Guest Blog: Blind Melon - Band of the 90s

SIMON SWEETMAN
Last updated 09:06 11/11/2013

This week the inmates are running the asylum. You'll remember I asked you all to Right This Blog! So thanks go to Durham  for today's post:

Blind Melon...yep the band who sung that annoyingly happy song No Rain, with the funny bee girl music video.  But they were so much more than that too.  You could be forgiven for thinking of them as a one-hit-wonder band.  Although technically I suppose that's what they were.  But behind every one-hit-wonder band is a plethora of obsessive devoted fans who can't get enough of them. That would be me...Hi.  

Now, Blind Melon were a bunch of guys who just seemed to gel, they weren't together all thatBlind Melonlong before they released their first album, Blind Melon.  And you can kind of hear it on that album.  But what does come through, for me anyway, was that they were a band who "got each other".  The first album was a kind of southern rock hippy album, but in a good way.  The lead singer, Shannon Hoon had one of the coolest high-pitched but scratchy voices that really stands out (interesting side note, he did the backing vocals on the Guns'n' Roses song Don't Cry).  

After the debut came the album Soup.  This album is definitely a creeper.  One of those albums that you don't really get into until after the tenth listen or so.  But once you "get it" it is pretty damn good; it's a little strange still, but it sticks in your head. Stand out tracks for me would have to be Toes Across The Floor, St. Andrew's Fall, Walk and Mouthful of Cavities.  Lyrically it seems like such a personal album, with songs about Shannon's partner about to have his child and whether having a child will change his ways for the better (new life). Songs that hint at his drug addiction (Lemonade), and then a funny song about the serial killer Ed Gein (Skinned) and another song about a killer (Car Seat (God's Presents)).  It is also one of those albums that plays really well as a whole album.  The thing that stands out again to me is Shannon's voice, so high, and scratchy, and unlike anyone else's.  I can't think of anything else to say about the album except if you haven't heard it go out and buy it or listen to it on iTunes or whatever you kids are doing these days.

Sadly, just months after Soup was released, Shannon was found dead on the tour bus from aSoupheart attack attributed to a cocaine overdose.  It was a sad waste of talent, and such a tragedy.  It would have been interesting to see what happened with the band had Shannon lived, and how the album aged if they were out there touring it like they should have been. The album was never really critically embraced when it came out and never got the chance it should have.  As it turned out, after he died the rest of the band got together and released the rarity/unreleased songs album, Nico, which still had some really good songs on it but ultimately sounded like what it was, with half done songs finished posthumously.  It did however have the song Soup which was not on the album of the same name. I don't know why it never made the album as it is the best song off Nico.

The band tried to find a new lead singer and ultimately found one with Travis Warren, and then went on to release another album, For My Friends, and  while it isn't a bad album, it is definitely no Soup . They did break up after that, but apparently now they are together and doing the occasional show. 
 
But, for me, Soup is THE album of the nineties and will always be the album I can never get sick of. 

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