Personnel: Andrew Wood (vocals, piano); Bruce Fairweather, Stone Gossard (guitar); Greg Gilmore (drums).
Recording information: American Studios, Burbank, CA (1989); London Bridge Studios, Seattle (1989); The Plant, Sausalito, CA (1989).
Photographers: Lance Mercer; Charles Peterson ; James Bland; Glen La Ferman.
The 1992 compilation Mother Love Bone didn't contain everything the doomed Seattle grunge band recorded -- far from it, actually, as the 2016 set On Earth as It Is: The Complete Works makes plain. Sprawling out over three CDs and a DVD, On Earth as It Is pairs the 1990 LP Apple and the 1989 EP on the first disc, essentially replicating the 1992 comp, and then over the course of two CDs it serves up all the B-sides, alternate takes, demos, and unreleased rarities. Some of this material, particularly the B-sides, are as finely honed as Apple, but the tracks that really kick are the rougher material on the third disc. Here, the band seems ragged and rangy, a low-rent Seattle spin on Guns N' Roses -- not just for the loud songs, either; when Andrew Wood sits down at the piano for "These R No Blues," it seems prescient, pointing toward such Use Your Illusion ballads as "November Rain" -- and that only winds up underscoring how Mother Love Bone was both thoroughly of the pre-grunge moment but also forward-looking. For anybody who wore out the original 1992 disc, that's reason enough to pick up this set. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine