Stand Out Albums has been a showcase for my favorite albums across the vast performers that I love. Covering a little bit of everything from classic rock to country hits, much like Key Movies of My Life, it has been the albums that shaped me. This year, I am taking a slightly different approach by discussing the discographies of my favorite musicians, album by album, in release order.
Now that we’ve finished with Nine Inch Nails, lets take a moment to remember a band that, while they didn’t last long, their legacy can still be heard. Today we discuss the final album released with Shannon Hoon as lead singer of Blind Melon. Sadly this album is more of a compilation of unreleased tracks and demos as it was out together after the untimely death of Hoon. The album, released in 1996, is entitled Nico after Shannon’s daughter of the same name.
Why This Album?
Picking up this album upon release was such a bittersweet experience. On one hand, we had one final time with Shannon and his tremendous band but on the other, this would indeed be the last time. To say I wasn’t a bit emotional the first time I heard Nico, would be a lie. It was almost like finding an unexpected message from a dead friend and in that message was the essence of who that person was captured forever one final time. Simply put, to me Nico is a perfect glimpse into the life of someone whos star went out a litter sooner than it should have.
Each track on this album, whether it’s a cover like that of The Pusher or John Sinclair, or an original creation like Soul One, feel like gleams on the multifaceted life that was Shannon Hoon. We get to hear some of his iconic vocals at their most vulnerable while also hearing him joke about cats in an alley outside of his window, we get tender moments and silly moments, all that, from what I understand, were very much who this person was. Not only is it a great final album of the original Blind Melon band, but a fitting tribute to a tremendous singer.
Overall, this is one you really shouldn’t sleep on. Many posthumous releases are comprised of a greatest hits or a smattering of unreleased demos, but Nico feels more like a celebration of what was while also hinting at what could have been. For that, I am grateful to have it in my life and you will be too.
Soup. This is one track that was recorded during the previous album and was left off for some reason. It’s pretty great.
Life Ain’t So Shitty. The title says it all and it’s just Hoon and a guitar in a hotel room. Simple, elegant and perfect.
St Andrew’s Hall. An alternate take of St Andrews Fall but There is something about this track that just, works.
Ok, Where do I get it?
You can get this one fairly inexpensively here. Or, as usually listen on Spotify. Trust, this is a solid release and one you should give a go.
Late to the Game 12/7/2021
Thanks for reading, If you would like to read more reviews I have a weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday and also check out some retro tv goodness with the ongoing series Retro TV Reviews here. You can also find a few of my other Music Reviews Here.
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