Most everyone who lived in the 90’s remembers Blind Melon and Shannon Hoon’s sudden appearance on the scene. If they don’t remember Hoon, they certainly remember the bumblebee girl from the popular music video for the song, No Rain. It was because of this song, many people know of the band and many time consider them a one hit wonder. Those that dive in deeper find a magnificent album full of easy hits and wonderful tunes.
Due to the untimely death of the lead singer, Hoon, in 1995 most folks moved on without noticing that there was so much more left that this band had given past the bumblebee girl and the absence of rain.
Why This Album?
Yes, I was one of the many that was entranced by the dancing Bee Girl on the video for No Rain, but I stuck with Blind Melon and even after Hoon’s death, I continued to listen to their music. To me, the album of theirs that really stood out was their sophomore effort, Soup. While Soup did not reach the heights that their first self titled album did, it contains some of their very best efforts and certainly is worthy of reexploring.
Soup starts with a barrage of noise remenicient of walking down a New Orleans street during the beginning of one of their funeral parades. Sad Horns backed with Shannon’s scratchy voice lead into a more intense yet subdued song entitled Galaxie. The later Best Of release would remove the odd horn intro but to get the full feel of this album, it is best left on.
As the album progresses, you can’t miss the subtle influence of Neil Young and other seventies rockers in Blind Melon’s tunes. Much of this album could have been released in the mid seventies and would have been a welcome addition to the lineup of the time. Then we get to songs like Skinned and Toes Across The Floor where we realize that Blind Melon is far more than the seventies style jam band that they appear. In fact, they are so much more.
This is a tough one as every track on this album has it’s moment. If I had to pick only three, these would be them.
Skinned is a song from the perspective of the serial killer Ed Gein and is done with a flair of humor that isn’t unlike the works of Firesign Theatre or even Monty Python. Once upon a time this song would have fit perfectly on Doctor Demento show. It takes a horrific event and puts a clever humorous spin on it, making it a disturbingly delightful tune that you will certainly find yourself singing along with.
Toes Across the Floor:
The next track that strikes me is Toes Across the Floor. It is a mesmerizing song about how no matter how things change, they always stay the same. It is possibly one of their best efforts and always ends up on one of my playlists of favorite songs.
Finally, Saint Andrew’s Fall:
This one is about a suicide that Shannon Hoon and the band witnessed while on tour. It is a tragic song that really makes you think.
Ok, Where do I get it?
You can find this album on occasion in record shops but the easiest way to listen to it in it’s entity is on Spotify or your favorite streaming service. You can get the vinyl from Amoeba Records for around $30 and honestly, it is worth it.
I hope you come to enjoy this album as I do, and if not, then maybe you discovered a little corner of music you never knew existed. Until Next time,
Late to the Game 1/20/2019
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