Good is the first album by the Boston-based alternative rock trio Morphine. It was released in 1992 on the label Accurate/Distortion. It was reissued by Rykodisc after the band signed with the label.
Morphine was an American alternative rock group formed by Mark Sandman, Dana Colley, and Jerome Deupree in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1989.
After five successful albums and extensive touring, lead vocalist Mark Sandman died on stage in Palestrina, Italy, on July 3, 1999. The remaining founding members have reformed into the band Vapors of Morphine, maintaining much of the original style and sound.
I had a chat with the Band’s Baritone Saxophonist Dana Colley about this majestic classic album that changed the history of music:
TF: What’s behind this album, and what do you remember about the days you were recording it?
Dana: Good was our first record and we went into the studio mostly to record songs we’d been playing in our live set and to hear what they sounded like. I don’t remember a lot about the actual recording process, I do remember being at a very early stage in my development and still trying to figure a lot of things out.
TF: Are we expecting a new Vapors of morphine album anytime soon?
Dana: We have a new vinyl coming out on schnitzel records in the UK and it will feature both Jerome Deupree and Drums as well as Tom Arey.
One side we will have Jerome on it and the other side will have Tom on it and it will be coming out in 2021. We hope to be touring when all this is over.
TF: What do you miss the most these days?
Dana: I miss going to Union Square and seeing all my friends, having a place to play on a weekly basis. Making music together and sharing it in our community.
TF: Tell us more about your musical influences…
Dana: From 70s music growing up as a kid listening to Jimi Hendrix, Robin Trower, ZZ Top but also having a lot of jazz influence from my father‘s record collection: John Coltrane, Count Basie, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk, Johnny Hodges..
I really love the soundtrack that Nick Cave and Warren Ellis did for the film “The assassination of Jesse James”.
The album sees me going back to my writing approach from our earliest records, writing the demos as stripped back acoustic tracks at home.
They were primarily built on the lyrical content, leaning towards a more mature approach to language and songwriting. With that, the instrumentation grew and, from the raw and noisy post-punk of our previous record, this album leans to a softer musical soundscape, acoustic guitars, piano, accordion and a heavy presence of violin and string arrangements. We started recording when we returned from our cancelled tour of the USA and Canada, it was really a stressful time and we were plunged into this lockdown and isolation. So we just each set up home recording spaces and started sending recordings between each other.
What started out as a set of romantic and deeply personal songs also took on the surrounding frustrations and feelings towards the situation we found ourselves in. Born from the heartbreak of how the worldwide pandemic has changed the industry we were thriving within, this album also functions as a love letter to the past.
2- What are you missing the most these days?
And at this stage it isn’t just playing live that I miss, but the whole package of what comes with being on the road. Sure we miss performing live more than anything, but also the camaraderie of being with the band and crew, all the experiences that come along with it. Even the negative, low points, even those I miss!
3- Your 3 best musical Influences?
I’ll answer this with reference to the new album. My writing style and what Leo and I ended up arranging musically was influenced by listening back to Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan and these songwriters who had inspired us from so early in our musical careers. Also a lot of atmospheric music, from This Mortal Coil to Carlo Gesualdo.
“I have a brain that is fed almost entirely on cheese and 1980s pop music. If Nik Kershaw or The Human League can do it, then I can too, but with a slice of smoked cheddar and dirty ginger hair walloped on top.”
“I am a a multi-instrumentalist and my favourite key signature is D major (Or B minor if I’m feeling 👐dramatic).”
“My latest musical venture Limon & Leme was written at a time of global social unrest. You’d think this would reflect in the songs on the album but, probably because of the volume of tea I’ve been drinking recently, I was mostly oblivious to these goings-on. What you will find are thoughts about how I was conceived in the back of a Ford Cortina; feeling awkward at parties; calculators and magical TV remotes that can reset existence”
You can listen to this great piece of music on Spotify:
Jared Bibler is an American singer-songwriter from Ohio currently living in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
PRODUCTION Produced by GREG BESHERS
Recorded by JESSE RICKETSON at Mee Cha Studios in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Lead vocals, acoustic guitars, and keys recorded by RYAN SHIELDS at Goats in Bags Studios in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Mixed and Engineered by JESSE RICKETSON and GREG BESHERS at Mee Cha Studios in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Mastered by WILLIAM BOWDEN at King Willy Sound
PERFORMERS JARED BIBLER: sings and acoustic guitar GREG BESHERS: electric guitar, bass, and sings on “Ain’t it Harder” ERNIE BUCK: drums JESSE RICKETSON: drums on “Just a Number” FERGUS WALKER: keys MARIANNA HENSLEY: sings on “Just a Number” and “Ain’t it Harder”