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At Your Service Best Of Import


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 14 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: EMI Music Canada
  • ASIN: B00007FPHP
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

1. Buena
2. Honey White
3. You Speak My Language
4. Cure For Pain
5. Candy
6. Have A Lucky Day
7. I'm Free Now
8. Thursday
9. Super Sex
10. Whisper
11. Radar
12. You Look Like Rain
13. Jack And Tina
14. Pretty Face
15. Shame [video enhanced]
16. Sexy Baby Christmas Mine

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Most helpful customer reviews

By A Customer on June 18 2003
Format: Audio CD
I'm not going to pretend I'm objective - Morphine was the greatest band in the world. They were the epitome of cool, in every sense of the word. By fusing elements of jazz with a rock n' roll sensibility and bombast, Morphine made some of the best music of the 90's. The tragic death of frontman Mark Sandman in 1999 brought an end to the band, but thankfully not to the music, at least not yet.
If I were to judge this album strictly as a "Best of" compilation, it would be slightly less than 5 stars. Dana Colley and Billy Conway, two of the three surviving members of the band (former drummer Jerome Deupree is the third) selected the tracks, all of which are excellent.
What hurts is not what is included, but what was omitted. The last two Morphine albums were released on Dreamworks Records which were not included in this release. This is strictly a Rykodisc release and Rykodisc would not purchase the rights to the Dreamworks albums. Colley & Conway were asked to do the best they could in selecting tracks from the first three albums and the B-Sides compilation or leave the project to Rykodisc entirely. They did the best they could. But what about "In Spite of Me", the song that brought more attention to the band than any other after being included in the film Spanking the Monkey? "Sheila"? "Bo's Veranda"?
What makes this album indispensable are the two unreleased tracks - "Jack and Tina" and "Pretty Face". These are two of the best unreleased tracks I ever heard from Morphine, lovingly prepared by Colley & Conway. These tracks make this album indispensable, even if you already own the entire Morphine catalogue.
The band used to say "Love is the drug, Morphine is a band". Now, Morphine is the past, but Colley & Conway (Twinemen), and Deupree (Bourbon Princess) are still here in the present, making great music. Check them out today!
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Format: Audio CD
In the spirit of allowing sleeping dogs to, you know, get some ... rest, and only out of a preponderance of love and admiration for Mr. Mark Sandman's legacy as the leader of Morphine, this disc never should've been pressed. I'm not gonna harp on the fact that Ryko are profiteering off the demise of another human being (there's no two ways about it), or dwell longer than necessary on the fact that Morphine themselves quickly fell into a...rut, musically speaking, a fact that this compilation only serves to make brutally clear. 1992-1995 isn't exactly an arbitrary span is the band's career, either, neatly encompassing the Morphine recordings Ryko owns: their first three full-lengths and some b-sides. It's hardly a comprehensive retrospective of this very original band, but there's profit to be had.
Let's back-up though, and talk about this band, as perspective is required to understand the disc's failings. Back in 1992, the sheer iconoclasm of Sandman's famously simple, two-string slide bass, in tandem with nothing more than drums and saxophones, was a triumphant calling card and almost claim-to-fame on their debut, Good. It would soon become an unendurable obstacle; even after emerging from the sultry, seductive haze of their finest hour-- the sophomore effort Cure for Pain-- one couldn't help but wonder, �Is their next album gonna be just like the first two?� Yes, it was. There are only so many ways to write the same three songs-- up-tempo debauchery, slow, slinky atmospherics and beat-poetry readings-- and when you have such a narrow range of instrumentation, you can pretty much exhaust them on one record. A few exceptions, like the bittersweet acoustics of �Gone For Good� spring instantly to mind, but, they're not on this album.
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Format: Audio CD
The weekend after the death of Morphine frontman Mark Sandman I had the pleasure of hearing some tapes that included songs that had never been released and works in progress. I had met the Morphine guys a few years prior and was determined to learn a thing or two from them since I also do a "guitarless" bass-driven thing with my band.
While driving with my friend (who I guess was doing some mixing with Mark before they left for Italy)he popped-in a cdr with Mark's scribbles on it and said "Here...check this out. I know you've never heard this song and I really think you should. I don't know if they'll ever release it." It was a warm, windy afternoon. We were almost to the shore. I was numb from the loss of my hero. I wept quietly in the back seat while the smell of the ocean blew through the car, heavy and salty. A gray day. It was as if the song were meant to be played at that very moment. It was perfect.
The song was "Pretty Face"; by far the most haunting thing I've heard come off of the tape machine at Hi-N-Dry. His voice coming through his good ol Green Bullet (which he prefered to call "the Taxi mic")and a 2-string bassline that only strays from 2 chords maybe once or twice in the entire song. And Dana Colley's sax singing what feels like the world's saddest lullaby, cradling you in a moment of despair. The words seemed slurred and painful..."don't remember the place, but it's not so easy to erase a pretty face." "not too slow and not too fast". You listen to this tune, maybe get a bit teary-eyed and say "yeah...I know this feeling." It literally makes my heart ache.
