Blind Melon (album)

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Blind Melon
Studio album by Blind Melon
Released September 22, 1992
Recorded February – June 1992 at London Bridge Studios, Seattle, Washington
Genre Alternative rock, Roots-rock, Psychedelic rock, Folk rock
Length 55:22
Label Capitol
Producer Rick Parashar, Blind Melon
Blind Melon chronology
Blind Melon
(1992)
Soup
(1995)
Singles from Blind Melon
  1. "Tones of Home"
    Released: 1992
  2. "No Rain"
    Released: 1992
  3. "I Wonder"
    Released: 1992
  4. "Change"
    Released: 1992
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[1]

Blind Melon is the eponymous debut album by the rock band Blind Melon, released on September 22, 1992 through Capitol Records. Fronted by singer Shannon Hoon, Blind Melon had a distinctive traditional rock sound, influenced by southern rock and psychedelic rock. The aggressive leads and shouted vocals of "Soak The Sin" and "Tones of Home" evoked hard rock with a funky sound; "Time's" spacious bridge and ambient, winding outro shared commonalities with Grateful Dead-style improvisational music; while heavily acoustic songs "Change" and "No Rain" hinted at pop and folk influences. "No Rain" became Blind Melon's breakthrough single.

Background[edit]

In 1990, lead singer Shannon Hoon moved from Indiana to Los Angeles, California. Soon afterwards he met guitarist Rogers Stevens and bassist Brad Smith, both Mississippi natives who had come to Los Angeles a year earlier. They began playing together and soon recruited a second guitarist, Christopher Thorn. The foursome then looked for a drummer in the local area, but months passed and their search was unsuccessful. Stevens and Smith eventually persuaded drummer Glen Graham from Mississippi to come to Los Angeles and join the band.

After Blind Melon recorded a four song demo called The Goodfoot Workshop, Capitol Records became interested and signed them in 1991 although they never released the band's demo as an EP.[2] Blind Melon then collaborated with producer David Briggs to put together their first EP titled The Sippin' Time Sessions. However, the record was not released due to "slick and doctored" results that were unanticipated.[3]

In late 1991, Blind Melon decided to leave Los Angeles to record its debut album since they felt the city did not reflect their music style. A Capitol Records music manager had suggested they retreat to North Carolina.[4] Chapel Hill, North Carolina was attractive to the band because of its "good music scene", however they could not find an affordable house big enough there for them and their equipment.[4] The band eventually rented a house in Durham, North Carolina.[5]

Production[edit]

Some recording sessions for the album took place at their Durham, North Carolina residence, nicknamed the 'Sleepyhouse'. Thorn stated, "We rehearsed in the house and recorded in the house. We became a much better band in the house, and that's where we really developed our sound."[4] However, Blind Melon recorded the bulk of the album with producer Rick Parashar (who had produced Pearl Jam's Ten) at London Bridge Studio in Seattle, Washington. The recording sessions for Blind Melon were completed in the spring of 1992.[3]

Blind Melon's production is marked by the use of outdated amplifiers and other antiquated studio technology.[6] Modern studio effects were not used in its production as the band wanted to create a pure and "intimate" sounding record.[5] Hoon stated, "We all kind of liked the production that was on a lot of early Stones records, [where] whatever it is you're playing is what it's going to sound like."[5]

Composition[edit]

The album's music style has been described as alternative, southern rock with a '70s retro-rock feel.[5][7] Hoon's vocals on the record are high-pitched, and "scratchy" sounding.[7] A couple of the songs on Blind Melon criticize religion. "Holyman" slams people who maintain that only their religious views are right, and "Dear Ol' Dad" is about Hoon's ex-girlfriend who left him because of religion.[5] The song "Sleepyhouse" is a recollection of a time the band spent at their residence of the same name, and with friends at a yellow house in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.[4]

Artwork[edit]

Blind Melon's cover art is based on a 1975 photograph of Georgia Graham, Glen Graham's younger sister, in a bee costume.[8][9] The cover art further inspired the concept of the 'Bee Girl' character in the band's video for "No Rain". Samuel Bayer, the video's director, selected Heather DeLoach for the 'Bee Girl' role because she looked similar to Graham's sister in the photograph and on the subsequent album cover.[8]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks by Blind Melon unless listed.

  1. "Soak the Sin" - 4:01
  2. "Tones of Home" - 4:26
  3. "I Wonder" - 5:31
  4. "Paper Scratcher" - 3:14
  5. "Dear Ol' Dad" - 3:02
  6. "Change" (Shannon Hoon) - 3:41
  7. "No Rain" - 3:37
  8. "Deserted" - 4:20
  9. "Sleepyhouse" - 4:29
  10. "Holyman" - 4:47
  11. "Seed to a Tree" - 3:29
  12. "Drive" - 4:39
  13. "Time" - 6:02
  14. "No Rain (Live)" Japan Bonus Track
  15. "Drive (Live)" Japan Bonus Track

20th Anniversary Edition[edit]

  • Released April 16, 2013
  • Includes bonus tracks from the previously unreleased Sippin' Time Sessions EP.
  1. Dear Ol' Dad - 3:03
  2. Soul One - 3:41
  3. Tones Of Home - 4:51
  4. Seed To A Tree - 3:25
  5. Mother - 6:14

Notes[edit]

  • Rogers Stevens' guitar playing is predominantly heard in the right channel, while Chris Thorn's is in the left.
  • The lyrics to "Tones of Home" are collaborative.

Personnel[edit]

  • Blind Melon - Producer, Art Direction, Mixing
  • George Marino - Mastering
  • Rick Parashar - Producer, Engineer, Mixing
  • Jon Plum - Assistant Engineer
  • Tommy Steele - Art Direction
  • Heather Devlin - Photography

Chart positions[edit]

Album[edit]

Chart (1993) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard 200[10] 3

Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Peak
position
1992 "Tones of Home" U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 20
1993 "No Rain" U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 1
1993 "No Rain" U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 1
1993 "No Rain" U.S. Billboard Hot 100 20
1993 "No Rain" U.S. Billboard Mainstream Top 40 4
1993 "Tones of Home" U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 10

References[edit]

Footnotes
  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Chapman (2008), p. 109
  3. ^ a b Prato, Greg. "Blind Melon Biography". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  4. ^ a b c d Currin, Grayson (2007-11-28). "A reunited Blind Melon reminisces about its time in Durham". Independent Weekly. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Billik, Kira (1993-08-01). "Blind Melon plays in mellow tone". Associated Press. Retrieved 2011-05-11. 
  6. ^ Reynolds, Simon (1993-12-05). "POP VIEW; The Perils of Loving Old Records Too Much". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-05-11. 
  7. ^ a b Love, Andrew (1993-01-04). "Blind Melon presents mixed musical bag". Ocala Star-Banner. Retrieved 2011-05-12. 
  8. ^ a b Kaufman, Gil (2008-12-10). "Blind Melon 'Bee Girl' Grows Up, Has Eye On Acting Career". MTV. Retrieved 2011-05-16. 
  9. ^ "To Bee or Not to Bee". Entertainment Weekly. 1993-09-24. Retrieved 2011-05-16. 
  10. ^ "Blind Melon: Album Info". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-05-20. 
Bibliography