyant, charismatic stage persona. Wood's drug problems hampered the band's growth, but after returning from a spell in rehab he teamed up with ex-Green River members Bruce Fairweather, Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard as Mother Love Bone, and signed a major label deal with Polydor in 1988. With drummer Greg Gilmore on board, they captured their huge, swaggering, androgynous rock sound on debut album 'Apple', but days before its scheduled release Wood overdosed on heroin and died at the age of 24. The album was released later that year and was regarded by some critics as a lost classic filled with stomping hard rock anthems that compared to the likes of Led Zeppelin and Guns N' Roses and led the way for a new generation of Seattle bands. Gossard and Ament went on to find international stardom with grunge heroes Pearl Jam and Fairweather played with local favourites Love Battery, but Mother Love Bone would later be cited by Slipknot, Breaking Benjamin and Soundgarden's Chris Cornell as a key influence.

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