I currently play with the drummer that is on that recording, Jerome Deupree, and recently had a conversation about the song. I told him that it was one of the most beautiful and tragic tunes I have ever heard.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 17 reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Worthy on all counts June 18 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I'm not going to pretend I'm objective - Morphine was the greatest band in the world. They were the epitome of cool, in every sense of the word. By fusing elements of jazz with a rock n' roll sensibility and bombast, Morphine made some of the best music of the 90's. The tragic death of frontman Mark Sandman in 1999 brought an end to the band, but thankfully not to the music, at least not yet.
If I were to judge this album strictly as a "Best of" compilation, it would be slightly less than 5 stars. Dana Colley and Billy Conway, two of the three surviving members of the band (former drummer Jerome Deupree is the third) selected the tracks, all of which are excellent.
What hurts is not what is included, but what was omitted. The last two Morphine albums were released on Dreamworks Records which were not included in this release. This is strictly a Rykodisc release and Rykodisc would not purchase the rights to the Dreamworks albums. Colley & Conway were asked to do the best they could in selecting tracks from the first three albums and the B-Sides compilation or leave the project to Rykodisc entirely. They did the best they could. But what about "In Spite of Me", the song that brought more attention to the band than any other after being included in the film Spanking the Monkey? "Sheila"? "Bo's Veranda"?
What makes this album indispensable are the two unreleased tracks - "Jack and Tina" and "Pretty Face". These are two of the best unreleased tracks I ever heard from Morphine, lovingly prepared by Colley & Conway. These tracks make this album indispensable, even if you already own the entire Morphine catalogue.
The band used to say "Love is the drug, Morphine is a band". Now, Morphine is the past, but Colley & Conway (Twinemen), and Deupree (Bourbon Princess) are still here in the present, making great music. Check them out today!
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Sandman haunts us still with "Pretty Face" March 31 2003
By Monique Ortiz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The weekend after the death of Morphine frontman Mark Sandman I had the pleasure of hearing some tapes that included songs that had never been released and works in progress. I had met the Morphine guys a few years prior and was determined to learn a thing or two from them since I also do a "guitarless" bass-driven thing with my band.
While driving with my friend (who I guess was doing some mixing with Mark before they left for Italy)he popped-in a cdr with Mark's scribbles on it and said "Here...check this out. I know you've never heard this song and I really think you should. I don't know if they'll ever release it." It was a warm, windy afternoon. We were almost to the shore. I was numb from the loss of my hero. I wept quietly in the back seat while the smell of the ocean blew through the car, heavy and salty. A gray day. It was as if the song were meant to be played at that very moment. It was perfect.
The song was "Pretty Face"; by far the most haunting thing I've heard come off of the tape machine at Hi-N-Dry. His voice coming through his good ol Green Bullet (which he prefered to call "the Taxi mic")and a 2-string bassline that only strays from 2 chords maybe once or twice in the entire song. And Dana Colley's sax singing what feels like the world's saddest lullaby, cradling you in a moment of despair. The words seemed slurred and painful..."don't remember the place, but it's not so easy to erase a pretty face." "not too slow and not too fast". You listen to this tune, maybe get a bit teary-eyed and say "yeah...I know this feeling." It literally makes my heart ache.
I currently play with the drummer that is on that recording, Jerome Deupree, and recently had a conversation about the song. I told him that it was one of the most beautiful and tragic tunes I have ever heard. He said that anytime Sandman asked the guys if they liked a tune and they said "yes" Sandman would decide against putting it on the record. So it wasn't long before Dana, Billy and Jerome figured out that if one of Mark's tunes was a gem they better down-play it as much as possible if it were to make the final cut.
That moment in the car listening to "Pretty Face" is one of many that always seem to happen when listening to the music of Morphine. It is indeed cinematic. No matter who you are, there is a Morphine song that becomes the soundtrack of that 4 or so minutes of your life. Few people could write words and sing them with such potency as Mark Sandman.
I was absolutely tickled that they did release it after all. And there are other tracks on the "Best Of..." that were previously unreleased. However, "Pretty Face" alone is worth the price of the whole cd and more.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
We sure do miss Mark Sandman Feb. 28 2003
By Don D. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
If you are an old Morphine fan, then you are probably very familiar with most of the tracks on this new CD. If you are new to Morphine, then you should find this to be an excellent introduction to the dark and sexual sounds of a very different band. And the bonus video is a very pleasent surprise, bringing back memories of hot smoky nights at the Middle East club in Cambridge. Make sure to crank up the bass on your sound system while you are listening to this or any of the other Morphine CD's.
I dig it ...but will you? Dec 31 2006
By Scott B. Saul - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Morphine is an acquired taste. I am a fan of their recorded work and a bigger fan of their live shows.

