Mother Love Bone – “Hold Your Head Up / Holy Roller” RSD 7″

I woke up in a bit of a funk this morning. It was raining hard, and while I was looking forward to hitting up a couple of shops for Record Store Day Black Friday, I did not expect to get a copy of what I really wanted, the Mother Love Bone 7″ featuring a cover of Argent’s “Hold Your Head Up.” Maybe if I lived anywhere other than Seattle, this would have seemed attainable. But here… I figured probably not.


I’ve written about Mother Love Bone before as a side note in various other posts, so I won’t go into the whole backstory. I don’t have a good perspective on the popularity of the band outside of Seattle, which only managed one EP and one LP before lead singer Andy Wood’s heroin overdose… and if memory serves, he actually died right before the LP came out. Personally I think they would have been huge, and I love their music. Of course, some of the members of MLB ended up finding success in bands like, you know, Pearl Jam. So I somehow suspect that MLB fans fall into two groups – Pearl Jam fans who experience them as part of the overall Pearl Jam thing, and the relatively small number of people who’d heard of them when they were new… and I think a large percentage of the later were in Seattle.

I checked Facebook in the AM and saw there were already lines at the shops, but still figured it was worth a shot. So we got some coffee, tried not to hydroplane the car into the freeway jersey barriers, and made it to Easy Street in West Seattle. Where I found an entire wall of the single, still in stock. Score! In fact I even picked up a second copy as a Christmas present for a friend. Hell, they even still had copies at the next shop we stopped at, Silver Platters. Maybe I over-estimated the popularity of this item here in Seattle. Regardless, I’m stoked to have my copy.

I’m not sure how “limited” this is, and frankly I don’t care. Hearing some fresh material with Andy Wood’s voice is awesome, and he definitely takes the Argent cover and makes it his own, with his trademark Andy Wood flourishes and emotion. The B side is a previously unreleased version of the MLB song “Holy Roller,” though at least to my ears the first time through it sounds a lot like the album version.

This probably doesn’t appeal to anyone who isn’t a Pearl Jam fan or an old school Seattle music fan… but if you’re in one of those two camps, like I am, then it’s a great chance to hear Andy Wood’s voice again. We lost him too soon. He would have been one of the greats.

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