From the Stacks

From The Stacks: Mother Love Bone, “This Is Shangri-La” (Test Pressing)

If I had to whittle my test pressings down to a single one, this would be it.

I was lucky enough to be living in Los Angeles when Mother Love Bone was first making the rounds of the major labels. Somebody slipped me the Shine promo that was circulating, and I immediately dug it. I had no idea who these guys were, but I was sure that they were going to be huge.

That never happened, of course. All hope of Mother Love Bone taking over the world died with lead singer Andrew Wood. What came out of that tragic end was the brilliant Temple of the Dog album, named for one of Wood’s lyrics, and then Pearl Jam, but to my ear Mother Love Bone was far greater than what we received in the band’s wake.

My test pressing of “This Is Shangri-La” isn’t particularly rare, but it sounds amazing–far better than the album version. Maybe it’s the mastering, I don’t know. More importantly, this along with my cruddy little promo cassette are my only Mother Love Bone treasures, so they have a special place in my stacks.

You can pick this one up for 30 bucks or so, but for me the sentimental value makes it worth a hundred times that. Happy hunting.

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