Hits & Misses of ’90s Comebacks (Part 2)

Self-titled debut album

No Rain”.  Bee Girl.  Urinating on fans.  If these words conjure up images of something other than the ‘90s band, Blind Melon, I’d be quite curious to hear what’s running through your mind.  Nevertheless, many of you may remember the band by the name of Blind Melon.  They hit the music scene in 1993 with what was to be their biggest hit, No Rain, with the video sparking as much buzz (Ha! No pun intended) as the song itself with the girl who danced and whizzed around in a bee costume, Blind Melon became popular quite quickly.  As quickly as the fame came, it seemed to wash away just as fast.  It seemed as though the band hadn’t even reached it’s peak, and in ’95, lead singer Shannon Hoon was found dead in his home because of a coke habit that he couldn’t control.

Blind Melon may be remembered for the song No Rain, but if you purchased their debut album, you’d know they were much more than a “one-hit-wonder”.  Of the 13 tracks, not one is weak and all are impressive.  The self-titled album opens with Soak The Sin, which is a groovy, riff-laden romp, and the album just keeps pace from there with even more great guitar hooks and fantastic groove drumming.  (The drummer for this band is one of my favourites, he’s got great feel!)

The other 12 tracks on the album don’t disappoint either, with classics such as No Rain, Tones of Home and Change.  The latter (Change) being a great acoustic dimension of the band, bringing in some harmonica and mandolin with it, and some fantastically deep lyrics.  Other notable songs, aside from naming the entire album are I Wonder, Paper Scratcher, Deserted, which carries some more satisfying drum fills and great lyrics, and the tune Sleepyhouse is something I’d play while sitting on the patio of a cabin on a lake while the summer sun is setting and the bugs are buzzing into the bug zapper.

I could go on and on giving many reasons to buy this album, being it one of the better debut albums from any band in my vast collection, but I will quit and let you see for yourself.  Blind Melon did put out 2 more albums which have some notable tracks on them, however, they are not nearly as strong from start to finish as their debut.  To get an overall feel for their other albums and the better songs on them, listen to the Classic Masters: Blind Melon Greatest Hits. You’ll hear songs several songs I’ve already mentioned plus Soup, Galaxie, Toes Across the Floor, Mouthful of Cavities, and Pull.

With all these great songs from the 90’s, Blind Melon regrouped several years back, I believe in 2007, with a new singer and a new album.  Unfortunately, this album is lacking everything that made Blind Melon a notable band in the early and mid-90’s.  Perhaps vocally and lyrically, Hoon was not as replaceable as the band thought, but on the musically side of things, it’s not any better.  With a few songs being simply “ok” and others just not doing anything to make them memorable, this was a big disappointment for me.  The only songs worth checking out, in my opinion are Wishing Well and For My Friends. Other than these, there’s really nothing special on this album.  It is simply mediocre, particularly when compared to their past performances.

I would have to conclude that Blind Melon was a hit in the 90’s, but a miss in the 00’s.  Shannon Hoon is clearly missed.  Especially since their “new” singer has since quit the band…

~ by DR on June 4, 2010.

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