Their music is different from anybody...this is low, low, low music. There's no highs just lots of bass and baritone.

They were a trio...drums ( a simple drum kit) 2 string slide bass and saxaphones (the player would often blow 2 at the same time). Mark Sandman, the singer sang in a real low, baritone voice. There was a lot of space between the instruments.

Now, I personally think that the set up is cool and it created an interesting, driving sound. On the other hand, there is no getting around that when you limit the instrumentation you can only get so many sounds. An issue with Morphine is that many of the songs sound alike. If you can appreciate the unique nature of this group then you will become a fan of their unique sound.

"Cure for Pain" was their best cd. I am not sure how well a greatest hits compilation will work because they did not have hits. Probably, every fan has their own tunes that they are into.

On this cd, I like the song "Buena". It acts as a nice introduction to the band concept since each instrument is individually brought into the mix. It then gets all chaotic and thrashing. "Cure for pain" showcases Mark Sandman's voice and I especially like how it somewhat harmonizes with the saxophone. "I'm Free Now" has a cool beatnick vibe and offers cool time changes within the song. "Super Sex" is a throbbing, charging tune where all 3 instruments are locked in a groove.

The musicianship is excellent.

A friend of mine remarked how he likes songs with saxophone and I offered him this. He became a big fan of the group.Fans of horn driven songs, bass players, jazz fans and lo fi people with appreciate this.

Of interesting note, bass player/vocalist Mark Sandman died on stage of a heart attack (in the 90's?) so if you like this, enjoy, there is not much out there.

I would buy "Cure for Pain" before a get a compilation
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Morphine is GREAT...this album is a hack job. Buy a different one. Nov. 23 2006
By SlicKitty - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I have to agree with Xenophile "Eric". Do yourself a favor and buy another release by Morphine. I think it does a terrible disservice to the memory of Mark Sandman to release this piece of garbage. These releases are readily availble (even in the same chunks) on other releases, but there are a few sprinklings that you're not going to get anywhere else, which makes this release a lure to "true fans". Note the whopping price? That's because those of us who have the entire library are going to scratch our heads in wonderment, thinking, "But how else will I hear these song?"

I'm with "Eric". I'll find a way and keep my $20, thanks.

EDIT: And now that we have iTunes, I shall go find "Pretty Face", thanks to the reviewer below me. I think that's the way to go here. Morphine is not to be missed, just don't bother with this particular compilation when there are better ones out there. But please, please, please do yourself the favor of checking out Morphine if you've never done so, before.

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