Mother Love Bone has become a legendary Seattle band, but its music is less familiar than its story. The heroin overdose that killed lead singer Andrew Wood came just before the release of ''Apple,'' the band's major label debut, and this seminal forerunner of the Seattle sound that has become such a major force sank without a trace. Now, however, with the success of Pearl Jam, which includes Mother Love Bone alumni Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard, and the slow climb of the Wood tribute album, ''Temple of the Dog,'' Mercury has made another attempt to find an audience for the original. The label has combined the band's ''Shine'' EP and ''Apple'' on one release, plus some unreleased material, and it shows just what a loss Wood's OD really was. His vocals and lyric sensibility give Mother Love Bone a completely different take than Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Soundgarden or Alice In Chains. In fact, the songs are even more impressive now than when they were first released, for today they fit into a category of music that barely existed when ''Apple'' was recorded. Fans of the Seattle sound in general will be amply rewarded should they purchase this record, and those who particularly like Pearl Jam and Soundgarden should definitely investigate Mother Love Bone. The tragedy of Wood's death is the only shadow that hangs over this album, for it is clear Mother Love Bone was still a young band with a great future when these songs were written. But drugs stopped the music, as they have for so many others, and all that's left are might-have-beens -- and this album.
LOVE ROCK AWAITS YOU PEOPLE - ANDREW WOOD.}