Cure for Pain
Much of Cure for Pain serves as the soundtrack behind David O. Russell’s ‘Spanking the Monkey’. I became entranced by ‘Let’s Take a Trip Together’ and the scene it plays under. If you’ve seen it, then you know that it’s a compelling, dark moment. I watched the last few minutes of that movie every time it was on. This was back before DVRs, so that meant hunting it down every time it played on IFC in 1997-1998. That tells you something about how it grabbed me. It wasn’t long before I was down at Rasputin buying the CD.
Ooh, this is a hard one. I don’t think I can pick just one verse of one song. In lieu of reprinting the lyrics for the whole album, here are three of my favorites.
She had a smile that swerved
She had a smile that curved
She had a smile that swerved all over the road
- All Wrong
Hide your daughters in the snow and watch out for the undertow.
Hold both hands against the door and dig your feet into the floor.
I tell you there’s no map and there’s no clue
Of where to go and what to do.
Who to dog and who to ride and who to hold
forever by your side.
- Mary Won’t You Call My Name
Let’s take a trip together
Headlong into the irresistible orbit
Breathe in the cold, black space
With the glistening edges.
Let’s take a trip, me and you.
Let’s go the scenic route –
Get to finally
Get to finally
Get to finally
Get to know each other.
- Let’s Take a Trip Together
Why it Won
Cure for Pain is pure, slinky lust in music form. It’s all darkened bars and bodies pressed close, a seductive look and a whisper in your ear just before you feel the soft, tentative bite on your neck.
For the uninitiated, Morphine was a three-piece band at this point. Drums, bass and vocals, and sax, and what you heard on the album wasn’t too far from what you’d hear live. I like some of their later work, but none of it is as intimate and sultry as ‘Cure for Pain.’ The late Mark Sandman purrs out his lyrics, and the sax throbs under his vocals like an ardent lover, sometimes matching him note for note, sometimes wailing out on its own in response to the caress of his velvety voice.
Look, it’s a sexy, sexy recording, is what I’m saying. I’m listening to it and typing this on my lunch hour at work, and it’s making me want to jump the next person who walks by my desk and drag them into the broom closet.
It’s also listenable from beginning to end with no clunkers to skip. Few recordings in my collection can boast of that kind of quality.
Copper Blue – Sugar. – Another fantastic album from around that time. I listen to this one all the way through, too, but the mixing on it is rough. After one or two times through, especially in a car, the midrange starts to hurt my ears
Core – Stone Temple Pilots – Classic hard rock, full of testosterone and swagger. This was my favorite music to drive to in the early 90s. I owned a Pontiac J2000, so ‘driving’ might be a liberal term for what I was doing.